Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This was 2013!

Our second year in LA has been a BIG one.  I wrote a new novel from start to finish, then polished off another one. I became a certified RYT 200-hour yoga teacher, assisted a second round of teacher training and completed an 85-hour specialty certification in prenatal yoga.  And I also started teaching yoga!  Me!  The girl who cried in 2012 when she had to teach a sun salutation to a group of teacher trainees because she was terrified of speaking in public — and now I have two classes a week of my very own!  I never expected I would get to this point teaching yoga and how much I would love teaching.  I never thought I could write a novel in three months either, but I did that this year too!

Tom and I also had six sets of visitors in 2013.  I went back to Toronto twice, went to Hawaii with my little sis, made a trip to NYC with my Mom and my aunt, Tom and I visited our little niece and family in Vancouver and then we partied in Calgary for his best friend's wedding. We also took multiple trips to Palm Springs — with my aunt and her family and with friends — and then we had a little getaway of our own in San Clemente.  This was also the year Toomas 4Everest Peters launched his digital record label, Such Music — and the label had a stellar first year!  Then the weekend after he launched the label he broke his neck on an ocean wave in Malibu.  While he was healing I broke my toe.  We spent 12 weeks together in our apartment while he healed, learning to be humble and above all reach for a whole new level of gratitude.  Every day we are grateful that he made a full recovery (along with my little toe).   But you know, there's a lot a young married couple can get up to when they're stuck in their apartment together, even with broken bones...
It turns out 2013 was also the year we embarked on a journey, of receiving one of life's greatest gifts!! 

And so these were the events of 2013, but in truth, this was the year...


...we saw for ourselves how quickly life sprouts up and on and how joy spreads with it


This was the year of knowing you will always find your way back to the people you love


...and that together you can visit the places of your dreams.

 This was the year of discovering that you can set goals and you can surpass them


and that life will always find a way to help you express what's in your heart.


This was the year my eyes opened wider to the evolution of spirit within each of us, the beauty that resides within us all. 


I realized like never before that we are here to go for it.  We are here to express. We are here to share what we love and always, always, always, create from the truest parts of ourselves.


We are here to remember the cliche that life's greatest loves can be born out of life's greatest heartaches (or something like that ;)


especially if you're able to laugh your way through.



 Because the truth is this won't be the last time you'll need to reach for a higher place.  The truth is that the thing you never thought you'd get through is over now, or it's on its way to being over, because it all ends sometime.  It all changes.  So if it's at all possible, keep in mind and take heart that there are joyous occasions around the corner.  There is love like you have never known.

This was a year of love, this was a year of greatness, this year and all...


Friday, November 22, 2013

Life surging on and overflowing

Thank you for the crispy bits of roasted potatoes.  Thank you for information falling into my lap just when I need it and better yet before I realized I did.  Thank you for time — to connect, to relax, to breathe and move and to discover.  Thank you for the moments I remember to recognize my freedom. Because I know that freedom is like life, ever changing, and it might not always exist in the same way, so thank you for how it exists in my life right now. And thank you for boot weather.  Thank you for live music and community and teachers who hold the space.  Thank you for my person, the support he slips under my soles so I can feel myself growing.  Because I know I'm growing, it's just that sometimes it feels more like sinking and so I'm grateful for him because he reminds me that backwards steps can be forward steps.  Thank you for all the pieces of the universe that we don't understand.  Thank you for surprises.  Thank you for open hearts and surrendered spirits. Thank you for life surging on and overflowing.  Thank you for this moment, right now, right here.       

Friday, November 8, 2013

Something out of nothing

I finally got around to watching this TED Talk by Amy Tan about where creativity lies.  She makes some great points about the serendipitous nature of creativity that really resonated with me so I thought I would share.  If you have 20 minutes and are so inclined:



Life is good right now.  In fact, life is great.  I feel awesome, am back in a schedule doing so many things I love: writing lots, teaching yoga, practicing yoga, hanging out with friends and my best friend and life-mate, good old Mr. Peters.  I'm just really grateful to be right here.

I'm feeling really good about the revisions I'm going through in this next draft of my book and confident that I'll be done with this draft very soon.  Then...(duh, duh, duh) it will truly be time to send it out!  It's taken me a LONG TIME to get even close to this stage (much longer than most writers I think, from what I read in the blogosphere), but I haven't given up!  It's been a good 10 years since I committed to the idea of writing stuff for people to read and I'm really thrilled I've kept at it.

Yesterday I was in a bathroom and I cam across this:

Thoreau's quote made me smile because, after all this time, I can't believe that's still the direction I'm going in. I've had a lot of help and a lot of love from people to keep me on track, but reading this I'm reminded that patience really pays off.  I haven't realized a lot of my dreams yet, but because I'm going in their direction I feel like I'm living them.  And when I'm out of my head and in my body, when I'm breathing in the present moment, I realize that if you're living any stage of your dream, in some facet you're already there.

So, my dear ones, GO CONFIDENTLY! You may just end up realizing the life you've imagined for yourself is happening right now.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mom and some Torah wisdom

I am officially on staff teaching prenatal yoga at Yoga Noho!  I teach Mondays and Saturdays at 10 a.m! The Monday class I am currently subbing for a friend on mat leave but the Saturday class I'm taking over and am so excited about this!  It's my first official class! Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude!

For the last 10 days my mom and aunt Lisa were here visiting in LA.  They just left on Saturday.  We had an awesome time but saying goodbye is always hard. I'm going back to Toronto for the holidays though so I'm comforted in knowing it won't be too long until I see them again.


One thing I've learned is that not every daughter has a great relationship with their mother.  I have to say I always have.  Even when I was a teenager and my mom was chasing me down the street in her housecoat in the middle of the night when I tried to sneak out.  Or anytime we've had yelling matches (my mother likes to use her voice) I've always still loved her so fiercely and been aware of that.  After my husband, she is the first person I speak to when I have a problem.  She is the first person I want to call when I have joyous news to share.  And most of the time I just need to connect with her — through Facetime, in person, on the phone — just because.  I know in my heart that our spirits are connected, that we've been loving each other for way longer than just this life.  And I am so, so grateful.  I am thankful for what she's taught me.  I am thankful for how she's always encouraged me not to give up on my dreams, even if they haven't been making me any money, even if the realization of my dreams is a long shot.  All I wish for her is health and happiness and a long life.  Selfishly, I want to share as much of mine as possible with her, loving her, expressing my gratitude for her and just being together.  Love you Mom!  The picture below is us before we sat as audience members of The Talk TV show.  We had a blast.


Now I thought I would leave you with just a nugget of wisdom from my Jewish roots.  I came across this carved box in a gift shop in Burbank when my Mom was visiting and the words just hit home.  For those of you who have been reading my blog, even though my posting has been so sporadic for the latter half of this year, this one's for you.  And for the rest of you, it's also yours for the taking.


Friday, September 27, 2013

In which it would appear that I've given up

It's quite the contrary actually.  True, I haven't really been blogging about my writing pursuits, or blogging at all, but it doesn't mean I haven't still been working towards my goals.

Okay so when I started this blog almost two years ago (yikes!), I said I'd finish all three books of my trilogy in one year.  So I'm a little behind, but not much.  I've finished two out of three books and have a pretty good outline of the third.  That's not bad, right?

What have I been doing (writing wise) in the meantime?  I've been polishing off Book One and getting ready to send the sucker out!  I have a timeline for this that I'm sticking to, because really, at this point, I feel I have no other choice.

The good news? I can feel with all my revisions, and with the help of my very talented author aunt Carolyn Abraham, that Book One is getting better with each day.  I'm getting excited thinking about the prospect of other people reading this and getting their feedback.

The bad news?  Well, there isn't any really.  I'm just trucking away, and in the meantime, I've been doing LOADS of other things this summer.

After Tom's broken neck incident, and my broken toe incident, we took some time to heal.  Then we had visitors!  Tom's parents just left after a great visit. We also had a beautiful beach weekend with them in San Clemente.  This was our beach.
 Now I've got just a few weeks of quiet until my mom and aunt come to visit for 10 days, which I can't wait for!  I love LA, but I miss home, especially during fall.  Autumn is my favorite season and in LA we only get a slight Autumn.  There's nothing like that brisk fresh air and the falling leaves that makes you excited for change...even when it is the coming winter.

I've been teaching a bit of prenatal yoga as well lately after just finishing my prenatal teacher training at Silver Lake Yoga, which was so awesome.  I met such a great group of girls and learned so much.  There's more of a demand for prenatal yoga because it's specialized so getting a sub job here and there has been easier.  Plus I love pregnant mamas.  Who better to connect with and teach than fabulous women, growing fabulous humans inside them?

You know I can't believe this has been my life in LA for almost two years...writing, yoga, Tom and a little bit of freelance work on the side.  I'm not going to lie and tell you that I'm not feeling an itch for the next stage though.

By next stage I mean, a new phase of my life where I can bring in a little bit more money, hopefully from writing, or with doing something I love.  I'm not the kind of girl to put all my eggs in one basket and I know life has a very special way of working itself out, that I may not understand as its doing the working.  So I have faith.  I put my trust in the process.  And in the meantime I work from my heart.

When it becomes clear to me that I need to take action in one way or another, I will.  Until that time, I'm on the path.  And I'm staying open.

Friday, August 30, 2013

One love


Thank you for food!! Thank you for all the ways my body serves me everyday, through health, through mobility, through feelings of both pleasure and pain. Thank you for air conditioning! Thank you for the money to pay my electric bill! Thank you for a man who takes such good care of me. Thank you for the love of my family and how I feel this love everyday despite being so far away from them.  Thank you for the way yoga feels in my body. Thank you for quiet moments.  Thank you for dance party's in the shower. Thank you for long weekends and Fridays and popsicles and laughing out loud. Thank you for the moments when I see how life tumbles on and on and I am here because of the women (and men) that came before me. Thank you to everyone of you out there who doesn't see the differences between us but the similarities, and even more than that... Thank you to you who sees that we not only share our planet, our food, our air, our triumphs and our tragedies but that WE SHARE EVERYTHING. Thank you to you who sees that we are not only connected, but that we are one. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Out of a valley

So there may be a few of you out there that still happen by this blog. Or maybe not? Either way here I am again. I always swore I'd never be one of those bloggers that just disappears and now I've gone and done it.  This isn't even my first hiatus!

Sure, life's been crazy.  Sure, we've been thrown a few curve balls, but I feel in my gut that the valley Tom and I were navigating through this summer is finally starting to build it's way up to a peak.

Three weeks ago yesterday Tom and I found ourselves back at the hospital.


This is us.  And for the record I wouldn't usually post a picture of myself where I looked this horrible but I thought it would be nice to give you an idea of what we looked like as Tom wheeled me around the hospital in his neck brace.

It wasn't a serious injury (thank goodness).  I was walking to the sofa from the kitchen with a jar of tzatziki in my hand about to have dinner in front of the TV when I stubbed my toe on an ottoman.  I knew right away I had broken it.  Both Tom and I did.  The sound of bone breaking is easy to pinpoint.
Plus all of a sudden my left foot looked like it was giving a Vulcan greeting.

So there you have it.  Since then I've been hobbling down the streets of LA with my dear husband in a neck brace.  At the hospital everyone thought we'd been in accident together.  Oh no.  That would just make too much sense (and really I thank my lucky stars we weren't in an accident together).  Honestly I couldn't stop laughing the entire time we were at the hospital (except when they had to stick needles in my foot to freeze the toe so they could set it back in place — OUCH!!).

Luckily enough though my toe has been healing quickly and in a week or two I should be able to get back to regular activity (yoga has been difficult as you can imagine).

Best of all, Tom just returned back from the doctor and the Doc has said that Tom should be out of the neck brace and back to work by the end of the month!  So there is an end in sight!

It's been a trying time.  I think mentally there were some moments when either Tom or I felt like we were loosing it.  But what saved us was laughter (when we could find it) and enjoying our time cooped up together in our LA apartment without any family to visit or very little friends.

In all this time I have been rewriting my first book.  And it's been going well.  Then, my dear, talented-author- aunt, Carolyn Abraham came out here with her kids for a holiday so we've been hanging with them the past week or so and it's been great to catch up with them and hang out while we get through this last stretch of healing.

Carolyn has also been going over her notes with me on the draft that she read and I've been getting LOTS of great feedback and I couldn't be happier.

So you see...even through a broken neck and a broken toe, being miles away from most of our loved ones and still trying to carve out a dream or two for ourselves, it hasn't been all bad.

I'm so grateful for the lessons this last little while has taught us and it's because of what we've been through that I am now looking to the future with so much optimism, so much excitement, so much gratitude and most of all with pure love — for the way the universe works, for the people in it and for this grand old journey we call life.

Sending big love.  Big, big love to you all. xoxo 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dear Frost


Sometimes I think about all the things I could have done before now, the choices I could have made, the paths I could have taken.

I don't mean that I have regrets.  It's just easy to imagine that if I'd made certain choices it would have led me to certain things and then I would feel more certain about my life.

I guess what I mean is that sometimes it seems to me I could have chosen a profession — you know one where you go to school and then you go to school some more and then after that you begin work in a specific field that corresponds.  Who knows, perhaps one day I'll be going down that path?

But right now, I'm taking a road less travelled.  My Facebook feed is full of friends buying houses, taking vacations, reporting on their day jobs and posting pictures of their kids.

Those are all glorious things.  They're things I want for myself one day.  But I don't just want that.  And I'm wondering here, at almost 32, if perhaps one day this road I've taken will have made all the difference?  And I'm curious about what that difference could be?  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Such Music

















So this post is long overdue but still totally necessary.

My family and friends (aka blog readers) are now well aware of Such Music but still I can't have this blog and not properly introduce Such Music on here.

As anyone who is friends with Tom and I knows, we're drum and bass fans.  Well, me, yes, I'm a fan.  For my dear Toomas 4Everest Peters, it's much deeper than that.

When Tom and I were first dating, he'd pick me up in his two-door '88 Oldsmobile. Then he'd pop in a drum and bass cassette tape (that's right!) and with a pack of cigarettes in my lap, the window open and one probably already sparked (I relished ciggys in those days) we'd drive around without a destination, listen to drum and bass and talk about the things we dreamed for ourselves.

That was twelve years ago.  Little did we know at that time that we'd be dating past that summer of 2001 or that we'd be married nine years later.  Little did we know soon he'd be moving to Vancouver to live with me at the shining age of 23.  We didn't know we'd spend two year together there, then shack up with my parents for two years, move to Toronto for four and then make the big move out to Los Angeles.


But the one thing I think we did know, regardless of where we would be or even if we would still be together, is that we weren't going to give up on the dreams we shared with each other.

I know how cliché that sounds, but clichés get their rap from truth and that's what our feelings and ideas were back in those days.  And 12 years later I've got a novel I'm almost ready to send out and Tom has launched Such Music.

Such Music is a digital record label, for the meantime focusing on drum and bass.  With one release already out, featuring an amazing and very famous U.K. artist Utah Jazz, and another release dropping July 8, every time I look at the logo, hear a track, cruise the website, my mind often goes right back to Tom and I driving nowhere in that Oldsmobile (affectionately called the TomCat).  Then I think about how we've never expected anything out of the work we're dedicated to.  We keep it up because we feel we have to.  Sure, we dream about being able to make a living doing what we love, but I'm confident that if we never do, it won't stop us from continuing.  It hasn't stopped us in twelve years.

During one of our very early conversations Tom mentioned the idea of starting a record label.  It was off the cuff and for years afterwards we never really brought it up.  He was more into just producing his music and we didn't give it much thought.  Then one thing led to another and here we are.  Tom's been working two jobs (his day job during the day and Such Music at night).  He's been crafting a label that really has heart.

My dream is, overtime, Such Music's listeners will hear that heart. It's hard to miss really, so big and bright, bold and filled with bass!

Tom I'm so proud of you, so grateful that I get to spend my life with a man who sticks to his guns and I know as the years dance on I will always continually be amazed by what you accomplish.


So folks, check out Such Music.  Check out the interview in Knowledge Magazine explaining more about the label, like the FB page, follow Such Music on Twitter and come along for the ride!

  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Gratitude and giving back!

It's been a while since I've done this and I'm feeling it's way overdue.  Let's shout out to the interweb how grateful we are, shall we?

Thank you for the awakened knowing in my spirit that I think more so I might feel less. Thank you for the path of the breath, how it leads me out of my head and back into my heart so I might feel all of what I need to — weather that is pain, or joy or fear or freedom.


Thank you for second chances.  Thank you for a return back to one of my first loves — writing.  Thank you for any optimism at all as far as my work is concerned.  Thank you for the lesson that blind expectation will lead to disappointment and that the words "what if" and "maybe" hold more power in them than "I know" and "absolutely."  There is so much more that can grow from a place of uncertainty.



Thank you for a sky full of grey clouds (when it's sunshine all the time it's possible to enjoy the grey!).

Thank you for truffle salt and sisters and e-books and patience and growth and video games and yoga to live music and transition and maxi dresses and sunflowers and jean jackets and people who are honest and kind, supportive and hilarious!



Most of all thank you for people who are generous.  Namely my family and friends.  Tomorrow I'm practicing yoga for 12 hours in honour of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  It's the culmination of a month of fundraising for this amazing hospital that never turns away a family based on their ability to pay.  That part means a lot to me coming from Canada.  Health Care has been one of the stickiest things for me to navigate since moving to the U.S.

We just got a letter from our insurance company detailing how much Tom's six-hours in emergency, plus a CT scan and MRI cost.  We have great insurance (which I am supremely grateful for) so we had to pay just a tiny portion of the overall cost.  In numbers, that means we're paying $100 of almost $10,000!!  Can you imagine?  Imagine anyone in an emergency situation who doesn't have health insurance, or who has bad insurance?  Not trying to get into a Michael Moore rant at the end of this blog post, but what I'm trying to say in a long and drawn out way is that imagine you have a child in the United States who is battling cancer.  Imagine you can't afford treatment (one day of chemo can cost $7,000).

That's why it's so, so, so important to give to hospitals in the United States who support all families, all children, battling cancer or other diseases.  That's why it's so important to give when you can.

I am so grateful that my very first fundraising venture (well, since I was 9) has shown me the generosity of others, even those you hadn't expected it from.

My fundraising efforts for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital ends tomorrow.  Today you can donate.  There's still time!  Click here.     

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sorry for the bluff

Has it been a month?  Why, yes it has.  I think I said I would be blogging more, but alas, life is making my regular routine rather difficult at present.

Let's see, what's happened since my last post? Tom launched his drum and bass record label, Such Music. My beloved yoga studio closed and a new one opened up in its place. My sister came to visit. We went to Hawaii together (me for work, her tagging along). We came back. Tom played his first DJ gig in LA the same week as Such Music's first release, and then he broke his neck.

Yes, you read that right.  It sounds worse than it is but breaking his neck is the truth of the matter.

The day after Tom's first drum and bass Dj gig at RESPECT Thursdays in Hollywood, my sister and I, Tom and our friend and very talented producer/dj visiting from the U.K, Luke Wilson (aka Utah Jazz) went to Malibu for the day.

It was Tom's first day off in a long while.  Before that he'd been working two jobs: his day-job all day and then working on Such Music all night.  This trip to Malibu marked the beginning of a four-day weekend for him and he was so stoked.  And I was so excited for him because he really deserved a break.  Then he hit the waves with a boogie-board (they were HUGE waves) and it wasn't more than forty-minutes later he was being rushed to Emergency in an ambulance.

Those hands in the earth of my life I blogged about earlier, well it appears they've dug deeper and thrown up more dirt.

Regardless of that I am grateful.  Tom could have ended up much worse off than leaving the hospital in a neck brace he'll have to wear for at least another six weeks.  I don't want to think about what that worse off could have been.

I've just now started to catch up to my life.  Before I left for Hawaii I had been subbing a lot of yoga classes, which is another story altogether, maybe cut-off mid-sentence (at least for now).  I hope to blog about that more down the road...

Nonetheless, all of the above took time away from this blog.  It doesn't mean I haven't wanted to write.  And though I'm not really too sure who exactly is interested in all of this, despite my lack of blogginess, I would still like to keep going.

If you're reading this, I really appreciate you taking the time and I send you my love. xo


Friday, May 10, 2013

Throw up the dirt

Perhaps the title of this post seems rather strange, but I was talking to a friend earlier today and explaining how I feel like someone has stuck their huge hands into the earth of my life and thrown all the soil up into the air.  Now I'm just waiting for all of it to fall back to the ground.

Gosh there's so much I want to write about — so much on my heart, but since my blogging has been so sporadic these past few months I thought perhaps just writing about writing would be a good place to start.

I read the draft of the novel I finished last July. The time away from it has been invaluable.  Because of it, I was able to see so many things that I wasn't able to before.  I wouldn't say I was able to read it just as any third-party reader, but I was removed enough that I could SEE IT.  I could see the story underneath the places where I was getting in the way.

Maybe to some seeing all those obstructions would be discouraging — but I feel relieved.  Why? Because now I have an idea of what I need to do to make it better.

And more than anything, more than absolutely anything, I want this book to be the best that it can be.

Sure, perhaps it will never make it into the world and find readers all its own, but at least I will have done it the honour of chipping away at its dirt.  Then hopefully it can be what its truly meant to be, and I can take the lessons and begin all over again.

Friday, April 26, 2013

It's been a long time — shouldn't have left you

Oh it has been far too long!  So long that as I came back to write this blog, Aaliyah and Timberland's "Try Again" popped into my head almost instantly.  So sorry for leaving all you beauties for so long — especially without a dope beat to step to (press play on the video if that sounds like crazy talk to you).

So much has gone on in this short little time I was away.  I have so very many things to blog about:

The debut of my aunt, mentor and friend, Carolyn Abraham's, book The Juggler's Children.

I started teaching yoga.  Yes!  Actually teaching.  If you remember this post from way back when I could barely give a breath instruction in public, you will be as astonished as I am.

I also went to NYC! I saw the musical version of one of my all time favourite movies — The Newsies!! And I hung out with my dear mother and aunt and it was, well, just a dream.

Other HUGE news is that the love of my life, Toomas 4Everest Peters, is gearing up for the first release on his brand spanking new digital record label, Such Music!  That's right!  Can't wait to debut the website on my blog and let you know more about this amazing venture I'm also a part of.

And lastly, I'm getting back to do some revisions on Book One of my novel.  I'm plan on doing read throughs and notes in the next two weeks.  Then it will be on to Hawaii!!

I will definitely be blogging about all these things and more to come.

But for now, I just wanted to say hello.  Send you love (so, so much of it) and gratitude for just being your awesome self.

It's another beautiful day in LA, folks. The future is bright.  The present, oh the present, is perfect as it is.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I did it! And with time to spare?

So this is the bottle of champagne my insanely amazing husband popped last night (and beside it a gift my insanely amazing husband bought me one time when I was sad).  Why the champagne?

 Around 11:30 PST on April 1, I finished a novel.  What?  No, this isn't an April Fool's joke.  I actually finished a novel, from start to finish, in three months!

This is a huge accomplishment for me.  I've written two novels before this one.  The first (which will never see the light of day) took me a year to write.  The second, (Book 1 in the series I'm now writing) took about 10 months to write the first draft.  And then I spent another five years (yes you read that right) rewriting that first draft.

Okay, so I had a full time-job then and I lived close to my large family and decent sized group of friends, which meant the distractions were endless and the time was more limited, but still.

THREE MONTHS!?!?  Honestly I didn't think I was capable of doing it.  Now through the ROW80 writing challenge I participated in, from January to the end of March, I realize with just hitting a smallish word count goal per day I can do a lot more much quicker!

I also have to say, in my last week of writing away, coffee was a big help.  I never drink coffee.  It usually makes me crazy.  But I sacrificed the crazies (well, I didn't actually go crazy this time) to help fuel some serious speed writing, especially near the end.

Is the book good?  No, it's probably terrible.  There are holes, and weird plot things going on and some overall bad prose.  But it's a first draft.  And what's my new motto for a first draft?

Get it written.  Then get it right!  (I read that recently in this book).

And there you have it.

Now I am officially taking a bit of a break, which also means a bit of a break from blogging.

During this break I plan to just feel the joy and gratitude of making it to this accomplishment, because despite the worry that I'm wasting my life on something that may never become what I hope it will be, I'm grateful I get to try.

And to all of you out there — most of whom I know personally and perhaps a few that I don't — thank you for your support.  Thank you for your love.  And thank you for helping me hold on to this dream of mine, regardless of how many years go by.

Great big love to you all xx

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Making the final check-in


Wait! #ROW80...I'm here.  Out of breath and panting but I'm here to deliver my final check-in.

I've been off the blogging grid for almost three weeks now....first because I had a number of visitors and then because I opted for working on my writing goals instead of blogging about them in the last hours of the first round of #ROW80.

But before this round ends I wanted to just put in how far I made it with my goals, and to send so much gratitude out to Kait Nolan and this writing challenge and as well to the sponsors and every other ROWer who came to encourage and visit my blog.  It was also fun getting to visit some of yours!

So, for a recap of my goals:

Through Kait's advice, I started out by chopping my original goal in half.  I know I can write between 2,000 and 3,000 words when I'm trying, so doing as Kait said, I made my #ROW80 goal to write 1,000/day, five days a week, and have this also translate into 5,000 words/week.

It didn't take me long to realize that this was the best goal I ever set for myself.  Through the first two months of #ROW80 I was meeting or surpassing this goal every week — and sometimes only writing four days instead of five.

It's been SUCH an eye-opener for me.  Before this, I would set these massive goals for myself and I would never accomplish them and there would be a lot of self-hate involved and defeatism.  Then, along came #ROW80 to show me that I can actually set smaller goals for myself (and this was MUCH smaller by my standards) and then...I would actually end up getting MORE done than with any of the big goals I've ever set for myself!

I had to take a week and a bit off in February to go see family in Vancouver, and then I had some visitors, but by the time I came back to write I looked at how much I had done so far for #ROW80 and saw that I had written 35,000 words in 6 weeks!!  Now, add this to the 5,000 words I'd already had before the writing challenge started and that put me at 40k!

I realized then, that if I worked hard, if I played my cards right, I could actually finish this novel!!!

So I upped my goals.  2,000 words/day, five days a week — translating into 10,000 words per week.

Now, this goal, I learned quickly was much harder for me to achieve.  I felt burnt out by the end of the week and if I missed a day it was much harder to make up the extra word count if I fell behind.  Still, I made it to 9,800 words the first week and 9,000 words the second.

Something I also started doing through this challenge is keeping track of my daily word count on an excel file — and I highly recommend this.

Then I reached 60,000 words and I just said $%^$ it...now I've just go to get through these last chapters and get this thing done.  So I've been writing day and night — as much as I can.

I must say I'm also motivated by the fact I'm going to Toronto for two weeks, leaving April 3.  So the deadline I've given myself for finishing this novel is actually April 2 (after ROW).  So I am still writing away...

But where am I on this last day? 72k baby!  And I've got about five or six chapters left to write....in 6 days.  Can I make it?  Maybe?

I'm not putting too much pressure on myself.  I haven't been feeling that great this last week or so, so even though I'm working, it's not as easily as I would like.....but I'm just going to keep going and hope I make it — if I don't, I don't.  I'll be pretty much done anyways and I'll only have a chapter or two to write when I get back if I don't make it.

All I can say now is how grateful I am that I found this challenge.  Kait Nolan, I am so grateful to you for creating a challenge for writers who have a life. Thank you!  I'm grateful for the lesson you taught me that just doing a bit each day can actually bring me further in the end than going after a huge goal.

Thank you ROWers for all your support and for sharing your own writing challenges and goals with me.  In these past three months I've pretty much written a novel and I'm smiling from ear to ear, looking at the writing world a little differently (in a good way) and so excited for how this challenge will shape my productivity in the future.

Alas, I cannot join #ROW80 for the second round....I'll be travelling too much in April and May.

I leave you then, with IMMENSE gratitude, the possibility of knowing that I may join ROW80 again in the future, and an almost-written-novel I shall now return to.

Good luck everyone participating in the second round, and good luck to all writers, everywhere, near and far.





Sunday, March 10, 2013

So far so good

I ended up with a total of 9,818 words, written over four days for my first week of upping my goals.  That's 182 words away from my new weekly goal of 10,000 words, and I accomplished this writing over just four days instead of five.

Can't say I'm disappointed with it.

If I can keep going like this until I leave for my trip to Toronto, April 3, I will have written a novel in three months!  I want to reach this goal.  It would be absolutely stupendous if I reach this goal.  I'm hopeful I can get there but I don't want to say I will for sure.

For one this is because it was a lot harder for me to write 10,000 words this week then my ROW80 average of about 6,000 words/week.  The second reason is we've got visitors coming, two sets — arriving Wednesday and leaving Sunday, so this will make reaching word count a little more difficult with only three weeks and a few days left to reach my goal.

But what I promise myself is that, to the very best of my ability, I am going to work towards my 2,000 words per day, five days a week goal.  I'm going to treat each day as a new day and each day I'm just going to do what I can to get to where I want to go.  If it happens, awesome.  If it doesn't,  I'm going to try not to be too hard on myself and the next day I'm going to try again.

Last week I ended up doing no writing on Tuesday and so added to my word count goals for the rest of the week.  This works, but as I've learned it makes each writing day a little harder.  If I have to do this I will, but again it's not ideal.

Still if I am able to accomplish this goal and finish this novel by April 2, that will be such a HUGE accomplishment for me.  I've written two novels before this one, the first took me a year.  The second took me, well, let's just say YEARS.  Granted I was working longer hours then (and not on a freelance basis), but still, if I do this it will be such an awesome improvement.

And even if I only almost make it there it will still be a huge improvement.  But I can taste the end of this frist draft and boy do I want to devour the whole thing!!!

Good luck all you fellow ROW80ers this week!  Happy writing. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stepping it up

There is a possibility that if I up my word count by 1,000 words/day to 2,000 words/day, five days a week, I will finish the first draft of this novel by the end of the first round of ROW80 (the end of this month), or shortly thereafter.

I've got some travelling to do in April and most likely again in May, so finishing before my travelling starts would be ideal.

So what am I doing?  I'm stepping it up.

Starting tomorrow I am upping my daily word count to 2,000 words/day, five days a week.

Now, increasing my word count will be a challenge but I definitely know it's doable because I've often written at least 500 words above my word count most days so far during this challenge.  I know this novel will be short and should be sitting at about 80,000 words when all is said and done, and right now I'm just under 40,000.  So the only thing left for me to do now is get to it.

Again, what I've learned is to not put pressure on myself to "finish the novel."  I've learned I get A LOT more done when I just focus on my word count each day and nothing else.

So from here we'll just see what happens.

And in the meantime, as I like to do, some gratitude...

Thank you for the financial means to be able to fly places to visit family and friends.  Thank you for the time to be able to do so as well.  Thank you for an increasing income.  Thank you for the way life moves on and up and backwards and forwards all at once so that there is always so much to be in awe of, to be inspired by, and thank you for how it all culminates into moments of transformation — blessings that stretch beyond my fondest dreams.  Thank you for old friends and new love and how the two can find each other.  Thank you for every single moment that I feel more and more connected to myself, that I can feel truth filling me up so that as I move through space and time, I do so from a place that is authentic.  Thank you for anyone and everyone who accepts me for who I am.  Thank you for my growing acceptance of myself.

Thank you for dreams, BIG dreams.  And thank you for the opportunity to be able to go for them.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Now that I've got a moment...

Hello!  Long time no blogging! And guess what, no writing either...

As you may have known from my last post from the week before last, I was in Vancouver visiting this beautiful face (my darling niece) all of last week.


And let's face it,
 who can get writing done when she's the distraction?

Then on the day we flew home (by the seat of our pants may I add as we very nearly missed our flight) we drove back to the airport three hours after getting home to go pick up our friends from Toronto who came to visit for the week.  Hence, writing/blogging became further delayed.
This is us waiting to attend a tapping of the Conan O'brien Show.

And me and my dear friend Meghan (we've been friends since we were 13) hanging in Santa Monica

I haven't had a moment to myself these last two weeks and now that I finally do I'm spending today catching up!  If all goes as planned I'll be back to writing tomorrow.  And I seriously can't wait!  I want to try and step up my game for March (minus a week when I have two other sets of friends/family coming to visit).  

You see, I'm above word count for the first part of my ROW80 goals and am now officially half way through my novel!!  In my wildest dreams I will finish this thing by the end of the first round of ROW80 or shortly thereafter.  I'm going to try my best to get there but what I've learned is that I am most productive when I just keep to my word count goals and don't set bigger goals for myself like that....so in other words...stay tuned and we'll all see what happens!

Happy writing to all for the rest of this week!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The space between

One challenge I've always faced writing novels is knowing what to do with the space in between plot points.  For example when you've hit Plot Point A and know you now need to get to Plot Point B but there's no roadmap to get you there.

Sure, sometimes you strike gold and the novel progresses at one certain point to another with relative ease (for me especially if I have an idea of what I want to hit in the middle). But more often than not I go through this elation of reaching a specific place, the joy of writing a scene that's been bubbling in my mind for weeks (or much longer) only to be followed by a "uh...now what?"

I know where I want to go from here but I also know there needs to be some space between.  It's a pacing thing right?  This is where I try to use my instinct. I have a feeling of how much writing needs to pass between A and B.  At the same time, not knowing what this writing will be has before caused me to ramble on and veer down roads that lead me anywhere but where I want to go.

True, sometimes this is where the magic of writing happens, where an unexpected turn helps me figure out things I wasn't sure about or add in an aspect when something had been missing.

On the other hand, if the veering and the rambling doesn't pan out I end up making the space between A and B or B and C (or whatever) much longer than I want it to be and often it's filled with "stuff" that isn't driving the story.

I'm about to approach "a space between" very shortly.  It's making me a tad worried actually because up until now I've been on quite the roll.  So here's my question to you ROWers: How do you manage the space between?  Do you have any tactics?  Any suggestions?

I know we all have different writing process and some of us write such detailed outlines that we don't have "space" to deal with.  Me, on the other hand, I like to write fairly loose outlines because I have better luck getting the story to show itself to me this way (if that makes any sense).  The downside of this of course is that I think it takes me longer to write a novel than it would for authors who know exactly where they're going all the time.  But that's my process *shrugs. And I believe writers need to do things differently.  Different means specific to you and without that you're taking away any hope of originality.  Do you think?

As far as my ROW80 goals go — I'm still on track for this week (kind of).  I need to bang out 2,000 words before the end of the day today, which is shortened by the fact I have visitors coming.

Then on Friday I fly to Vancouver so will definitely be on a writing hiatus — perhaps won't even have time to check-in.  But such is life.

And if there's one thing I feel, it's that you've got to be grateful for it.  Truly, everyday I focus on gratitude I just feel it in my bones more and more.

I thought what I would do today is leave everyone with this video.  I'm a bit into Oprah, so sorry if this ain't your thing.  Also, I couldn't get the video to embed properly because of the size of my blog page, so if you want to see the video in full screen, click here.

I've posted this because, as far as us writers go, I think we're in the business of dreaming big.  So it's on that note, I leave you this:

    

6 Lessons Oprah Learned from the World's Biggest Dreamers
They set their goals high and now live the lives they dreamed about. Find out the greatest lessons Oprah learned from Ted Turner, Laird Hamilton, Pastor Joel Osteen, Iyanla Vanzant, Jennifer Hudson and Paula Deen.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Just enough energy left for a little check-in

I have had another BUSY week.  Great, but busy.  I've been skipping the Wednesday check-in and now that I've made it to the Sunday I have almost nothing left to write a blog post.  Phew! It was a busy yoga weekend and now it's 6:35 and I'm about ready for bed.

Even though I was so busy though, goals wise it was a stellar week.  My best yet actually.  This is mostly because I was able to bang out 3,000 words on Friday.  That's 2,000 words more than my daily goal and so all together I reached a total of 7,500 words this week.  Hooray!

I still only managed to write four days instead of five but I have no complaints.

Now I've got a few more days before I run into a bit of a challenge.  Next Friday I fly to Vancouver to visit my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and niece, which is awesome — but it will mean a week without writing.  Maybe I can double my goals for this week?  I'm going to try but at the same time not put too much pressure on myself if I can't do it.

The day we get back from Vancouver we also then have visitors coming...so getting to writing is still going to be a challenge for me even then.

Still, this is the writing challenge that knows you have a life and all in all I think I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished so far.  I've met or exceeded my goals every week since we started so if there's a time that takes me away from writing and there's nothing that can be done about it — then there's nothing that can be done.

I hope to write a check-in on Wednesday that actually has some other substance besides a ROW80 check-in.  For now, hope everyone's week went great!  Did you make your goals?  Is life getting in the way?  Sending vibes of clarity, motivation and inspiration to you all!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

It's not midnight yet on the West Coast!

Phew! It's been a busy week and I feel like I'm juggling a lot of things, several balls in the air, but still I'm keeping up with my goals as much as I can so I've got to be happy with that and I am.

I wanted to write a post that spoke about more than just my ROW80 goals but we had some folks over today for the Super Bowl and it was fun that meant being away from the computer...but fun is never a bad thing, right?  Especially when you've still made your gaols.

I wrote a total of 6,413 words this week — 1,413 words over my weekly goal.  Woohoo!

I did only write four days instead of five though.  Since I'm now assisting with the yoga teacher training this takes another day away from me so if I'm busy with other work during the week I don't have as much time on the weekend to make it up.

But I'm perfectly okay with that, especially if I'm still making (and sometimes surpassing) my word count goal.

It's also been great to visit some of your blogs and see what you're up to and learning about the lessons and adventures we're going through thanks to ROW80 and writing and life!


Wishing you all a great week ahead!



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Just close enough

It's been a busy week.  A great week, but a busy one.  I received a really nice surprise in that my yoga studio (where I just finished the in-class portion of my teacher training) asked me to assit the next round of teacher training — which started this Friday.  So I'm back in the classroom!  This time it's a bit different because I'm helping out but I'm also learning in a new way and I truly couldn't be more grateful.

Needless to say though, I've had to add on to the hours away from my writing project, with yoga and also with my freelance work.  I won't complain about that either though because this is how I get paid at the moment and I am so eternally grateful for every bit of income that comes my way!

Still, despite how busy my week was, I managed to end it only three hundred words short of my weekly writing goal!  I didn't write as many days (four instead of five) but I had one good session on Thursday that allowed me to make up for time lost doing other things that needed to get done.

Seriously, ROW80 has been life-changing for me even in just these first three weeks.  I can't express how much it's EXACTLY what I need/have needed.  Just in these three weeks it's made me learn that I can actually get more done with smaller goals and just doing a little bit but more often, than having huge sweeping goals and trying to work furiously in big chunks of time to complete them.  Doing things this new way just works for me.  It just does.

Oh, I have made myself a new ROW80 rule though!  That rule is that I am not allowed to use word count that is in excess of my 5,000 words/week goal for the following week.  So if I write 7,000 words one week, that does not mean it's okay for me to then write 3,000 words the following (because I  wrote an extra 2k from the week before).  I came really close to doing that this week but my instinct is telling me that's just a bad habit I shouldn't keep.

So my overall goals are still the same: 1,000 words a day, five days a week.  I'm okay with fudging on the number of days A BIT as long as I still make it to 5,000 words by the end of the week.  Now I've just added in my new rule, which I am calling no rollover words.

Now I'd like to end with some extra gratitude for the week:

Thank you for surprises. Thank you for the days people see potential in you.  Thank you more for the days you see, and feel it in yourself.  Thank you for how I am  integrating more and more everyday the idea that my body is a temple and one I want to take care of well, love and bless with all my heart.  Thank you for divine right action taking place in my life.  Thank you for how close I feel to my writing project, closer then ever before.  Thank you for the trust I'm gaining, in myself, in others, in the universe. Thank you for friends who are just plain old happy for you and remind you that when something nice happens you don't need to ask why, you just need to be thankful and go for it.

Thank you for the truth I feel in my heart.  Thank you for the breath within my breath.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Freedom

I took a break Tuesday because I had an emotional day and was exhausted, but then because I had a less busy week freelance wise I was able to come back strong and knock out an extra 1,868 words above my weekly word count goal, for a total of 6,868 words (interesting number huh?) for the week.

Now that's out and I've got no complaints, so let's kick around with something I've been thinking about lately, shall we?  It's this very funny idea of control...

I'm one of those people who likes to pretend I have control over the way things turn out.  I think perhaps this might be one of the reasons I'm drawn to writing.  I'm in control when I'm writing.  Yes, I believe that inspiration can take you places you never expected but at the end of the day, it's my decision to sit in the chair and write the words.  It's my decision if I want to keep a paragraph or highlight and delete.  Easy as that.

I've been through a lesson recently that's shown me that what we are in control of in our lives is so, so very little, if, when you really think about it, we're actually in control of anything at all.

I know, I know...maybe you're saying, but we do have control over so many things!  We have the ability to make choices that shape our lives, from what food we decide to put in our bodies, to the ringtone we use to tell us our mother is calling.  For those of us living in Western society we have choice over heeps of things.

Except making those choices guarantees almost nothing.  Because no one, no matter where you're from, has true control over the way things go in his/her life.  We can make choices, work on building the life we want, get in the word count for the novel we're working on, and then the next day we're hit by a meteorite, or our computer crashes during that one week we forgot to back up.  We can get sick.  We can get tossed in another direction by a tornado of circumstance.

No one knows that more than someone who's lost someone or something very dear.

So what it comes down to for me is accepting, in my bones, my heart, the blood in my veins, that we have no control over anything beyond how we spend the present day, as long as we're breathing.

My wish is that one day I'll get to a place where accepting this truth frees me instead of sometimes filling me with dread for what may come.

Where do you stand on the spectrum of acceptance vs. dread?  Are you a control freak, worrying about the outcome of every action and even the outcome of things you have no control over whatsoever?  Or are you able to let go in your life, do the best you can everyday without stressing over how the future will turn out?  Are you somewhere in the middle?  Or are there any of you out there that feel completely free in the knowing that there is so much less you have control over than you previously thought?




Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Here we are again, so soon?

Another ROW80 check-in already?  Wow, I feel like these things are going to continue to sneak up on me pretty fast!

Last night was my first official, "that's it I'm not writing tonight day."  Only my second week, second day, and already I decided to take the night off.  I'm doing my best not to be hard on myself, for two reasons: First, I have a good chunk of time on my hands today so I plan to use it to make up for my word count goal of 1,000 words lost yesterday and write 2,000 words today.  It's not unheard of for me to write that in about three hours or so, so I should be okay.

Second (and here comes the excuses), I had a busy day yesterday and more than anything parts of it were emotionally draining for me.  I know one day I'll probably come clean and talk about exactly what this thing is — that has been so trying on me emotionally, spiritually and even physically — especially because since having gone through this thing I realize there's a lot of silence around it and that makes dealing with it even harder.

I know, I know, why am I being so elusive then?  It's because I'm just not ready to come out and talk about it all I guess.

So for the meantime, what you know is that I'm going through something and this something will sometimes take me away from my writing and I'm giving myself permission to go through all the emotions of it and if I need to, sit on my couch and watch the new episode of Downton Abbey instead of getting in a few hours of writing.

And so already we have a kink in the chain....but that's life right?  Isn't this the writing challenge that knows we've all got one?

I'm trying to believe, in spite of everything, that I'm still stepping up — because I haven't given up, because I'm still devoting time to what I love to do.

By the way, here's some inspiration from Alan Watts on that, in case you haven't seen this video already, thought I'd share:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Funday


Excuse the cliche please, but this is what my Sunday is today.  Why, you ask?  Because I've made my ROW80 goals for the week!

I only have one goal, and that's 1,000 words a day, five days a week.  When I made that goal I took Kait Nolan's advice and cut my original goal in half and posted that as my ROW80 challenge.  I have to say, I felt a tiny twinge of uncertainty for a goal of only 1,000 words per writing session but as I've said before, my issue in 2012 was setting this grand sweeping goal that became unattainable for me in light of the rest of my life that I have to (gladly) live and ultimately was a failure.

Now I am so over that tiny twinge.  In fact, it's turned into a warm glow.  Here's what I wrote for the week, copied from excel (I'm keeping track!).


07-Jan
1369
08-Jan
1200
09-Jan
1200
10-Jan
700
12-Jan
1132


So as you can see on January 10 I only got to 700 (I had a very busy day that day) BUT all the other days I went past my word count goal to reach a total of 5601 for the week — 600 words OVER my total word count goal for the week.

Ideally I'd like to write more, but I was super busy with work assignments and I can't complain about that.  Other weeks I won't be and on those weeks I hope to write more.

The point is that I can't be hard on myself, nor do I even feel like being.  I met my goal!  I made writing a priority for a length of time, five days a week and because of that I made headway on my WIP and that is what's most important to me.

So today I get to do some cooking for the week and just hang out — with my hubby, with a book (I'm reading The Hobbit for the very first time if anyone wants to comment on that), with some television, and doing some laid back Internet surfing (made it to yoga this morning too).

Also usually I like to do one gratitude blog post a week, so here's just a big old Thank You to ROW80 AND to the writers who have visited my blog this week and offered their stories and encouragement.  I cannot express how cool it is to all of sudden feel not so alone in my writerly pursuits.  So thank you!  I plan on continuing to check out other ROW80 folks and offering my support right back!

Happy Sunday people.  Hope you're enjoying yours! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On Ganesha and how you handle an obstacle in your path

It's not even a week since New Years day and I'm feeling really good about things, really grateful.  I've had some good freelance work come in, my yoga practice feels great and I've been cooking delicious, healthy food and gobbling it up.

I know this is the easy part though.  I'm feeling motivated and things are organized — so checking off the things on the list is a joy and goes by in a breeze.

The challenge will really come when I'm not feeling motivated, when life throws something in my way.

Even though Ganesha (the dude in the picture) is known as the remover of obstacles, a yoga teacher said in an online class I took a few weeks ago that he actually likes to put something in your way when you're on the wrong path.

I like that idea.  It follows along with the "everything happens for a reason" motto.  So I'm putting the idea in the memory bank (and on this blog in case the memory bank teller goes on vacation) for the next time Ganesha — or the universe, or your dead uncle harry, or God (however you like to word it) — puts a big old bolder in my way, or a pebble in my shoe, or a bump in the sidewalk.

Because I know these things will happen.  It's part of life.

Still, I'm not sitting around waiting...

I've hit above my word count goals for the first two days of ROW80 and most likely will again tonight.  The writing is going pretty smoothly right now since I decided to begin Book 2 again from scratch after writing 20,000 words of it and feeling like something big just wasn't working.  Now that I've figured out what that something big is I feel a lot more comfortable going forward.

Have you ever had that feeling — when you've started something but you feel like something's not right?  And then instead of that feeling going away it just turns into neon flashing lights in your brain — often without a decipherable message?

That's always been a signal for me (not that it happens all the time) to turn around, go back the way I came, and figure out an alternate route.

Or maybe you're a plough on through person?  The kind that knows he/she may have made a couple of dents or blunders along the way but is perfectly content going back and fixing them, and then fixing everything else so the whole thing fits together.

I'm sure there's pluses or minuses to either approach.  Part of writing, part of life, is making mistakes and there's always more than one way to fix them, I think.  Don't you?

Just don't give up....as Kristen Cashore says, never surrender!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Why don't we give this a try?

Just when I said I wasn't going to declare any kind of writing goal on my blog I found something that's really got me inspired.

Not sure if any of you have heard of NaNoWriMo before? It's a writing challenge that comes about in November where writers all buckle down and try to write a novel in a month.  Some are successful, some are not.  I almost tried to do NaNoWriMo once, but things got in the way.  What I didn't like about the challenge is it didn't help me to make writing a daily habit - which is what I wanted (and still want) most.

And then, I swear in some sort of kismet way, last week I stumbled across A Round of Words in 80 Days.  It's like this writing challenge was made just for me! If you read my last blog post, it speaks to all the reasons why I didn't set a big sweeping writing goal for myself this year.

With this writing challenge you set a writing goal of your choosing and must try to keep it up for 80 days.  BUT....the challenge encourages you to set a small writing goal — one that is easily attainable for you and will get you in the habit of writing. Also, you don't have to stick to the same goal throughout the 80 days.  If things in your life change, if for some reason you need to adjust your commitment — you can adjust.  As it says on the A Round of Words blog — this is the writing challenge that knows you have a life!  I love that! Especially because I often forget (or try to ignore) that part when I'm setting my goals.

The other part I love is that you check in for the writing challenge twice a week by posting on your on blog — so this also encourages more blogging.  Seriously, I truly feel this challenge was made for me (even though this isn't the challenges first year).  Also, A Round the Word in 80 days does this challenge four times a year.  So cool.

So here I go.  Here's my small writing challenge — I truly hope it sticks!

I pledge to write AT LEAST 1,000 words a day, five days a week. I don't know if this sounds like a small number or a big number to others but I can write more than that in a small stretch usually — but what I really want here is to get in the habit of writing most days.  Does this mean I stop writing when I reach 1,000 words?  No. But if I can get in this habit of writing AT LEAST this, five days a week.  I'm gold.

I'm pretty busy with other things in January and February, so I hope to actually increase my word count in March for the last stretch.  I will also have to take a slight break in February because I have to do some travelling but what's important is right now and right now my goal is 1,000 words a day, five days a week.  I'll be checking in with updates on my blog Wednesday's and Sundays.

Here goes! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another blank canvas

Last year I set BIG! goals for myself.  (Now insert unrealistic where you see BIG!).

I've gone through being frustrated and hard on myself about it — to feeling kind and forgiving.  I had no idea what 2012 had in store for me — that I'd be much busier with other things than I knew when I set said goals.  I wouldn't trade that business.   I wouldn't take back the other parts of the year that filled my life with new experiences and new work and joy and even sorrow.  It's what made the year.  It's what makes me, even now.

So now it's 2013 and even though I didn't get to everything I hoped I would in my writing life for 2012, it's time to start again.

Do I have writing goals?  Sure do.

I've got word count goals in mind.  I have promises to stay away from television and internet surfing that I've made to myself.  These mundane writerly goals are important, and that's why I'm noting them here — but they're not what really counts I've learned.

So I want this to be the year I find greater strength.  I want this to be the year I find greater commitment, devotion and also greater patience.  I want this to be the year that my writing turns out better than any year before.

I'm not sure how exciting any of that sounds but it's my truth.  I'm not even sure how these goals will help me to be productive without a concrete execution plan in place, but I'm ready to try a new approach.  I'm willing to see if doing it this way will bring me closer to the dreams I'm never giving up on.

Anyone with me?

Let's take away the things you can measure in pounds and inches, pages and word counts, dollars and cents, cholesterol levels, hours and minutes. Take all that away and ask yourself what you really want for 2013?

It's another blank canvas people.