Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Everyday Life’ Category

One Moment and Everything Changes

This week has been difficult. I gotten difficult news both professionally and personally. I won’t go into it, instead I want to write about what happens after. The world goes sideways and what do you do next?

You make a plan.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. Everything doesn’t have to make sense. You can take some time (as long as you need), but then the world is still turning. Life, whether you are ready or not, is still going on.

Make a plan. Try to figure out where you want to be and what you think is best. Be flexible and let your plans change, if they need to.

Most important, though, is to keep your eye on the bigger picture. I try to think about years down the road, instead of day by day. I do have short-term goals, but as I get older they seem to be less important. Long-term goals tend to bring me more happiness and satisfaction when I complete them.

So for now, I’m going to think about my long-term goals and how I’m going to get there. I want to think about how this news is going to affect these goals. Then, I’m going to make some plans.

Finding Balance

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about balance. As I said earlier, I went to the doctor and she encouraged me to get back to exercising now that I am almost fully recovered from surgery. I want to fit that in again, along with fiction writing and my regular stuff. But I’ve also been thinking about other aspects of my life that I’ve let fall to the wayside. There are friendships I don’t put enough time into, travel I’d like to do, spirituality I’d like to explore more, and a whole host of other aspects.

About 15 years ago, I heard Tom Wolfe speak about the writing life. He said one of the best things a writer could do was go out and live a life. Don’t just sit around and write. Go out and see the world. I remember him saying that. He felt that writers had become too insular, where they were only writing about themselves as writers and nothing more. A dangerous, slippery slope I hope one day to never fall down.

A full life, full of mundane and exciting stuff is what we should all aim for. I’m striving for that now. Not an easy thing. Sometimes I feel like I’m pulled in so many directions and other times I feel like the dullest person in the room. Maybe the answer is that I need to do what I can each day to feel like I’m living my best life. Some days that’s going to be binge watching TV. Other days it will be squeezing in a workout and one thousand words of new fiction. And some will be spending time with the family/friends. I don’t have to do everything everyday.

I have to focus on doing my best each day and keeping things interesting.

Finding the Time

Cherry trees have blossomed.

One thing posting everyday has taught me — I have time to write. Sometimes it feels like I have zero time. My day job has drained me, or I have plans that take me away from my desk all day. Most days, however, I have a few minutes to write.

Went to the doctor this week and she encouraged me to get back into regular exercise. I thought, When is that going to happen? After work, no that is writing time. It’s going to be first thing in the morning for now. Maybe later I’ll change them. I used to be a “write first thing in the morning and workout in the evening” person. We’ll see. I can always change if I think the routine isn’t working.

In the past, people have always said, “When I have time, I’ll write.”

I always respond with, “You’ll never have time to write. You have to make time.”

But you knew that didn’t you (if you are a fellow writer)? Now I’m learning that I have to make time for everything else. Heck, even my grand plan to watch all of the GOT episodes before the season premiere on Sunday went awry. Last Sunday, as I started, I didn’t realize that Killing Eve was having a marathon. So GOT went on the back burner, Sandra Oh needed me now. And that day I still had to fit in a blog post, writing, reading more my friend’s novel, and grocery shopping. And some folks have way, way more responsibilities than me (like kids or aging parents). We do the best we can by making time for the important stuff.

And this month long challenge reminded me that I do consider my writing important. That I can carve out time to write (even a few paragraphs a day) among the craziness of life. This is important to me and I can make time for it. Everyday.

On Being Grateful

This will be quick post. I wanted to write something about where I am right now. My birthday is in a few days and I’m thinking a lot about what went down over the last year. I still think about my parents taking me out to dinner last year. My mom remarked how cute the neighborhood was around the restaurant. I agreed, but also knew I couldn’t afford it. Cut to a year later and I’m living around the corner from said restaurant. Sometimes all you have to do is speak your desires into the universe and the universe shows up to help.

So, yeah, the last 12 months had highs and lows, but I find myself very grateful that I got to live them.

Great family.

Great friends.

My indexing/electronic editorial career, which I love as much as writing.

My writing career (which is still alive). I may not be writing up a storm, but I’m still creating work I care about and believe in.

And my health. Yep, I’m grateful for the best health I’ve had in years. Maybe I needed the surgeries and recovery to remind me how important it is to take care of myself. Sometimes I can get so focused on one goal, I forget that having a well rounded life makes me a better writer.

A few months ago, I stared a gratitude journal. This is separate from my regular life journal. In the gratitude one, I write a few sentences about what I’m grateful for in the day. I find it relaxing, almost soothing to start my day like this.

Not a bad way to start the next 12 months.

Happy Spring!

Back from Break – October 5, 2017

Phew! It’s been a while since I have updated this blog.

Honestly, I needed a break from all things social media related. After pushing through to get out of debt and figure out my game plan for the next phase of my life, I realized I needed to unplug from my life. Like a lot of people, I work in front of a computer all day long. The idea of spending more time in front of it just killed me. It’s one of the reasons I write long hand a lot. I would much rather spend time writing on a note pad than composing on the computer.

So I spend most of the spring and summer away from the screen, trying to come up with a writing plan for myself. I didn’t find a good one. All I can say is that I’m still working on my book. Slowly but surely, it will get done. I have this fantasy of it being completed by the end of the year, but we’ll see. I also have a few other stories that need to be finished or tweaked.

Good news! Even in my disorganized state, I am still submitting. I even managed to get another story accepted. It should go live by the end of the year. That news really energized me (which is why I want to have a completed draft done by the end of the year). I wrote the story four years ago and it has gone through a lot of rejections. I’m so happy it found a home.

Reminds me of the old advice that the one trait a writer needs is — Persistence.

I’m getting back into the swing of things, so expect more updates (or at least more that one every 6 months). Thanks to all of you who have stuck with the blog this long. Things are getting interesting!

100K By September 1st!

We’re well into summer and half the year is almost gone. I’ve been so unproductive this year that I’m a bit frustrated with myself. But I keep telling myself that what gets done gets done. I just wish I could get more done.

Don’t we all wish that?

My home search is on hold right now. Here in the DC area, home prices are so competitive that it is really hard to get a place. Plus I still have some debt from JHU. So my plan is to pay off the debt, then look into buying something. In this market, every thousand dollars makes a difference. On one hand I’m sad I won’t be able to own something now.

But I also started thinking about other expenses coming in the near future. The last thing I want is to have a mortgage, school debt, and other stuff like a car, etc. No thank you. I’d rather pay off the school debt, save for the house, and then save for the car. No more debt.

Seven years ago, I was debt free as I paid off the last of my undergrad loan. That was such a freeing moment and I want to have that feeling again. It’s addictive to have no obligation to anyone.

When I was 16, I took the “Strong Interest” test in high school. Number one career recommendation? Author. Annual salary? $16K.

Yep. I knew I was in a low paying career from the beginning.

But when you don’t have debt, a small salary will allow you to be very comfortable. I just slipped up and made some no so great decisions. Still, I got an MA out of it and over all I still think it was a good decision.

So, yes, my financial life takes up all my thoughts. Writing has fallen by the way side. It’s a three day weekend here in the US. I hope to get something done. I am still submitting. A story I submitted a year ago finally came back rejected and a few others are still in the que.

Can’t say I’m not persistent or patient.

I need to attack my writing goals like I attack my debt. So I’m making a goal right now that I will write 100K in the next two months. That is my writing goal. It’s a big one, but hey, aim high right?

I think I can do it.