life, Uncategorized, writing

Recap and look forward

This has been a Year.

I’ve seen it capitalized all over the place – people from across the world have been having a hard time of it, and it was no different for me. It’s been almost four months since we moved cities, which was a total upheaval but has given me a lot of time to reflect and grow. Growing can be painful, but I really believe it’s worthwhile. And I think in the last few months, in particular, I’ve come a long way.

I was watching a friends video the other day (FB Live, have you tried it? I think if I ever did a live thing my kids would totally video bomb me lol), and she was talking about what her word for the year might be in 2017. It got me reflecting on what my word of the year has been in recent history, and while I haven’t always ‘set’ them purposefully, they have been there.

They go something like this ‘Survival’ or ‘Balance’. ‘Not falling apart’ could probably make it to the list too. Because on reflection, I’ve had a few hard years. In 2014 I finished my studies and published my first book. At that point, I was struggling hard, I just didn’t know it yet. One of the topics of my study ripped me apart and I’d spent months spiraling that, and I determined that in 2015 I would put myself back together again, in some fashion. I decided to give antidepressants a shot, and while they helped somewhat, it was a lot of ups and downs, side effects, and eventually feeling incredibly numb.

I didn’t write a lot of new stuff in 2015, though I published several things that had been waiting. Towards the end of 2015 I was toying with the idea of coming off my meds, and I did that and felt a huge sense of relief. I could actually FEEL again, and that was amazing. I’ve not doubted that decision for a moment since, and despite all the turmoil this year has brought me, I’m feeling better than I have in a long time. I am strong. And I have bad days, but I get through those, much like most people do. Life is full of ups and downs.

2016 was a light year for writing too. Very light. I did a good chunk of editing, worked for others, but always put aside my own work.

Anyway, this is all a roundabout way of saying that my writing has not been a priority for a long time. I’ve been dealing with so many real life issues that there wasn’t room for that creativity and it was much easier to do things for other people. But I’m ready now.

And my word for 2017 is going to be FOCUS. Because it’s time. It’s time I actually gave this a real chance, time I made my writing a priority. Time to stop putting everyone else’s work ahead of my own. This both terrifies and excites me, because if I actually try, then there is always the chance I can fail, and failing sucks. But I’d rather try and know than just keep putting it on the backburner.

2017 will be a year of words. A year of saying no to the things I don’t really want to do but maybe feel like I should. Of saying YES to my own worlds.

What are you saying yes to in 2017?

in the spirit, Kotahi Bay, self publishing, writing

November wrap up

Over here in New Zealand it’s the 1st of December, which means NaNo month is finished for the year, and we’re on the countdown to 2015. Well, I am. 2014 has been a long, hard year, and I am really looking forward to a 2015 that’s not so intense. I am sure it will be full of hard work and growth, but the fact that I can do it in my own time is going to be a real blessing.

So, how did November go?

In The Spirit E-Cover_SMALL FINAL_18-11-2014I managed to write a little over 23,000 words. I’d wanted more, but was pleased to surpass my goal of 20,000. What I was planning on being a sequel novella to In The Spirit turned into a full blown novel and will slot nicely into place as the 2nd book in the Kotahi Bay series.

I swear, I’ve changed my publishing timetable so many times over the last few months, but I think things are settled now. So many releases, so much editing – so much awesome fun.

Anyway, back to November. While I wasn’t NaNoing, I was inspired by many of those who were, and making my writing more of a focus in November has helped me re-form the habit. My typing speeds are starting to pick back up again, the ideas are coming faster, and I’m spending a lot of time thinking about story again. It’s pretty awesome.

Big thanks to my writer crew on Twitter, and Lee, who sprinted with me most days on Facebook. There were some days where it was only her gentle nudging that got me to start putting words on the page, and that has gone a long way to getting me back to my writing roots. I’m digging this story, and hoping to have the first draft done by the end of the year.

The other thing November helped me with was figuring out what my days can look like. I think I write best in the mornings, and most of our sprints were then – there was the odd day when I couldn’t get to it until later on, and it was infinitely harder to write then. In the mornings I have more energy and my brain seems to be at it’s creative best. So, I’m hoping to shape my new routines around this. Fresh words in the morning. Editing/critiquing/marketing/other stuff in the afternoons and evenings.

Naturally, this all has to fit in around homeschooling the kids and keeping the house under control, but if I manage to do a bit of each on most days of the week, I am going to be pretty happy. My aim is not to make ridiculous goals for myself. Not to work so hard that I feel stressed all the time, and to enjoy ALL of life, not just one element of it.

Hopefully that all pans out 😉

Due to some confusion about when exactly books go live from pre-order, In The Spirit isn’t officially out yet. Hopefully later on, when December hits the USA.

life, NaNoWriMo, writing

December – what???

Really, where is this year going???? I’m totally running out of weeks and days. I’m fresh out of months already!

With November behind us, and many people recovering from the ordeal of NaNo (check out Richard’s post NaNo wrap up for more on that), I’m still editing away at a reasonable pace. Not quite as fast as I’d like – I had a cold for like two weeks, and this week has mostly been about wrapping up loose ends in the real world: school stuff, Brownies stuff, dance class stuff –  but despite those things, I’m hopeful that by the end of the month I’ll be sitting right where I want to be.

And where is that? Well, halfway through the edits of Sun-Touched. The next three months (counting this one) are all about the editing for me, because I’m really wanting to get a good chunk of it cleared away before I go back to Uni at the end of February. Sun-Touched will be done end of Jan, and then it’s time for The Way the Sky Curves to get a look in. I want things I can sub next year while I study! FUN TIMES!

I can’t believe that we only have three weeks left of 2013… In no time at all I’ll be doing my yearly wrap up and looking ahead to some new goals, though I think they will all but write themselves 😉

Hope December is off to a good start for you all, and that you’re feeling festive enough. I’m looking forward to BBQs, long summer evenings, and enjoying time with friends and family.


Say what?

No, it can’t be a month til Christmas Eve, it just can’t. There has to be more than a week left in November, surely! What’s happening to time?

I feel like hiding under the covers until it’s 2011, because otherwise there is just too much to do.

I still have to get the Christmas shopping done. There are a million things around the house that need organizing (gardens, mess/clutter, fence, arg!). I am meant to have this novella done before Christmas, and then there is the new novel I had penciled in to begin in December.

Gosh, December is so close now…

It’s going to take a miracle to get through that list. But I’ll be giving it my best shot. I need to clear some of the junk out of my life so that 2011 starts off well. I don’t typically do New Years resolutions, but I do like to start the year with things in order.

What about you? What needs doing before 2011 hits? Got any resolutions or goals for it?