At the Intersection of Living and Writing

This round was sort of a mixed bag for me. When I look at the goals I wrote up, I feel like I didn’t do enough. Yet at the same time, this round I’ve been very much learning, growing, and evolving – as a writer and as a person. Sometimes I get caught up in the paradigm of modern Western culture, which places a huge emphasis on what we accomplish – especially if the things we do make money.

But my life is much more than production, and all the experiences I have are what make me the writer, the performer, the creative artist that I am.  I am a nurturing Mom raising two delightful teens (and some beloved four-legged kids, too). I am a caring wife, partner, and lover. I am a loving daughter and niece. I am a fun and supportive friend. I volunteer in my communities of choice. I walk the path of Earth-based spirituality. I’m not a good housekeeper, but I try. I am a great cook. I have devoted myself to my yoga practice. I am growing as a drummer and performer. I am a shameless bookworm. I am a student of life, following my passions. I am a dreamer and a dancer. I love to explore the world.

All of these ways of being are reflected in my writing. I bring them to the page with me; I can’t help it. I’ve vowed to enjoy this life that I lead, and that’s a practice I return to again and again.

I write because I love it, because it helps me figure things out, because it brings me joy, because I am a writer. As such, I know that I will continue, and I embrace the experiences that I have when I’m busily adventuring through my days. I’m patient because I know that these experiences will soon become words on the page, sent back out into the cosmos to inspire and entertain others in turn.

So as I look at my goals for the round, and begin to shape goals for round 3, I’m challenging myself to take into account all the things I do, the roles I fulfill that aren’t directly associated with my craft, but nonetheless influence my work greatly. Onward!

And now a review of my goals for ROW 80 Round 2:

Organizing

Create and implement a loose daily and weekly schedule for my writing work and wellness practices. Look over the plan at the beginning of each week and adjust it based on other commitments on my calendar. I think this would work better if I look at the plans more often. I seem to forget.

Make weekly and/or monthly outlines for all my blog posts, with both content and posting schedule. Write and schedule posts ahead of time when possible. Include ideas for pictures and images. When I’ve done this, it helps a lot. I need to do it more.

De-clutter my desk, bookshelves, and filing cabinets. This includes Quester’s creation of a new bookshelf in the upstairs hallway. Make the space more user-friendly so I’m more likely to use it. I made some progress, but there is a lot more to do. I might put it on hold while the weather is nice, and wait until the cooler evenings in the fall. Also, my laptop died, and I need to get a new one so I can be more flexible where I work.

Creating

In collaboration with BlackLion, edit, revise and polish our NaNoWriMo novel,The Door Is the Key. Have it ready for beta readers by the end of the Round. We’re still working on this. We didn’t make the deadline I put down here, but I still feel good about our progress and how the novel is coming along.

Post to my Starcat’s Corner blog at least 3 times per week, and on this blog at least 2 times per week. Sometimes I kept up with blogging, sometimes not. But even when I didn’t, there wasn’t a huge gap, so I’m sure my readers were OK with it.

Write and edit at least three guest blog posts and have them posted. Done, and continuing. I have another Kind Over Matter guest post this summer, and I’ve also been asked to be a book reviewer for a pretty busy website, so that will get my name out there too.

Choose my next book project and outline it. If it’s fiction, read Rock Your Plotand begin plotting. Ideas are flowing, and I’ll be curious to see what emerges. I have plans for another novel and two or three nonfiction works. I’m not sure which one will be first in line, yet.

Learning and Sharing

Continue learning about ethical marketing and promotion. Read at least 3 books on this subject. I didn’t read as many as I’d wanted. I’ll get back to it soon.

Promote and sell more copies of both of my existing books. Use new techniques I’m learning as well as ones I already know about. This includes posting excerpts of my books, trading book reviews with other authors, and asking readers for Amazon reviews. I didn’t focus on this as much this round. I need to refocus on it in round 3.

Explore creating a hard-copy version of Cultivating Self-Love. Look into CreateSpace and other options. This is underway. I looked into CreateSpace a bit, and it looks promising. BlackLion is going to help me, bless him.

Practicing Wellness

Enjoy my life and go with the flow. This works great when I remember it. Maybe I just need to look at these goals more often!

Continue with my five main spiritual and creative practices: journal writing, yoga, drumming, dancing, and gratitude. Journal writing and gratitude are steady and rewarding. Drumming is off and on; I tend to do better when I’m getting ready for a big show or learning something new. I have made progress this spring. Dancing hasn’t been a main focus recently. Yoga – yeah! I’m rockin’ it!

Eat well. This means eating healthy vegan foods, avoiding sugar and junk foods, and drinking plenty of water. In this area I’ve improved a lot, and am still getting better – with occasional lapses.

Get more time outdoors on a regular basis. With the warmer weather, this one is happening. Also, the ROW 80 break happens to coincide with a little mini-vacation this time. I’m off tomorrow to hike, swim, and enjoy nature!

3 Comments

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3 Responses to At the Intersection of Living and Writing

  1. Man, this post really reached me at the right time. As I’m struggling to justify spending way too much on a book cover, I realize that we really do put too much emphasis on money. I’m doing what I love, and publishing something I believe in, and that’s what really matters.

    It looks like you’ve been doing a great job of keeping up with your goals, even as life throws you a few hiccups here and there. Keep it going! As you said, Onward! Onward to Round 3. I think some good things are waiting for us there!

  2. Let me add my cheers with LS.Engler’s… I needed this post, Nikki. Too much of my life lately has been around “making something work” with money issues and trying to push myself to write a story that “will make my place as an author” because I need to make some money with my writing to justify spending so much time on it…

    Anyway, your post was a breath of “Ahhhhh”. A reminder that I might call myself a writer, but I am more. Just as you are so much more than those words you did (or didn’t) write by the time it came to “check in” arrived….

  3. Starcat

    I’m so glad the post helped you both! I just got back from my vacation, which was time away in a rustic camp by the ocean. It was just what I needed. I’m ready to start the new round with leaps and bounds! 🙂 Thanks for the comments.

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