Things I’ve Learned This Round

So, time is passing quickly and the ROW 80 round is nearly over! I’ve just been looking over my goals to see how it’s going. It seems like time continues to get away from me. I mean, I’m a pretty busy person. I’m on the go a lot. And yet there are lots of goals that I still haven’t accomplished. Happily, I’m not letting it get me down. Instead I’m choosing to learn more about myself and how my life-as-a-whole comes together.

Rather than a traditional update, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’ve been learning this round (which roughly corresponds to the second quarter of 2014).

Revisions Don’t Suck. No, BlackLion and I are not going to make our goal of having the novel ready for beta readers by the Summer Solstice. However, the process is going along very well. At this point, I’m having a lot of fun with doing the revisions. I know, that’s weird, right? But the way we’re doing it is very creative, so it satisfies my right-brained writer self as well as my Virgo organizer self. I’d never written and edited a novel before (I usually write non-fiction), so I had no idea what it would be like. It’s fun. You should try it.

Summer Is Busy. Okay, so I knew that already. But every year, I forget. When the weather (finally!) gets warm, things start happening. You know, gardening,  outdoor parties, hiking, all those lovely seasonal things. I need to remember to scale back my expectations in the warm-weather months. Or get a new laptop so I can work outdoors, unplugged. Now there’s a good idea!

It’s OK to Say No.  The thing is, when those awesome warm-weather parties come along, I don’t have to go to all of them. In the past I’ve tended to fill my calendar entirely too full with social gatherings, and then get frustrated when I didn’t have time to write. I’m refining the balance, and only committing to events that really shout “YES!” in my mind. There are oodles of  fun things going on, but I can’t do them all, and that’s okay.

Yoga Sustains Me. My yoga practice is probably my best accomplishment this round. It’s solid. I’ve been doing yoga at least 5 times each week for more than 2 months now. Woo hoo! And it helps. Not just physically, but in terms of emotional balance, mental clarity, and spiritual connection. Yoga is one of my favorite wellness practices ever. Yes, it’s right up there with journal writing. And that’s saying a lot, if you know how addicted to journalling I am!

Marketing Is a Moving Target. One of my goals is to learn about ethical marketing, and apply what I learn. The thing is, especially in regard to social media, it keeps changing. For example, our Feline Dreamers page was getting a lot of views via Facebook, and then they did their mysterious algorithm thingie and now, not as much. With the same content and frequency of posts. Huh? I know, I know, they want us to pay. Well, we’d have to have our name out there enough to sell enough books to make enough money to be able to afford to pay for advertising. Um, yeah. Catch-22. I’m still plugging away at it, and learning as I go, as things continue to change. And working on my mindset, because that’s important too. End of rant.

My Family Is Awesome. Well, I did know this one already, too, to be fair. My Aunt’s surgery went well, and I’ve been helping her out a lot this past week. I’m happy to do so. My extended family is full of love and support. I know a lot of folks don’t have that, so I’m extra grateful. They know I’m an eccentric creative hippie, and they accept me. They don’t always understand what the heck I’m doing with my life, but they love me and encourage me, and that’s priceless.

All I Can Do Is My Best. I’ve learned that there’s really no point to setting up self-created goals, failing to achieve them by the deadline, and then beating myself up over it. Instead, I’m learning to see my goals as guidelines. They encourage me to dedicate time and energy to my creative life each day, no matter what else is going on around me. That’s really what creates success, as I understand it: following a consistent, steady path toward your dreams. I’m on the path, and I’m enjoying the hike. You should see the view up here. It’s gorgeous!

Best wishes to you as you hike along your own creative trail!



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