It's been awhile. Seems 2011 is a year I can't wait to see go from an overall perspective. My husband had the shingles and so I had to care for him and kids. At least I'm to a point now that I can walk around and get things done for everyone. We had soup a lot since it's easy to make! The girls have been very good and helped. Luckily, we caught my husband's shingles were caught very early and he's doing much better now. Even I've been feeling better even if a little tired and getting a big now since I'm in my 30th week of pregnancy. It's day by day but remember, I've been feeling better. Well....

The DVT/blood clot is gone! Yes, it is gone! The doctors are in shock because they expected it to still be there and take at least eight more weeks to disappear. The power of prayer, thoughts and all the time people have spent on hoping for the best for us -- well I believe it made the difference! Just in time for Christmas, I have a new hope... especially in miracles. Blessings and thanks to all of you for caring so much about this experience I've had. The baby is kicking away and probably having a party (at least it feels that way to me)! I'll write more about this after Christmas since I still have way too many gifts to wrap. Besides, I have some gingerbread cookie dough in the fridge waiting to be cut and baked. Oh and decorated. Sigh. I just can't help it...with everything that has happened this year I want to celebrate life and all that I love about Christmas. I had to give up a few things and that's okay. The gingerbread house didn't get built this year. At least the elf made it on the shelf and Santa will visit us tonight. Which reminds me, I better wrap this up because I still have to put those chocolate chip cookies in the oven for Santa to eat tonight! I'm sure my oldest daughter will put out some carrots for the reindeer too. 

At any rate, the DVT that I had was life threatening on October 9th as it was complete. Had I not gone to the ER well I could have lost my leg...or life. For this clot to be gone in 10 weeks is really amazing. If it wasn't for family, friends and faith... I seriously don't believe I would have been able to have the hope and positive outlook. There have been good and bad days. Now I will pay this forward. 
Thank you all for your support and it's been so nice to meet such wonderful people this year on Twitter. I wish you all a blessed holiday season and a new year full of hope. On this Christmas eve, may you sleep in heavenly peace. 

Sleep in heavenly peace...

My 14 year-old cat sure is!

 
“A dream left in the dust will stay covered forever unless it is uncovered. Let the air stir the voice within.” -- Crystal Chameleo

A few weeks ago, a mentor of mine recommended that I add writing samples to my website. This addition is necessary so visitors know more about my writing style and hear my voice. She said to pick parts of my manuscript (not done) that will showcase the best of my writing and provide enough to entice readers to want more. Her recommendation was to provide some dialogue and non-dialogue that would showcase my protagonist.

The problem is, I don’t know what to add. It’s overwhelming to me. Maybe this is the case because I haven’t finished the manuscript yet? It’s scary. All in all, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been hiding and scared to just unleash the writer I want to be. Oh, sure I’ve been saying for months that I’m a writer. That was a big step! To add the word writer on my website was another brave step.

It’s been a process of baby steps for me to come out of the shadows of my full time career. Let me be blunt. It’s so much easier for me to talk about my career and what I do for a daily living. As much as I love managing client loyalty surveys, building relationships, and driving business results – my love is not nearly as deep as it is for the story I’ve been writing. It’s not so much that I see the manuscript as the end all and be all…it’s more than that. It’s exciting to think and dream of another world where a young girl can be more than what she realizes. That’s really what gets my heart racing!

Why? I’m the daughter of a single mother and if it weren’t for her ability to raise me right and believe in myself then I would not be where I am today. Every young girl needs that.

Young girls today are hungry for a heroine they can relate to on an every day basis. They want to imagine going to school with her or, more than likely, BE her.

When I write, I believe that I can be more too. Even though I’m not a young girl in my teens, I too want to be more than what I am today. To escape the day-to-day life of work, family, kids and a pregnancy gives me wings to fly into a world that only exists through my feverishly typing fingers.

It’s freedom to believe.

With my day job, I already have proven to myself that I can be successful. I’ve even stepped out of a role that I spent my early real-life years striving for with what to me now seems desperation to be perfect.

With writing, I know I can’t be perfect because there will always be improvements. There will come a time when I will have to stop revising and have the manuscript done before I query. For the time-being, I just have to be me and write. That’s a freedom I can’t get from 9 to 5. There are limits. Don’t get me wrong, the passion I have for customer service has made my job very enjoyable for over three years. Then my life turned upside down  back on October 9th due to a complete blood clot in my deep vein. I could have died along with the unborn baby I carried. I could have lost my leg. Life was more precious and my dreams flashed before me. I didn’t want to die with the regret of not trying to finish my manuscript. That’s why I believe I’m still here. I have finished business.

After that near death experience, I’ve had a recurring thought. A dream left in the dust will stay covered forever unless it is uncovered. Let the air stir the voice within.

What to share with the world on the other hand is what this blog is all about. The fear of putting that content out there means that dream is not just mine any longer. Like a baby in the womb, I get to feel the kicks of the story growing. After the baby is born, like many mothers feel, I have to share it and take all that goes with it. It’s not so much ridicule but rather that now I know that whatever I do is public. Many writers share this feeling I’m sure.

The call? That burning excitement of the unknown and what could happen. What if I take the chance and go for it? What do I really have to lose? Nothing.


 
Remember when you first learned how to ride a bike without training wheels? I couldn’t wait to get those wheels off and be like the big kids. When the training wheels came off, I fell more than a few times. The rose bush hurt the most. True story! I careened full throttle into my mother’s red rosebush next to the driveway. To this day, I won’t plant a rosebush next to a driveway, walkway or any other way where a person could get harmed! There were some thorns to pick out of my leg and I still have a slight scar on my leg that only I can see because I know it is there.

Of course, I eventually moved up to a ten-speed bike and then I had to learn how to use the brakes and balance. One time, I hit a crack in the street and went flying into grass. Lucky for me my pants were torn and a minor cut was the only issue.

The last year, I’ve watched my youngest bike faster than ever even with training wheels on this tiny bike. Next year, she’ll still need them but I’m sure will want to be like the big sister or other kids who don’t have them. 

Thinking of being a kid and learning how to bike, I realize I was so focused on the goal that I didn’t enjoy the journey of biking all that much. Maybe I did and I just have over-simplified the process as an adult. However, I noticed that lately I’ve haven’t been enjoying the journey I’m on now which is writing my first manuscript.

After some thought on this, I realized I want to enjoy it. Just like my pregnancy, I want to savor the daily growth of a baby on her way in the near future. My other baby, my manuscript, is also growing in word count. The problem? I’m not enjoying the journey since I’m worrying about everything I’ve been learning.

The stream of thoughts go something like this:
  • Word count matters. How many words did I type in the last hour? (Checking...)
  • Voice. Can I hear my writer voice? 
  • What will I do for the next chapter?  I need to outline. Wait, I can just wing it! 


The thoughts were overtaking my creative mind and I had  lost that enjoyment of writing. Perhaps I spent too much time trying to learn how to write this way or that.

I want to enjoy the journey of being a new writer learning the ins and outs of the publishing world or the new options that await us. For any new writer, there are more options than ever for getting a book published. If you realize this, you know that no matter what, you can end up having your novel done and published even if it is only in an e-book format. That goal is the destination.

With that thought, I realized that this journey I’m on now will happen to me only once in my life. There will be only one time I get to write my first manuscript. Even if I don’t publish it, I want to finish it.

The age to use to training wheels goes by quickly. My kids are proving that time flies. In a matter of months, we can write our hearts out and lose that first time feeling of our first completed manuscript. No matter how painful the process may be, how many falls we make, or scars we my have at the end – we only get to be the newbie one time.

So let’s finish it but enjoy the journey along the way but stay away from rosebushes! 

 
 Even though I didn’t participate in #NaNoWriMo, I can relate to having a plan to write X number of words within a certain time. I’ve always been goal oriented. What I had to learn along the way, especially as a former manager of direct reports, is that I can’t let a missed goal become more of a distraction. That thinking has, in the past, caused me to delay any additional positive movement to attain the goals set after the missed goal. The chain reaction would spin me farther down the negative black hole. I’ve had this struggle the last few months due to health reasons but even before that I would miss goals. Either way, I’m still frustrated that my first draft sat around this long with the word count needle nearly stuck in the same position.

When that feeling of hopelessness creeps into our brains (and many of us writers hit this wall now and again), we need to hit the brakes before we head face first into the palms of our hands and give up hope!

During the last 24 hours, many of my writing friends have been bummed with missing their goal (especially some who aimed to complete the #NaNoWriMo challenge). What we as writers must realize is that even if we missed the goal, we should celebrate any accomplishment. Don’t celebrate to the point that we make excuses though but rather think about how many more words we have because of having the goal in the first place! No matter how small that word count is, it is more than what you would have otherwise. What was the starting word count? Zero. Now what do you have? More than zero I hope. If not, there must be a reason to explore. (For me, October was a near zero because I got that pesky blood clot/ DVT in my left leg.)

Lately, I’ve been diving back into writing my first draft. For example, I had a goal of 1Kaday over Thanksgiving and I got a whopping 2245 words written (sarcasm may not be clear here but it's there). It’s frustrating, but I let the fun of the holiday distract me. I have kids and they are getting older. Whatever the reason, I am accountable for that goal being missed.

I’ve learned that I wish I had a higher number to celebrate. At least I have more than what I had though.

The number one rule is to remember this feeling of guilt and learn from it. If we want to be a writer, we must write. Therefore, I am accountable to my individual goal of being just that – a writer. If I continue down the path and delude myself then I will have to be accountable either way. On the flipside, if I learn from this I can set perhaps a more realistic goal over the time I take off in December. 

I am accountable to take action to meet the goal of finishing the first draft. Step by step, word for word. It is all up to me. Given the last few months, I had to move out the timeframe a bit. I refuse to let one missed goal stop me from what the final goal is – my first finished draft.
  • Remember, don’t let one missed goal derail you from the overall goal.
  • Learn from missed goals.
  • Revisit your goal planning to plan realistic, attainable goals. 
  • Celebrate the goals along the way.
  • Keep writing with the long-term, high-level goal in mind. Every milestone counts.
  • You are accountable to yourself as a writer (first draft, revised manuscript, or whatever the end goal may be).

    Author

    By day listen to voice of the customer / client loyalty. Rest of my life listen to my protagonist & write her story. YA fantasy, mystery #writer. Live w/ #DVT..

    Blog posts are Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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