life curation

February Challenge: Write a Book!

Hi friends! I’m so excited to do this post, because this relates to a post I shared a few weeks ago ago about the book Get It Done by Michael Mackintosh. I selected a project for February that should put me significantly closer to my overarching dream, while allowing me to practice and perfect the goal setting routine that I’ll use going forward.

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The goal I’ve selected for February is to finish one of my books. This is a book I began working on last year, and while I’ve made significant progress, I could stand to do more as far as moving this project along. Just for clarity, this is not my NaNoWriMo project (that’s going on the backburner for a bit). I’m still working out a few details related to accountability as I write, as well as chunking down the work so that I can easily accomplish the most necessary tasks. That being said, I’m looking forward to finishing my manuscript by February 21st.

So over this upcoming weekend, I’ll be outlining the tasks to be completed in preparation for February 1st. And then, on the 1st, I’ll begin the challenge. I am so looking forward to sharing with you all how things progress as I accomplish this huge goal for my year.

That’s it for today and I will be back on Monday. I hope you all enjoy your weekend. Take care!

life curation

2018 Goals: Final Update

It’s the last Hump Day before the New Year: can you all believe that we’re already so close to 2019? This year has flown by, but it’s my sincere hope that you all got to see some of your dreams come true during the year or, at very least, made some progress toward achieving your big goals. Remember, taking one step is better than staying still, and you still have time to take one more step before the year end.

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As you all know I had three big goals I was working on this year. While I did a tiny update a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to do one final check-in before the new year. Quickly, here were my goals:

  • Publish some of my writing
  • Travel more
  • Dabble in an art career

Here are the updates on each goal up to this point:

Goal 1: Publish some of my writing

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My previous set of goals were as follows:

  • Complete edits on my novel
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo in November
  • Publish my how to book

I didn’t complete the edits on my novel, though I did make some progress on it. I’m cutting myself a lot of slack with that because edits can take quite a bit of time and mental energy. So, just doing some edits is progress enough for me. Over the next year, I’ll work on it in increments, until the edits are done. This isn’t a priority for me, so I don’t anticipate this being completed until Summer or Fall 2019

I participated in NaNoWriMo, so that goal was achieved (yay!) I didn’t finish my novel but I did say that I would participate, and I did. I will resume working on my NaNoWriMo novel in the upcoming year, with the hopes of finishing it before March 2019.

My how-to book still isn’t published, but I explained why in this post. I haven’t worked out the layout stuff yet, but that’s something I’m focusing on in January 2019. The aim is to have the book published in February 2019.

Goal 2: More travel

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My 2018 travel-related short-term goals were as follows:

  • Plan out 2019 trips
  • Film at least three travel-related videos for my YouTube channel
  • Get TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry

So, I’ve already started planning my 2019 trips, and I’ll announce my finalized plans next month. I wrote about my 2019 trip planning in this post. Planning travel for the upcoming year is always one of the highlights of my pre-New Year ritual.

I actually began tinkering with some video editing software for some travel related content for my YouTube channel. Now that I’ve gotten a little familiar, I’ll be able to publish some videos in the upcoming year. I have the content, but the formatting and “polishing” needs to happen next.

I researched the TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry requirements and determined that I don’t need it just yet. It’s a great option for frequent travelers but it is a multi-step process that takes more time than I’m willing to devote to it right now. However, it’s something I’ll be considering in 2020, when I anticipate I will be doing far more international and domestic air travel.

Goal 3: Dabble in an art career

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In 2018, my mini-goals for transitioning into an art career were:

  • Clarify what kind of art-related career I desire
  • Create a preliminary career “plan” for my target career
  • Attend at least three art related events so that I can meet more like-minded people

I’m still not completely clear on the kind of art-related career I want. I’ve considered a few paths and have eliminated some options, so that has clarified my desires somewhat. I’d prefer a singular, clear “yes” rather than multiple clear “nos”, but some clarity is better than nothing, right? I take it that this clarification process will be a gradual unfolding as opposed to a lightning bolt of inspiration. And that’s fine: the fact that this is coming to me gradually is actually kind of exciting. I anticipate that the end result will be better than I could have ever hoped for.

Well, without a target, I couldn’t come up with a preliminary plan. So that has to be put on hold until the actual desire is clarified. Again, that’s fine: I know that getting clear on what I want is going to be key to completing my plan.

I wasn’t feeling my best over the past few weeks, so I wasn’t energetic enough to handle the art events I wanted to attend. However, for January, I have two art events scheduled, and a third event is on my calendar for February. Since I’m still recovering, I have to pace myself as I plan to attend different art events. But I’m eager to get back into the mix, so it won’t be long before I’m out and mingling again.

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Those are my final updates for my 2018 goals. I’ll have a few target goals that I’m working on throughout 2019, and I’ll be sharing those soon. Until then, take care!

life curation

Book Publishing: Latest Updates

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday to you all. I wanted to quickly stop in and give you all updates on the publishing of my first book.

As you all know, I finished writing and editing my first book earlier this year. So after moving past my own internal resistance, I forged ahead with publishing. I’m still learning about Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and tinkering with the format of the book so it renders the way that I want. Right now, the pages don’t look like how I want them to look; that is unacceptable. I’ve done too much work on this project to drop the ball and get sloppy at this stage. Once I get the formatting right, I’ll be well on my way.

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Between the blog and my book, I’ve been busy

There’s a lot involved with taking a book from idea to published, but it’s been an educational process. I’m proud to make it this far, but I have to see this through to the end before I’m truly satisfied. If you’re inclined, please send me good publishing vibes! I’ll keep plugging along, and I’ll keep you all posted on what’s happening as I go through the process.

Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

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Instagram Experiment Underway …

This post is late but I wanted to check in and let you all know what’s going on.

Over on my Instagram profile, I’ve been adding more content and seeing the result of being more active on that platform. If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, make sure that you go ahead and hit that follow button.

My experiment involves learning what it takes to have true engagement on that platform and whether it would be better for me to spend more time over there or whether I need to pour more energy into the blog. I want to make sure I’m connecting with my audience in the channel that they prefer, so I’ll continue to tinker with it until I find a good formula.

I’ll keep you all posted on what I learn from my experiment: stay tuned!

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Words of Wisdom: Gwendolyn Brooks

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“We are each other’s magnitude and bond” – Gwendolyn Brooks

On this 18th anniversary of her passing, I wanted to share some quotes from Gwendolyn Brooks, a poet and author that I learned about as a child but had somewhat forgotten as an adult.

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It’s not that I don’t recall the words to “We Real Cool” by heart (because I do). But as with many things, we get exposed to new art, new poetry, new thoughts . . . And that which we knew as children tends to fade a bit. While thinking about some of the people I wanted to feature in the “Words of Wisdom” series, Brooks popped into my mind. I remember being a young girl and seeing the announcement of her passing in a magazine that I was reading. She lived a long and full life, and we are fortunate that she decided to share her talents with us.

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She was the first African American to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. She captured life in Chicago during the post-Depression era, and her writing straddled the fine line of writing honestly while preserving the dignity of her subjects. She was also Illinois’s Poet Laureate in 1968 and a Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for the Library of Congress.

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Brooks led a particularly quiet life: she was a wife and mother. She lived in Chicago all of her life, and found her inspiration among the neighborhoods where she grew up and raised her own children.

In memory of Gwendolyn Brooks: thank you for your work.

 

(Photos courtesy of majeherself, AZQuotes, wordsonimages, and Rhapsody in Books)

 

life curation

Welcome December: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Can you all believe that we are here at the end of another year? This time of year always leaves me in awe: the dates are long but the years are short, as I’ve heard it described. I have written a post for every day this year, so you already know what my year was like. I haven’t been feeling my best over the past few weeks but overall, I’m feeling good about my year.

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The beauty of today, the first of December, is that there are still time to accomplish one (or more!) big goal(s) before the year’s end. Even if you haven’t taken action since before my Finish 2018 on a Strong Note post, there is still time to do something that you’ll be especially proud of. I will be reviewing my last Goal Update post and seeing what I can take care of before the end of the year. Feeling under the weather has slowed me down a bit but it hasn’t stopped me, and I’m determined to make this December count.

Going forward, there are a few things I’m mulling over for 2019. For one thing, I want to bring back my book reviews. I’m reviewing a book this month, and I’ll continue doing one per month until inspiration leads me to something else. I’m also going to be more diligent about creating content for my YouTube channel, since I like the thought of being able to communicate across different platforms.

This is going to be a fantastic month. I’m claiming it right now!

life curation

NaNoWriMo Updates: Tomorrow is the Last Day

Happy Thursday, y’all! This has been quite a November to remember. . . I’ve been working on a lot of projects, and as a result, my writing suffered this month.

Of all months for my writing to suffer, it happens during NaNoWriMo.

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I didn’t meet the 50k goal for NaNoWriMo 2018. I got to 20k, which is still impressive, but nowhere near what I intended for the month. So I’m frustrated with myself right now. I wish I could have rearranged my affairs so that I could pour more time into my writing, but the truth is, this just wasn’t a good month for it.

One of the things I’ve been actively working on is being gentle with myself. No one is more disappointed in my failings than I am, so if I am going to own my shortcomings, I also have to give myself room for grace. I’m at a point where I’m doing the best that I can with everything that I do but it doesn’t always turn out how I want it to.

And that’s okay.

On the upside, I haven’t given up on this story. I’m still going to reach my 50k words and when I do, I’m going to rejoice! Until then, I’ll keep plugging along.

Enjoy your day, loves! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.