Friday Five, the Whatever Edition

1. I have read oodles of good books lately, some of which were described in my last post. And there are more on the horizon! If I ever am not holding a book, little Maverick probably won’t recognize me.

2. “Little” Maverick is growing up! He’s got three little teeth nubs (very sharp), he’s crawling like a big boy (i.e. not “commando” style anymore), and he’s pulling himself to stand up against pretty much everything: me, the coffee table, his sister, our cat, the sliding glass door, his crib, the toilet…. I look at him and I look at Z, and I can’t believe he’s going to grow up, that I’m not going to be able to control him pick him up and cuddle him whenever I feel like it.

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And Maverick makes me giggle with the tried and true “pull all the toilet paper from the roll and bunch it on the floor” move.

3. Inspired by friend/fellow writer/health coach Jamie Weil, I made a vision board! Now, vision boards fall under the heading of “really cool creative things I could do to put off writing.” (Keeping vision boards company are things like character collages and detailed maps of fictional settings. And blog posts (see #5, below)). But I was feeling burnt out and overwhelmed with everything going on, and I have all these goals. So I got out some boxes of craft supplies and went to work. I’ve got family, healthy lifestyle (eating and exercising), and writing on there. There is no chocolate cake, because, unfortunately, chocolate cake does not support my goal of choosing foods that make me feel good in the long run.

4. Going along with the vision board & healthy eating, I made it through 21 days in a row of eating vegetables at lunch and dinner! And even though I accomplished my goal of 21 days, the habit carried through, and I ate vegetables with both of those meals yesterday. It feels great to succeed at something.

From habitforge.com

From habitforge.com

5. Despite that success, I’ve been feeling like I put the “suc” in success these days. Everywhere I go on the webternetz, I’m feeling insecure and like I have nothing good to add to conversations, and I’m really seriously considering giving up this blog because I haven’t been enjoying it. I love you all, I truly do. It’s just an added pressure lately, to come up with something to say that I don’t wholeheartedly hate. (And doesn’t sound like whining. Like this. See?!) This means it’s time for another Internet Blackout! The rules: I get 30 minutes per day to check email over the course of the next two weeks. No blogs, no Twitter, no Facebook. It’ll be tough but I think I’ll be mentally healthier for it. And my house might be cleaner, too. The Internet Blackout will commence tomorrow, and I’ll be back (maybe!) on Friday, February 22nd.

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2013 The Year In Review (with highlights from 2012)

Yes, I am writing this year in review A YEAR EARLY. The way I like looking at goals is as if they are already accomplished, because this helps train my brain to expect them to happen, to expect me to do what it takes to get them done. It works…most of the time. (I’ve noticed it only works on things that I can control. Not things I can’t control, like, say, the publishing industry or the lottery…this is me, refraining from making a comparison between the publishing industry in the lottery…but not really.)

In 2012, I read 75 published books, plus many completed manuscripts for writer friends.

In 2013, I’ve read about the same amount. Maybe fewer books, because more of my free time went toward writing.

In 2012, I revised a YA novel, drafted a YA novel, revised and submitted two short stories and wrote a third (as of now, still in its first draft). One of those short stories will be published soon. Trust me, y’all will be hearing from me once it’s available.

In 2013, I’ve revised a YA novel, drafted a new one and revised it as well, revised and submitted one short story, and drafted two more.

In 2012, I had a baby.

In 2013, I have not birthed any new children. I have celebrated the ones I have, and have vowed to keep my brood at two. Two is good. Two is manageable. Two means they haven’t outnumbered us.

In 2012, I spent a lot of time commenting on other peoples’ blogs and creating blog posts of my own.

In 2013, my internet/blog presence has been limited, with me commenting occasionally on other blogs and writing one blog post a week (with a few scheduled breaks).

In 2012, I compared my writing (methods and accomplishments) to others’. I compared myself to others and fretted about success.

In 2013, I have ceased to focus on what other writers are doing (beyond the necessary and very pleasurable act of market research through reading, and, of course, commiserating about writerly angst with close friends). Instead, my focus lies in improving my own craft and honing my own ideas of what it means to be a successful writer.

In 2012, I sought balance in my personal life and writing life.

2013 has been no different, except I’ve felt more balanced and more at peace with the fact that complete, constant balance is impossible.

In 2012, vegetables were accidental.

In 2013, I have formed the habit of including vegetables with both lunch and dinner every day. Even if “lunch” consists of a bowl of Doritos and one carrot. (The image above is a captured note from habitforge.com.)

And finally, in 2013, I have ceased to spend hours crafting appropriate conclusions for my blog posts. I would also like to hear what other people have accomplished in 2013.