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Cha…cha…changes

One of the best things about being a creative person is that I’m all into learning new things. From reading different genres, to trying new recipes, to DIY home projects or DIY beauty stuff, to reading books about self-improvement or creativity or spirituality or how to be more creative. BUT, what I haven’t been very good at, at least not in some areas, is follow-through.

Take this blog, this website for instance. I spent money to have my own website, to have it hosted, and yet I haven’t been blogging regularly. I used to blog every day. THEN, I started posting videos on YT and the blog sort of took the back seat. Why is that? I wondered.

It felt a bit repetitive, redundant to say the same thing on the blog post that I was saying in the video. It is a lot of work to maintain both.  All of the above are truths but they are also excuses.

About me: My Truths...

About me: My Truths…

I don’t owe anyone an explanation, not really. The blog is more for me than anyone else, especially since I don’t have that many followers, not like I did on my old blog, but at the same time I feel like I should say something, which says a lot about my character. About who I am, how I am as a person. I often feel the need to defend myself. Like I’m not good enough. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. Not pretty enough. Not…you get the drift.

Back in April I decided to make some real changes. I called it “Taking back my life.” I did well with some things. I have lost 10 pounds since April 15th. I’ve been exercising more, trying to make better food choices, better life choices, like eating healthier, meditation, walking, and eating less (portion control).

From Designs by Planner Perfect, by Jenny Penton

From Designs by Planner Perfect, by Jenny Penton

I’ve also signed up for #projectme with Jenny Penton’s #plannerperfect, and I love it. Such a great group of supportive and inspiring ladies. I feel really good about it. But most of the work to “take back my life,” is about making real changes. It’s about letting go of negativity, letting go of false truths (as Jenny said), and being my authentic self, opening myself up to and using my talents, my gifts.

I’ve been thinking about what those talents are. I am a natural giver. A natural helper. I am also a creative person. My passions are reading (books) , writing, art (watercolor especially), journaling, life, love, family–my grandson is so amazing. Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you’re talented at it though. I’m a decent enough writer, but I’m no Shakespeare, Vonnegut, Poe, Stephen King, Jim Butcher, Nora Roberts, or Bradbury (and yes, I’m a fan of all of those–I told you read a variety of genres). I’m a halfway decent enough (amateur) artist, but I’m no Danny Gregory or Jane Davenport.

However, just because I’m not as talented as (say my idol) Stephen King, or Danny Gregory, doesn’t mean I don’t have any talent. I can hone my talents. Get better. I can find my “niche,” my gift and use it, utilize it, and perhaps one day get paid for it. I’ve seen people find their forte their niche, and before you know it they’ve got an Etsy shop, then a website instead, and they’re using their passion and their gift (talent) and instead of just “working” they’re getting paid to do something they love.

My inspiration page...

My inspiration page…

One of my truth’s, I’m writing my novel series for me. I’ve always wanted to tell the story of a (my) family’s curse. I grew up hearing about the “Burgess” curse and the idea has always been in the back of my head. So I’m writing a book about it. While the book is based on a truth, it’s a fictional book. It’s not like I could/should/would give my novel’s family the surname Burgess (which is my real name, well it was my surname is now my middle name), though I have seriously thought about it. Instead I’ve went with my father’s (my daddy) first name, which also happens to be a surname–Milton. It works and I like it.

I’ve also been thinking about drawing/painting the cover myself. Hey, I can watercolor halfway decent, and I love drawing and painting with watercolor. But more than that, I wouldn’t have seriously thought about creating the cover for my book myself until I started working on “taking my life back,” and on #projectme.  I might have entertained the idea briefly, but I would have second guessed my capability to do it, my talent…and I’d have talked myself right on out of doing it.

I’ve been slowly but surely working on becoming a morning person. I’ve also been working on being more confident, and less negative about myself. I won’t lie and say I don’t have self-doubts, I do. But each day, those self-doubts are less and less.

Now, its time to work on my novel.

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Coffee Chat…If we were having coffee

It’s been a long while since I did a “If we were having coffee” post. And since today’s YT video is a Coffee Chat video, I thought I’d do a blog post to go along with that.

If we were having coffee…typewriter_writer_large_mug

This week has been a busy one. I’ve cleaned, even thrown out a few things, donated a few other things, and I’ve organized. I still have quite a way to go but I’m working on it. I feel like I’ve accomplished something(s). I am determined to get the house “organized,” and CLEANED (you know that deep clean that usually takes place in Spring, only I have arthritis and tendonitis so I can’t do it all in one day/week, hell one month).

I’m excited about the projects that I have going on over the summer.

  • #HotandSticky Summer Novel Writing Challenge
  • #FindingWater 12 week self guided course by Julia Cameron (it’s the third book in her Artist’s Way trilogy)
  • The Right to Write, also by Julia Cameron, which I’m still doing but I’ve narrowed it down to only once a week now.
  • And, June is preparation month for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, which I will also be doing.

I’m trying to stay busy. Less time for negative thoughts when there are positive actions. That (hopefully) means I’ll have less time to be depressed, procrastinate, less time for FEAR, self-doubt, guilt…because I’ll be busy writing, reading, taking pictures, creating art, and spending time with family and friends.

If you’d like to find out a bit more about what I’d say if we were having coffee here’s my Coffee Chat video:

 

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The Universe is speaking, and I’m listening

Just when I thought I was getting things together, especially in regard to my writing, I got hit with a bout of fear (procrastination, self-doubt, distractions, stress, anxiety…). And it waited until I won Camp NaNoWriMo to hit me. Though I did need a break from writing yesterday–I’d stayed up until a little after three in the morning Tuesday night to write, and I got up early Wednesday morning.

Today I was feeling those feelings of fear creep into my mind…You might as well just put the novel in the drawer and not worry about finishing it–you know it sucks! Or, oh, look it’s a shiny new idea…Or, just forget about writing, why don’t you go read a book, watch Netflix, draw a picture…you know you’re never going to be published, find something else to do…

I wrote my morning pages this morning and felt good. First thing on my “to-do” list done. Next thing, done.

And now, it’s the next day… So much for getting this blog post up.

But I’ve been busy. Listening to the Universe…

The Universe has spoken…Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

Seriously though, the Universe has been speaking to me. I am going to start Julia Cameron’s “The Right to Write,” on May 1st.  The descripton for the book on Amazon says:

What if everything we have been taught about learning to write was wrong? In The Right to Write, Julia Cameron‘s most revolutionary book, the author of the bestselling self-help guideThe Artist’s Way, asserts that conventional writing wisdom would have you believe in a false doctrine that stifles creativity. With the techniques and anecdotes in The Right to Write, readers learn to make writing a natural, intensely personal part of life. Cameron’s instruction and examples include the details of the writing processes she uses to create her own bestselling books. She makes writing a playful and realistic as well as a reflective event. Anyone jumping into the writing life for the first time and those already living it will discover the art of writing is never the same after reading The Right to Write.

A few other writers are joining me in this quest and I’ll be posting my thoughts via this blog every other day or so, and on YT on Wednesdays. You’ll be able to find more posts via this #therighttowritewednesdays, since Wednesday’s are the days I usually post Writerly related videos. 😀

I hope you’ll join me. I’ll also be posting about how I’m taking back my life by trying to be a healthier, more fit me. On Friday’s I’ll have “Fitness Friday” videos, and on Monday’s… Well, that’s my coffee chat video. And on Sunday’s I’m going to start sharing my art journal/bullet journal pages.

 

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Coffee Chat | Synchronicity

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that for the past few weeks I’ve noticed, because I’m now paying more attention to things (thanks to the Artist’s Way), that similar themes keep popping up. Coincidence? I’m not sure that I believein coincidence–I’m going to call it synchronicity.

Themes like accountability, creativity, time-management, organization, self-confidence, believing in yourself, having a shitty first draft is okay, how important it is to have goals and to reach for your dreams…getting fit, being healthy, self care.

Since I’ve been reading Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way,” I’ve been paying more attention to things like synchronicity, especially when it pertains to creativity, life, living a creative life, self-care, writing, art…It took me quite a few weeks to realize what was taking place in my life. The art of being present, in the moment.

I’ve been trying since last year to get organized in a way that allows me to stay organized. I’m a creative clutter kind of person. While I am working on things my desk is usually littered with things: washi-tape, pens, markers, paint brushes, glue-sticks, stickers, scissors, ruler, a cup of coffee, journals, a book (or three), hand lotion, fountain pen ink…. I have tried various planners, from ring bound, bound, TN (Traveler’s Notebook) inserts, spiral bound, to DIY. I’ve also tried verious journal techniques. The thing that seems to work the best for me is what is called an “omni-journal,” along with my Hobonichi.

I am now using my Hobonichi for my bullet journaling, as well as a small bit of “sketch/illustrate” your life journaling. And I’m using my Seven Seas Crossfield as my omni-journal, which houses my journaling, more in depth sketch/illustrate your life journaling, alond with my bullet journal collections and a few spreads. Both of these journals are in my Jonelifish A5 trifold (that is called Hans after Hans Christian Anderson), and my Jonelifish A5 bifold, which I use as my writer’s bible, is called Shakespeare. I am still using the Leuchttrum Master for my writing bullet journal (I’ll have a new one for each novel).

So why would I be talking about synchronicity when it comes to organization, planning, journaling, and the like? Yesterday morning my daughter called me. She needed some peace and quiet because she had a number of things she needed to do, like apply for jobs, apply for unemployment (the company she was working for had a massive layoff), redo her resume, and she said she wanted to start bullet journaling. What? I had been thinking about how bullet journaling might help her for the past few weeks but had yet to mention it.

Here’s my video where I talk about more of what I found that spoke “synchronicity” to me. 😀

 

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Preparing for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo

Can you believe that it’s almost the middle of March? I can’t, yet at the same time I can believe how quickly 2016 is passing–at least the spring fever and Camp Nanowrimo fever has taken over. I wanted to finish my outline. I wanted to make it better. I wanted to be this outlining queen so that I could finish my novel. Finally finish my novel.

And yet, after a conversation with my daughter about writing I realized something important–I am not a pantser or a plotter. I’m not a gardener or an architect. I’m what people often call an astronaut (though I’m not quite sure of why exactly, or a plotster, or a loose outliner. Does it matter whether or not I pants or plot my novel? To some it seems to, and yet it’s my novel to write and I should be writing it in the best way that I am able to, in a way that brings out the best of my talent.

As much as I would love to have an elaborate, finely detailed outline so that I didn’t have to second guess myself while I’m writing, the best way for me to write is to just write.

I’ve also given a great deal of thought to what I want to do with my website/this blog. And how serious I want to get with it. It’s past time I took it more seriously. I’m committed to writing. To journaling and my art. To “branding” myself in a positive way. To bettering the quality of my videos on YT. The only things (social media) I’m not real serious about are Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. Perhaps when I get a better smart phone I’ll do more stuff with Instagram. Or when I figure out some kind of app for my desktop that works well in allowing me to put pictures from my actual camera into IG. I don’t want to spend anymore time than I already do on social media, and in order to do that stuff, or at least seriously, I’d have less time to do all the stuff I already do (and I don’t always have enough time now).

Tomorrow (well today now since it’s after midnight) I’ll be working on my novel and my art journal pages (my omni-journal), as well as my morning pages (first thing), and I’ll be working on some purging of clothes and shoes. Not to mention cleaning and cooking, going to the DMV for my son’s car, and going to look at a truck with Mr. Rockstar. And then I’ll be picking up my grandson from daycare, then my son from work, and then going home to finish putting dinner together….and that’s not including the dishes, spending time with my grandson, giving him a bath…Is there really enough time to be Tweeting, to be posting pics on IG, to be putting stuff on Tumblr? I don’t think so, at least not for me.

 

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My path towards creative freedom

For the past six weeks I’ve been using the Artist’s Way’s 12 week self-guided course to finding my way back towards creativity. As a creative person, I have often found myself in creative slumps–writer’s block, artistic blocks, and/or just feeling blocked creatively in general. Some people call it procrastination, other’s attribute it to self-doubt, fear…Whatever you call it, I believe it all stems from the same place. A rose by any other name is still rose kind of thing.

For the past month I’ve been sick. It started with the whole sinus thing, then it was more like the flu, then full blown flu, then back to the sinus thing, and in between I ended up with a stomach bug. Perhaps it was the flu, but I think part of it was allergies, and I think another part of it was my body’s way of telling me to slow down and take better care of myself. To stop staying up so late and not getting enough sleep. To stop spreading myself so thin. To stop and take a look around me, to take in my surroundings. To stop and appreciate things. To take a look at what I was doing and re-evaluate how I was doing them.

After the period of forced rest because I was sick, which made me slow down and actually evaluate things, I realized I needed to organize the whole of my life. Not just my writing (my novel), or my desk, or my writing room, or my kitchen, or my bullet journal, but what I was doing, how I was doing it, and why. Truth is, I’m a creative clutter kind of person so the only things that are actually organized in my house are the things I don’t use that much: the dining room, for example, only the clutter had quickly spread to the dining room because I was sick and couldn’t clean and straighten up the way I normally do. I looked around my home, especially the places where I tend to linger, and low and behold I saw the wake of clutter I’d left behind.

The discarded coats hung on the backs of chairs, the pile of “art stuff” near where I sit on the couch, the stack of books on the (click)clack couch in my writing room, the mountain of clean laundry in the chair and in the basket in my living room that I haven’t felt like folding but I DID do the laundry…See where I’m going with this?

It was no wonder I felt blocked creatively. No amount of bullet journalling, planning, or even cleaning was going to unblock my creativity if I didn’t 1. Clean up the mess, 2. Work on getting better–getting well, 3. Stop procrastinating, and 4. Be accountable for not only my life, my creativity, but the mess.

One of the tasks during week 4 or week 5 was to let go of things, to purge things from your life that you don’t use, don’t wear, don’t need, are broken or don’t fit or are stained… I have been doing that bit by bit for the past few weeks, yet I was still holding on to some things. Now it stops. Today, as I look around at the wake of having been sick for a month and can honestly evaluate the mess and clutter that have been left lying around because I am the person who does the majority of housework, I am appalled. I am getting rid of SHIT today. Today I am going to hang up every single coat, fold and put the laundry away, clean off my dining room table (so I can actually see it–and it’s a gorgeous antique so what the hell was I thinking?), clean off the (click)clack couch and put away the books…

Don’t get me wrong. I did the dishes (most of the time) when I was sick, even if it was a day later. And I cleaned the bathroom every other day to get rid of the germs (I’m picky about keeping the bathroom clean), and I tried to keep the kitchen clean. But with three people sick in the house, and me being the only one home to clean, my husband and son still went to work (though my son did stay out a few days), it was up to me to do all the cleaning.

This is pretty much today’s morning pages, brought to you by a homemade white chocolate mocha (which is my favorite from Starbucks) and finally getting some energy back after getting some much needed sleep because my body protested and I fell asleep in the recliner around 7:30 PM and didn’t wake up until right at 6 AM.

 

 

 

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January Wrap Up

IF we were having coffee right now I’d tell you…

Picture 14

As of right now, I’m still sick, but I’m trying to keep on keepin’ on, as they say.

The beginning of January was rough. I had a meltdown, realized how bad my anxiety and depression had gotten because of the chaos that comes with the holidays (preparing for the holidays and the holidays themselves, along with creative pursuits, and trying to finish a book, maintaining a household, etc….), and decided to do something about it so I re-started the Artist’s Way 12 week self-guided course on the 22nd of January. I also started art journaling/sketch your life/document your life journaling again the beginning of January. AND, I started reading more–my goal is to read at least one book a week.

And if that wasn’t enough, I made up my mind to organize, clean, and purge (get rid of things that I’m never going to use, things that are broken or stained or don’t fit, etc.). So far I’ve accomplished quite a bit, but there’s still a lot to be done.

I’ve read 12 books so far this year so I’m ahead of schedule since my goal is to read 52 books for the year. Not bad. I’m currently reading the Shannara Chronicles: the Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks, All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris, Nail your Novel by Roz Morris, and The Talisman by Stephen King. (Yes, I am one of THOSE people who reads more than one book at a time.)

I’m on week 2 of the Artist’s Way 12 week guided course.  And I’m doing well with my morning pages and the weekly artist dates.

I’ve been walking every other day or so, at least one mile. This past week I haven’t felt up to walking a mile or more so I’ve just been getting outside to get fresh air and walking around my yard, which helps even if it’s not as far as I would like to go, it’s at least getting some exercise and fresh air. And since I’ve been sick, my appetite has decreased, which means my protion size has decreased a great deal. I’ve actually lost a few pounds since being sick. (Yay me!)

My Writing!–hmmm, some days it goes well, other days not so much, but I’m still working on it. I feel as if I ought to be writing more, but being sick has really taken a toll on me. I feel exhuasted, achy all over, I can’t breathe, I look like Rudolph, and it’s all I can do some days to manage to write a few hundred words, but at least I’m actively working on my writing.

I’m trying to stay positive. Positivity was my word for this year. So I’m working on staying positive even when things aren’t feeling very positive. I am using affirmations to help… I fine an affirmation for each day and write it down in my journal–think about it all day to remind myself to stay positive. It’s easier some days than others.

 

 

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