Jan 30, 2011

Mama needs a new pair of shoes

When I started Weight Watchers a few months ago, I promised that when I lost 10 pounds I would treat myself to a new pair of walking/running/cross training shoes (apparently the term "gym shoes" is outdated and reveals how old I really am). I can't even tell you how old my other shoes are, but they're pretty old. And ugly. I've wanted a new pair for a while, but with Patrick unemployed for such a long time, I wouldn't even dare think about buying anything that we didn't really need.

Fast forward a few months - Patrick has a new job and I've lost 12 pounds! So last night after our belated birthday dinner, we went to the store and I get these:

I wanted to wear them home. I didn't, but I really wanted to...

I had no idea that a new pair of shoes would motivate me to get moving. I sure hope these shoes help me lose a few more pounds.

Jan 26, 2011

Baby steps


You know that saying "Go big or go home"? It annoys me. I understand why people say it, and sure, it has its moments when it probably motivates people - most likely athletes - but it's not always the right outlook. In my last post I listed my writing goals for 2011. When I came up with that list, I did a lot of soul searching: What do I want to accomplish this year with regard to writing? What is feasible for me to accomplish based on full-time work and family obligations (and not just obligations, but things I really enjoy and want to do with my family)? What are some things I can do to get outside my comfort zone?

Here's the thing - I didn't want to write these outrageous goals only to set myself up for failure. I needed to choose things that I thought I could accomplish, yet things that will help me stretch as a writer. For me, "going big" isn't really an option at this point in my life. That's not to say I'm not going to give 100 percent when I do write, just that I need to get some success under my belt. I need to start small and plug away.

My biggest struggle right now is finding time to write. The issue is that I need to MAKE time to write. But when? As much as I'm a morning person, writing first thing in the morning doesn't work for me. I'm constantly checking the clock to see when I need to hop in the shower, or seeing what time I need to wake Griffin up and prepare myself for our morning battle (he's a late sleeper). During NaNo I wrote everyday during my lunch break. The only problem is that I do enjoy having some social time with my coworkers. I already sit in my own office, isolated from everyone, so having lunch with friends is a nice treat for me. I do my best not to write when I'm with Griffin because he deserves my attention, which makes after work a bad time to write. You get the picture. I ended up writing during my "leftover" time. Not productive. I started thinking why I was able to win NaNo two years in a row. I cranked out almost 1700 words everyday for 30 days. That's when I realized that it wasn't about the amount of time I spent writing. I was focused on word count. So I've decided that if word count worked in November, it can work now. I've been toying with some word count goals, and I think trying to write 800 words per day Monday through Friday is very doable, and then writing 1000 words either Saturday or Sunday (or a combination of the two). That would be 5000 words per week. There's always room for flexibility, but I'm going to try this for a couple of weeks and see how it works.

Going big isn't the only way to win. Some people, like me, need to set smaller goals and chip away at them. Success feeds on itself and I'm much more likely to forge ahead. And let's not forget that other saying: "Slow and steady wins the race."

Jan 9, 2011

2011 Goals

Well, we're over one week into the new year, which makes this post kinda' late. Eh. We had lots going on around here. Holiday traveling, head colds, the stress of returning to work, and prepping for a job interview (which I did not get, but I'm okay).

Just before the holidays I found another writing blog that challenged writers to adopt some goals for the new year. I've had some of these goals in my head for the past few months, but this is the first time I'm putting them into writing. That makes them more real, creating a pounding in my chest I haven't felt since I went into labor and knew that at some point I was going to have to push a human being out of my body. Let's just say I was a little bit panicky.

I've tweaked a couple of the goals, namely having an agent by the end of the year, because I know my writing isn't ready. Here are my goals for 2011:

  1. Commit to finishing one book by the end of 2011 - my goal is to finish my current WIP (The Weight of My World) and write one more novel by December 31, 2011.
  2. Start a fresh writer's notebook on January 1, 2011 - I've got my new notebook and already started using it!
  3. By January 31, 2011, prepare three one-sheets for other possible books you want to write - I'm pushing this back to February 28, 2011 seeing that it's a crazy month for me at work (but I do have a number of decent ideas I brainstormed and added to my writer's notebook).
  4. Identify and read at least three books on writing by December 31, 2011 - I don't have to look very far, as my bookshelf is filled with writing books and I've already started one that I got for Christmas.
  5. Identify at least one writer's conference you will attend in 2011 - need to do some serious looking into this.
  6. Secure an agent by January 19, 2013. Why this date? That's the day I turn 40 years old (gulp). It seemed like a good goal that gave me enough time to get another couple of novels under my belt. I know I have a lot to learn and I don't want to rush the process too much. I know that rejection is a major part of writing, but there's no need to send out my work until I think it's ready. Right now, it's definitely not.
Over the past year, I've made some writing friends and have some potential critique partners (another reason not to submit to an agent anytime soon - need to get constructive criticism back from others). I'm looking to develop these relationships over the year.

So there you have it, my writing goals for the next year. It will be interesting to see how things pan out and what I can report back this time next year.

Happy Writing!

Jan 3, 2011

So here's the deal...

I have a job interview tomorrow morning. Not a big deal, right? Wrong. I haven't had a job interview in almost eight years. In fact, this is only the second job I've applied for in the past eight years. Here's the really sad and pathetic part: As soon as I got a call that they wanted me to come in for an interview, I panicked. Not just panicked, but got a horrible, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I had over one week to think about it and prepare, but even now, less than 24 hours from the interview, I still get that sinking feeling.

Why? Because I don't feel prepared. Because it has been so long since I've interviewed. Because I'm rusty. And because I'm so afraid of making a fool of myself. Maybe I'll stammer or trail off in mid-thought. Or worse, maybe I won't even know how to answer a question. I've tried everything to calm myself down. I've told myself that I'm not desperate for this job because I already have one. I've tried telling myself that as much as they're interviewing me, this is a two-way street and I have questions for them. I've even gone so far as to think If I make a total fool of myself, I'll never have to see these people again. Trust me, it's not working. The only good thing is that I caught a nasty head cold - stuffy nose, sniffles, headache, cough, and an ear ache. Why is this such good news, you ask. Because it just might be what I need to get through the interview. Maybe my red nose, lack of sleep and energy, and my throbbing ear will give me just a hint of an I-don't-care attitude. It's almost like something to fall back on if I really do screw up. Blame it on the head cold. It's a cop out, I know, but seriously, I just want to be able to go in there and sound intelligent enough that they don't cut the interview short and tell me to leave.

I pray that the interview leans more toward the conversational side than me sitting on the opposite side of the table being grilled by all of these people (another reason to panic - a group interview). Ugh. I'm sick just thinking about it. All I can do is prepare and hope for the best. Oh...and do my best not to sneeze or cough.