Getting Back Into It

Boo has learnt to climb up onto the sofa. She fell off head first the other day and has a nice bruise to show for it.

It’s funny, but when I’m happy and content, I find that my blogging inspiration dries up. When things are hard, or I’m suffering with self-doubt, I can write thousands of words – they just pour out of me and onto the screen.

I blame obsessive diary-writing for this as a teenager. All my teenage angst gave me so much practice in writing about emotions like frustration, anger and sadness, that it set me up to be a maudlin blogger for life. Writing about secondary infertility kept me going for three long years – there was so much emotion there I practically burned through my keyboard.

These days however, life is good. And my god I am grateful for it. I think partly I worry about somehow tempting fate to take all the good things away from me if I publicly talk about good things happening in my life. But partly it’s just that I’m happy. And my brain is less busy when I’m happy, which means the need to write (which is very cathartic for me) decreases.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t make for a) decent blogging and b) ever finishing any of the books I have started to write and not finished (because my mood affects my desire to write also, and writing is one of my big loves).

So.

I’m going to try something new.

Firstly, I’m going to write a “On The List This Week” post at the start of each week. I love my lists, and this is a great way for me to be even more accountable to the massive list of things I want to get done. It also means I share what I’m up to and hopefully find other people doing similar things.

Secondly, I’m going to try posting more often, even if it seems like I have nothing to say (omg, I can hear you all clicking ‘unfollow’ now).

Thirdly, I’m going to try to find more bloggers out there like me. I really want to read and share and see what other people are up to. It’s really the most fun part about it. I struggle a bit with the WordPress reader, but I’ve been clicking around trying to find new blogs to follow and have a few new ones on my list now (yes, that’s you I’m stalking, mwah ha ha!).

So, without further ado, this weeks “On The List This Week” is late as it’s Wednesday, but here it is anyway:

  1. Start my tax return (yawn!)
  2. Do not buy any food except bare essentials like milk and bread (I am trying to use up everything in the cupboards/freezer/fridge as part of a money saving drive)
  3. Do two more runs
  4. Ring up and check what happened to my pension (I got a statement and its value had gone down by 20%)
  5. Start sorting out my photos (oh lordy – I am in a mess with these. My phone isn’t syncing with my desktop and everything is all over the place)
  6. List baby carrier and pro microphone on eBay
  7. Think about adding household accounts to YNAB (I am a total YNAB convert – it is the best personal budgeting tool I have ever used!)

That’s it for today!

2016 in Review and 2017 Plans

2016

Right from when I first found out I was pregnant I knew that the first year after the baby was born would essentially be a year of tending to the basics of survival and not much else.  A newborn has a way of consuming the hours in the day without you ever really knowing where they go. However, despite that, and despite Baby F barely leaving my arms for the first four months, I still managed to achieve a handful of things:

A New Book

I’m working on a new book and have written 47,000 words so far. I’m about halfway through and I’ve had a complete break over Christmas, ready to pick up again in the New Year.

A New Business

I launched my new digital media company, Five Pixels, at the end of October. That sounds far grander than it is – it was a very low key affair! I booked a series of clients and I have a lot of work on for the first quarter of 2017. All very exciting.

A Growing Baby

Baby F is saying Mama and Dada, and babbling lots of other sounds. She is knee-walking and cruising, but yet to take her first steps. She is a climber and an explorer, but she’s still very much a Mummy’s girl. I reached one year of breastfeeding with flying colours and I was so, so pleased that we had made it that far. After Christmas I swiftly weaned her off of the night feeds as she was still feeding up to four times a night and one year on I was literally a broken mess from the lack of sleep. It was affecting my mood and my health and I knew it was time for me to stop. We did a complete cold turkey between the hours of ~10/11pm and 7am and she did brilliantly. Honestly – I was so worried it would be nights of screaming, but aside from a few minutes of wailing, she settled back to sleep and last night, our seventh night, she slept from 10:30pm (her last feed), to 7am without a peep. She was obviously just as ready as I was 🙂

Osteoarthritis

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the second half of the year. After doing some running over the summer I had to stop completely due to the increasing pain in my toes. I have something called hallux rigidus and I can no longer bend my right big toe upwards properly. I can’t stand on tiptoes and I can’t do yoga or lunges or any other exercises that requires toe-flexibility. I have really struggled with accepting this and have had a few evenings where I have felt really sorry for myself. Running is one of my ‘things’ and to not be able to do it, when I have waited so long to get back into it, is quite a blow. Worse, is the fact that I am now getting pain in my knees, hips, elbows, wrists and thumbs too. My GP said that the chronic lack of sleep I’ve suffered will probably be contributing to my joint pain, so weaning baby F off the night feeds will hopefully help provide some much needed time for my joints to rest and repair.

2017

Health

I have one overriding, overarching goal for 2017 that takes priority over everything else, and that is my health and fitness. I have a little bit of post-baby weight to lose (maybe 4kg), but mostly I want my energy back, my fitness back and my strength back. This is my BIG theme for the year.

OmniFocus

I am currently working through a training video on using omnifocus so that I can get everything from work and personal projects into a decent digital task/project manager. I really want to find a system that works for me this year.

Work

I want to streamline my business processes and get a decent portfolio up on my website. I am totally open to how business pans out – I am enjoying all of it at the moment, so I’m just going with the flow.

The Book

My goal is to finish first draft, revise, and then send out to an agent.

Photography

As much as possible I want to work on my photography skills. It’s just something I love to do.

I’m looking forward to a healthy and productive 2017 🙂

A Writing Break

I’m taking a break from my daily writing until the New Year. The school holidays are coming and Steve has two weeks off work also, so there will be less time for me to sit and write in the day. Sometimes I write when the children are all in bed, but I don’t do my best work at the end of the day, and I don’t like to constantly have the commitment of having to write at the end of the day hanging over my head. Also, I am lucky enough to have a huge amount of work on at Five Pixels, so any spare time I do get will likely be filled with trying to get ahead on the projects I have running.

I’m at about 47,000 words and I am a bit nervous about stopping as I’m worried I’ll lose momentum. I’ve paused my coaching with Jen and we’re picking up again in January, so at least I have someone I’m accountable to to make sure I get back to it. I still have so much to write – I’m probably around halfway through, if that, so this is looking to be my biggest work yet. Completing it and doing the second draft will definitely be on my goal list this year!

Book update – 40,000 words

write 15 minutes a day

I’ve just completed my 60th check-in on coach.me and I have reached 40,000 words. Woo! The last two weeks have been much harder going, but I think I’m out of the “giving up” woods now. There’s something about being around the 30-40k mark that is quite demoralising – you’ve written so much, but there is still so much to go.

I’m quite surprised that I hit 40k on exactly my 60th check in, which gives me a running daily average of 666 words a day (interesting number!). My coach Jen has suggested I schedule a day off every two weeks to avoid burnout. This came after I had a particularly long and busy day and decided at the end of it that I just couldn’t face writing for even 15 minutes.

I’m getting new ideas for the structure and chapterisation (is that even a word?) of the book now. I have pretty much written non-stop, adding the odd <x> to donate natural breaks, but not really paying attention to them. Some sections are a couple of pages and some are very long indeed and need breaking up. The editing process is going to be a big job, but I quite enjoy refining what I’ve already got, so I’m looking forward to that part.

It seems like I am still on target for finishing at the end of January, but we’ll see how much disruption the festive period causes. Overall, I’m chuffed to be at this point bearing in mind all the other stuff that’s going on and the launch of my new mini business Five Pixels last month. The power of 15 minutes a day is not to be underestimated!

Quick Book Update – 30,000 Words

I’ve checked in on coach.me 45 times and I’ve reached 30,000 words. That’s 45 days of stealing 15 minutes from somewhere to write. It’s going well, and my end goals have become clearer over the last week or so.

At the rate I am writing, I am aiming to have a completed first draft by my 120th check in. That means I’m about a third of the way through, and that pretty much ties in with where I feel I am in the story.

Given the odd day where I might not write (I’ve had a few ill days and one where I just didn’t manage it), that takes me to about the end of January.

At that point, I’ll shelve it for 4-6 weeks before I start the editing process. That will be some time in March I guess. I have no idea how long the first revision will take. I do have a lot of ‘TODOs’ in the text where I need to confirm things or look things up so I need to deal with those first and then revise. Next update at check-in 60.