Well, this was unexpected.

So much for my weekly updates, but I promise I have a good excuse. Here’s a little update for those who don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

I managed to finish the novel I had been working on during NaNo. This is huge for me! I had never finished a novel-length manuscript before, so I’m a little overwhelmed with all the editing that needs to be done. (Really, it should just be recycled, but I’m determined to see it through.) I finished it on January 3, just after midnight.

On January 3 in the evening, I went into labor. I had barely enough time to get to the hospital before my little guy was born just after midnight on the fourth. He was nineteen days early! I vowed to finish the novel before giving birth, knowing I would have significantly less time to devote to writing afterwards, and he didn’t wait much longer after I finished.

For the past week, I barely read and didn’t write anything. It was starting to really get to me, but I loved all those baby snuggles. My Muse was still on overdrive, so while I had constant ideas there was little I could do in the way of creation. Last night, though, I sacrificed precious sleep time so I could indulge my storytelling urges. I wrote a short story, and the best part? It doesn’t suck! I’m considering submitting it to a writing contest or online magazine after I edit it. After all, I wrote it at 3am on two days of no sleep. I’m sure even the best of them would need to edit.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing since the first. It’s a far cry from what I wanted to have accomplished – my January goal was to write 30k words – but I’m investing in some other areas of my life right now. I’m finally okay with going off-course and seeing what adventures I can find myself.

Since I’m posting this from my phone and I don’t have all the numbers (not to mention adding pictures), I’ll do a proper update when I can find time to get on the laptop. Until then, happy writing and reading!

 

 

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The beginning of a great year.

Today is January 1st, toward the tail end of it, and I’m feeling reflective already. December held so much potential, and by time the 31st rolled around, I was vibrating with excitement for the first day of the new year. When I woke up, I could feel the potential in every breath. I was determined that today, this day, would be the start to so many changes.

At 7pm, I’ve realized something: nothing really changed. Sure, I’ll need to write 2016 on checks and papers and whatnot, but, really, what else changed in the course of a day? Not much at all.

I still feel a glimmer of that potential I felt in December. In some ways, this year is by far the scariest and most exciting year yet. I went on maternity leave, and yesterday was my last day at work. I have the option to go back in June, but I’m working to ensure that I can stay at home with my kids. (One reason is that it’s not financially wise to put two kids in daycare, one of which being an infant. The other is far simpler – office admin work isn’t my passion. Writing is.) So a lot of that great potential I felt in December was paving the way for me to make some career decisions in the new year, but going through another day that felt so like all the other days before it made me see that this career path won’t come automatically just because it’s a new year. Writing empires take more than a day to develop. More than a week or a month, even!

So while I still have my goals written down to where I can remind myself of them, I’m much more realistic in what baby steps are.

I was talking with another writer friend of mine earlier today, and we were talking about big changes versus small changes. What I had in mind in December were those big changes, and it reminds me of people who go on fad diets. We all know they only work in the short-term, if at all, but we’re so intrigued by them because we see “results” immediately. What really helps someone get fit and stay fit is living a healthy lifestyle – right eating versus starvation, small increments of exercise versus living at the gym for 10 hours a day.

Small changes add up to big results, and after doing some reflection on the sameness of today, I’m ultimately working toward making long-term changes instead of short-term fixes.

That being said, it’s 7pm and I’ve only just now opened my laptop to finish this NaNovel 2015 – something I should have finished last night but chose to finish reading a book instead. (The book was fantastic, by the way.)

Like I said earlier, though: baby steps.