It has been a pretty busy week leading up to Christmas and the New Year, one that has been awash with new possibilities. It has also been a week where I made some big changes to my overall direction. I set some goals, I made some decisions and I had to problem-solve. It was certainly a big week for me, but it was one that needed to happen.
I scheduled and reorganized my Mozilla Sunbird calendar on Tuesday, making an effort to create a serious of blogging and writing activities that were sustainable. In the past, I’d burned myself out by adding way too many tasks without testing the water first. However, now I feel comfortable making a few decisions about who I am and where I want to be come July of 2011. This is one filled with regular blog maintenance and posts to reestablish my presence online, to continuous ly network with other writers and to start learning audacity again come mid-January. It is sustainable and is sure to get me into good habits. I won’t say “again”, because I made some pretty poor decisions about my schedule last year. I am not so foolish as to say that the plan is foolproof, but it is headed in the right direction.
Writing has been a blur of drafting, world-building, plotting and direction changes this past week. For those that read my earlier post on Elven Gunslinger, you’ll no doubt be aware that I’ve decided to write some short stories that lead up to the series of planned novels. The planning process of these short stories has already allowed me to expand on my world, the characters therein and the way that I plot my work in general. There is now a host of new communities, characters and the beginnings of a solid timeline for the world of Lio.
As far as plotting is concerned, I’ve started organizing my plot outlines into scenes. I know that a lot of writers do this already, but I have to admit that I am often a little slow to change habits. I think this is a serious step in the right direction, one that I will credit my network of writing buddies for. Without you guys around, I’d be stumbling around in the dark bumping into sharp implements.
It has been a productive week for my reading, with the decision to create a priority list for fiction and non-fiction titles. The books I am currently reading are Fool’s Paradise by Jennifer Stevenson and Teach Yourself Speed Reading by Tina Konstant. I should finish them both in the next day or so, at which point I will start King of Hearts by Jennifer Stevenson and How A Man Thinketh by James Allen. For a full list of the schedule, visit here.
In other news, I installed a few new programs this week. The first is Speaking Alarm Clock Deluxe, a commercial program that offers a calculator, alarm clock, stop watch and a means to schedule when the programs vocalizes the time. The second is RSSOwl, an open source standalone program for managing your blog and news feeds. The third is Flashnote, a simple free program that allows you to post categorized notes and reminders in an aesthetically pleasing manner. The fourth is Nitro PDF Reader [Lite], a neat PDF reader and creation program with plenty of features. I also got rid of a few programs as well, which has made my computer much faster and less buggy.
On Monday, I took it upon myself to clean up my desk. Using one of the plastic desk drawers my husband purchased before October but never used, I made short work of the mess and now feel much better about my workspace. This makes me feel a heck of a lot more comfortable in my environment, which has lead to most of the changes mentioned above. Sometimes we have to change our physical environment to create change in our mental playground, and vice versa.
I have heard it suggested that when a person decides to lose weight, it often has to be a 3-prong attack. However, I think that one change can have a domino effect on the rest of our lives. Without that first step, we can never have an inkling of our potential or prepare our minds for the long road ahead. However, we need to be open to change in the first place otherwise we will likely fall back into bad habits again. If our heart isn’t in it, then we will be fighting an uphill battle. Change is good, but one backed up with enthusiasm and a willingness to adapt is even better.
Before I sign off, I’d like to encourage each of you to make a real decision to ignore notions of a New Year’s Resolution. Instead, make a life-long decision to build on your strengths and shore up your weaknesses. Learn a new skill, make new friends and dare to try something new. And lastly, remember that you have the power to decide whether you stagnate or grow – don’t let life pass you by!