Social Media Addiction

imageI love social media. For the most part. Yeah, I’m one of those who checks Facebook hourly. Sometimes more often. Okay, I’m an addict. Seriously. My perusing of social media takes so much time it prevents me from doing things I really want to do. Like writing. Like training the dogs. Like weaving chainmaille.

I’m embarrassed to admit it. Really, really embarrassed.

But I need help. I must break the habit. That’s why I’m going public with my addiction. That’s why I’m asking all of you to call me out if you see me trolling Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram too much. What’s too much?

Good question.

So here are my self imposed social media limits for the next two weeks. No more than 30 minutes per day on social media. All social media, not 30 minutes per platform.

During these first two weeks I’m going to see how much more of the things that are important to me I can focus on. I’m already focusing more on writing. I’m formulating plans for my chainmaille. On Monday I begin training the dogs again on a routine and systematic basis.

I am also going to search for apps that will allow me to schedule some social media posts. I do value interacting with friends and staying in touch with family. But what I admit about myself is that I have to limit my time on social media or I lose all focus.

In two weeks I’ll report in and talk about how it’s going.

What about you? Do you think you spend too much time on social media? Or do you have your consumption of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and all the others under control? How do you manage your social media time? What about your kids? Do you monitor their social media time?

2016: The Year of Bright

imageYesterday we spent some time outside walking through the field across the street. The photo is my husband, Daniel, with our German Shepherd mix, Jade. She loves to sniff and hunt in the field.

The temp was crisp, in the thirties, but the sun! Oh, that sunshine made the walk glorious!

I thought, why not use that bright sunshine as a guide for my framework for plans for 2016?

Perfect!

I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on 2015. The month of May was the worst month of my adult life. Not going to share why-it’s still very personal. But the time after May was a time of growth, of learning, of living GRACE-both giving and receiving. And WOW! Daniel and I learned a lot about each other during this time.

So as 2016 dawns new, fresh, and bright, there is work to continue, work to well…rework, new paths to clear.

I’m not talking about resolutions. I’m talking about working through this question: If I could do anything with the guarantee it would not fail, what would I do?

Holy cow! What a question. It’s making me think. It’s guiding my work both personally and creatively.

One of the first things I need to do as I explore what my answers to that question mean is to write and blog intentionally. To do that, I’m setting up an editorial calendar. I think reading is centrally important to writing. So I have also decided to read more this year than in 2015. I pledge to read on fiction and one non-fiction book every month and blog about each one.

There’s so much more in store for me in 2016. I’m excited! This is my year of BRIGHT!

What direction are you going this year? What exciting, new things are you planning?

What to Expect

I have dreams for this blog. I have goals for this blog. Some of the same dreams and goals I have for myself. To explore meaning. To dig deeper. To have fun.

Some posts will be serious. Some, not so much.

At least once a week I’ll focus on marriage, particularly marriages older than 10 years.

At least once a week I’ll focus on dogs.

Sometimes I’ll talk about food.

But it will all be an exploration in one way or another.

More soon…

First Draft in 60 Days

My friend, Kaye, started a series on her blog ten days ago that is just what I need. She challenged herself and her writing friends to complete the rough draft of a novel in 60 days. If you’re interested check out her site here.

The first assignment is to answer six questions. So here I go.

1. Why do you want to write?

I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to write. I’ve tried to give it up many times, but I just can’t. I don’t know why.

2. What will finishing this project in sixty days mean to you? Do you think that completing this challenge will change you? How?

Finishing this project will boost my writing confidence. I think increased confidence in a dream is life changing by definition.

3. If this is your first attempt at completing a manuscript, how do you think finishing it will impact your life? OR, if you’ve completed multiple manuscripts, what will finishing another one mean to you?

I’ve completed one novel rough draft and almost completed another. Again, a matter of writing confidence, of self confidence, of truly giving my dream all I’ve got.

4. What will happen if the people closest to you don’t understand, support, and encourage you during this challenge?

Thankfully my husband supports and encourages my writing.

5. Imagine how you will feel on October 31 knowing that you’ve completed this challenge. How can you use that  to motivate you during the next sixty days?

I long for that feeling of accomplishment. To call myself a writer and have the manuscript to prove it-that’s motivation!

6. What is the ONE thing you think you’re going to need the most to help you accomplish your goal for this challenge?

Honestly? To stay out of my own way.

#FirstDraft60

Where I’m At

Yes, I ended the title of this post with a preposition. With apologies to my Mom, it’s intentional and I’m leaving it that way.

I’ve determined the reason I haven’t blogged consistently in, oh, ever, is because my blog lacks focus. Really. It does. That’s where I’m at–trying to find a focus for this blog that will keep me posting.

In the mean time, I’ve started eating healthy, cutting my caloric intake, exercising, and getting fit. I’ve lost 17 pounds since Christmas! I’ve set a fitness goal for myself that I will run the Country Music Half Marathon in April 2013.

I’ve done it before–in 2002. Anyone want to join me for 2013?

Crossing the Finish Line in 2002

One Third Down, Two Thirds To Go

Wow-hard to wrap my head around how fast the first one third of 2012 flew past me. The year left my goals and me in the dust back, oh, around February 1.

But, the good news? Two thirds of 2012 remains, holding my hand, patting my back, saying “There, there, dear. It’ll be okay.”

Time to revamp.

Again.

I’ve reassessed where I’m at with my writing. (I hear my mother’s voice saying “Behind the at!”) And I’ve adjusted my 2012 goals.

Here they are:
    Blog three times a week.
    Complete one more novel length draft.
    Complete six short stories.
    Submit at least two short stories for publication.
    Attend an average of one MTCW meeting per month.
    Attend Killer Nashville conference this fall.

Adjusting Goals

So far this year I’ve done pretty well with my goals. But I think it’s time for a reality check and an adjustment. I’m not going to enter the Genesis contest. Not because I’m afraid or nervous, but because I just don’t care about it right now. Which is odd to me. But I think it’s because I know I’m not ready.

I can’t even bear the thought of looking at the story I finished in January. I’ve tried to start something new, but can’t get interested yet, the characters and their world are still forming in my mind.

Which brings me to the next adjustment. I am not going to push myself to finish two more novel length stories this year. I’d like to finish one.

Now I’m going to add a goal to the mix. I plan to write every day. Even if it’s just a sentence in my journal. I need to write something every single day. Well, something other than a tweet or a Facebook post.

Are you still on track with the goals you set for yourself for 2012?

Post Rough Draft Completion Blues

Saturday when I finished the rough draft of my first novel I was Snoopy dancing. Lame, I know, but that event placed a large check mark beside one of the major milestones for a writing career. So I was happy. Still am.

So why do I feel a kind of bluesy funk creepy over me? No, I don’t need medication. But it’s kind of like “Now what?” Wonder if that’s normal?

Normal or not, tonight’s the night I get over it. I gave myself a few days to not write, to relax and enjoy the accomplishment. But tonight, it’s back to the keyboard.

Goals Update

With only one day left in January I’m happy to report I’ve completed two goals and am still on track for my others.
As of Saturday evening I completed the rough draft of my first novel. I also met my January word count goal.
I’m still blogging three times a week.
So far 2012 is off to a great start.

Mid-Month Goal Check-In

Accountability time. So far I’m doing well working toward my goals for this year. No cause for too much excitement since 2012 is only two and a half weeks old. But still, I’m happy.

Blog three times a week? Check

Finish rough draft of current story by 1/31/12? On target, well, maybe a little ahead of target. 🙂

Next up? Work on Genesis Contest entry the minute I finish the rough draft of the current story.