Tying Loose Ends

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It’s December 5. We are almost at the finish line of 2016 and I have some loose ends to tie: complete my children’s book and edit my novella (Nanowrimo). These are my writing goals for this month.

Jillian Michaels says, “It’s when you’re uncomfortable that change happens.”

When it comes to writing, I enjoy the research phase. I also love the writing phase where I just throw it onto paper. But when it comes to editing, I get…uncomfortable. All those monkey mind thoughts I fought while writing come back and it prevents me from finishing.

Working out and changing your diet is uncomfortable.

Interviewing for your dream job is uncomfortable.

Making new friends is uncomfortable.

Disconnecting from friends who don’t act like your friends is uncomfortable.

Discomfort leads to change and growth! Who cares about perfection? It’s not important. In fact, it can be your enemy. Finishing is the most important thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Update

I’m going to share my update with you in the hopes that you feel camaraderie. Writing can be a lonely experience (albeit a very rewarding one!). I like the solitude and the quiet. It’s actually what I crave right now, after the tornado of politics, media and my husband’s 50th birthday celebrations.

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Word Count on my novella:14,176

Goal (approximate): 25,020

Children’s Book: Esther, Mia and the Stars – Spanish translation is done! Scanning of images –   80% complete!

I am strongly considering using Fiverr.com for the Mandarin, Cantonese and French translations.

My mother (I believe) will be very happy to do the Korean translation.

 

 

 

Nanowrimo

 

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Green Chameleon

Whose idea was it to have Nanowrimo in November?

My husband’s birthday is in November – his 50th birthday, so we partied for TWO weekends. And then there’s Thanksgiving. To say it’s been challenging to write is an understatement, what with work, family, and parties…but it’s SUPER FUN!

I’ve set a goal for myself to write a “novella,” (7,500 to 40,000 words)  instead of a novel (60,000 to 100,000 words). I wanted to set myself up for success, afterall!  So I targeted 25,000 words and averaged it the number of days in November. Here is my excel sheet to monitor daily progress:

Nov goal actual  balance
1 834 300 534
2 1668 368 1300
3 2502 2218 284
4 3336 3327 9
5 4170 3870 300
6 5004 3870 1134
7 5838 4401 1437
8 6672 6014 658
9 7506 6440 1066
10 8340 7603 737
11 9174 on the road, wrote in word
12 10008 9122 886
13 10842 10682 160
14 11676 11201 475
15 12510
16 13344

As you can see, I have to write at least 475  more words tonight. So here I go! I hope you are enjoying the process and making progress. Once in awhile, I have to remind myself to HAVE FUN and not stress about the word count or listen to Monkey Mind! 

 

Just keep writing!

Mute It, Monkey!

Monkey Mind. It’s what Buddhists call the mind that jumps from one worrying thought to another worrying thought, like monkeys swinging from tree to tree.

I am well acquainted with my Monkey Mind  – especially since I’ve been working on my novella for Nanowrimo this month. I’m chugging along and it keeps saying, “This is terrible. Seriously. Why do you continue? You should scrap this.”

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Sorry, it’s really awful. I’m just trying to help you.

But I do my best to ignore it and I continue to write because if I listen to it, I’ll stop writing. I’ll be a quitter and the only thing worse than being a bad writer is being a quitter.

I know you’re familiar with Monkey Mind, because you’re listening to it all the time.

What if I miss my plane?

What if I don’t lose the weight before the reunion?

What if I fail as a parent?  

Donald Trump is our President! He has no experience! I’m worried that he’ll get us into a war because some other world leader makes fun of his hair!

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They actually voted for him? Oh dear, they’re in trouble now!

How do we handle Monkey Mind?

Focus on your breath. Focus on the present moment. Notice it and say, “Oh hello, Monkey Mind. You don’t bother me,” and continue on your way.

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No, seriously, your novella sucks.

The 1,400 Mile Journey

 

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“Most sea turtles undergo long migrations, some as far as 1400 miles, between their feeding grounds and the beaches where they nest.”*

 

I thought of animals like the sea turtle who complete Herculean tasks as a part of just living. Since I started Nanowrimo and set a daily word count goal for myself, I’ve realized how it’s so important to stick to your daily goals in order to reach your End Goal. If I skip one day, not too big a deal, but if I fail to meet my goals two, three or more days, I’ve now got quite the task in front of me and it only adds to my anxiety.

Your good great health is built on a long string of days doing the right thing: eating well and exercising. If you skip too many days, you’re no longer healthy or fit and it’s just that much more difficult to reach your goal.

If you give 50% effort during several days of work per week (or month), the quality of your work (in general) suffers. You no longer have the respect of your peers, your boss(es) or your clients. Most importantly, you no longer have self-respect.

An off day is OK. But be sure to jump up and start your long journey right again the next day and catch up!

Each day is precious.

 

 

 

*http://www.defenders.org/sea-turtles/basic-facts