Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Scene 22: Real Life...

It has a nasty habit of getting in the way.

I've decided I'm not very good at being present in my real life and being present in my "author" life. Yes, you could say they are both my real life, and you'd be right. They are. I just can't seem to do both at the same time.

Balance, my friends, is difficult to achieve.

I often look back, when I realize I'm behind on the things I want to be on top of, and ponder what it is that I've been doing that's kept me away from what I really wanted to be doing. This seems to be a process I visit often as I am usually behind on what I'd like to be accomplishing with my writing. Goals, I think, most people would call them. I like to call them future accomplishments. It seems, however, when I am trying to remember what's keeping me from making them actual accomplishments, mostly, I come up with nothing. At least, at first.

Such was the case a few years ago when a friend and I made goal/future accomplishment plan to finish our first novels by a certain date. It is always more fun to engage in accomplishment-making with a partner in crime :) My partner met her goal... I did not. I was super depressed and very down on myself having not accomplished anything. Then I said to myself, "Self, take heart. No one accomplishes nothing. You've had to have accomplished something in the last month." Thus, the Non-Accomplishment List was born. Click here to read it.

Today, as I contemplate this last year and realize I haven't accomplished all in my "author" life that I've set out to do (especially after meeting Jordan Sonnenblick today and hearing him speak about being inspired and keeping your dreams moving forward), I feel perhaps it's time to write another list and remember all that I have accomplished.

My 2014 Non-Accomplishment List

1. Made roughly 550 meals.

3. Washed, dried and folded at least 365 loads of laundry, probably closer to the number of meals I cooked last year.

4. Helped four children prepare for state exams, do homework daily and let's not forget the extra projects. I calculate at least 6.

5. Attended weekly family therapy sessions for 6 months.

6. Had weekly individual therapy sessions for 9 months.

*These last two really deserve an award all of their own.

7. Got a new job. My first full-time job in 13+ years.

8. Wrote (at the very least, a list) six days a week.

9. Read 22 books.

10. Attended a three-hour block of church every Sunday :)

11. Made monthly trips to visit my brother.

12. Created a castle wall. For real! For Cub Scout Camp. It was awesome. See?

13. Pulled off a Pinewood Derby.

14. And the most epic Blue and Gold Banquet. We had knights, jousting, bows and arrows, face painting, fanfare music, a king, a cake contest and a chili cook-off, and each of our cub scouts got knighted. When I say it was epic, that's not hyperbole.

15. Got not one, but two speeding tickets. What can I say, I'm an over-achiever.

16. Registered four children for school. That's like a bajillion papers, people!

17. Threw three birthday parties and one amazing Gingerbread House Party.

And the list goes on and on. You get the picture. I may not have accomplished everything in the timely manner that I wanted to (yet), but I am accomplishing great things (okay, admittedly, the speeding tickets aren't great) each and every day. No work is too small.

I have to admit though, and proudly declare, that I did publish a story in an awesome YA anthology alongside 9 other talented authors. Check it out here. And purchase it here. (Incidentally, there is a blog book tour happening right now for Strange and Lovely. Check it out.) 

And, I can't forget to remind myself that I also had various essays and another short short story published online last year. I am getting somewhere, even if it's not on the time-table I previously planned.

What's on your real-life future-accomplishments list? What about your non-accomplishments list?

*replace 'writer' with whatever it is that you already are :)