Prioritizing Priorities

Priorities

I’ve come to realize–again–that I’m not super-human and have conceded to the fact that I need to prioritize my life a bit. I’m confidant I’m not alone in that I tend to keep taking on more and more, often without realizing it, until life becomes a little bit of everything done somewhat well and nothing done well. There’s something to be said for striving to be a human-being rather than a human-doing.

When life becomes so busy with everything, it’s hard to fully enjoy anything. 

I began this blog because I was told it’s wise to do prior to publishing in order to build an audience. I quickly discovered, however, how much I enjoy writing these blog posts, saying what I feel called to say, and communicating with other like minded people who love to read and write. The number of people who follow my blog is not nearly as important any more as appreciating and communicating with those who do.

That being said, my life has been feeling out of balance and off-kilter, and I needed to sit back and take stock of where I spend too much of my time and energy, where I’m overextending, and where I need to invest more time and energy.

Electronics without question take up too much of my time and energy. My cell phone and computer can too quickly and easily become an extension of my fingers while I surf the Internet or check emails numerous times a day, play mind-numbing, time sucking games, when I could be spending that time on what is most important to me.

Other than my day job, which is necessary (though not necessarily that particular job, I’ve come to realize), which takes up 40+ hours of my week, my priorities for time spent are as follows:

1.) Time spent with God in prayer and meditation, aligning my thoughts with His will, allowing His love to penetrate my heart that I may love as He loves, and my family – my husband, children, grandchildren, and sponsor children. Being wife, mom, grandma and sponsor is a calling I’m honored to fulfill to the greatest of my ability.

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2.) Working out. Without this piece, the rest of my life – mind and body – fall apart and I can’t be healthy for any of the things that matter.

2.) Writing – first and foremost working on my novels, getting back into poetry, etc. This piece of writing brings me joy and fulfillment like nothing else. Not to mention sanity – and my family appreciates that. 🙂

3.) My blog

  • Writing posts
  • Responding to comments. I’ve made amazing cyber-friends through comments on my blog, and I am so grateful for them.
  • Reading posts – my goals is still to read, but I won’t be able to get to the same blogs every day like I’ve been striving so hard to do. If I want to explore and support other blogs, those who support mine and those amazing, yet undiscovered-by-me blogs out in the blog-o-verse, I’ve realized I need to spread my time out a bit.

4.) Giving some time back to the writing group I belong to, NCW, which has helped my writing see daylight after hibernation.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. “ -Stephen Covey

Here’s to prioritizing and finding balance, a moment, a day, at a time. And discovering peace through living your life by giving the most time to what matters the most.

What are your priorities? Do you often have to reassess? Do you find yourself spending too much time on what doesn’t matter in the scheme of things? Do electronics suck up too much of your time without even realizing it?

(6 more days until Camp! Camp NaNoWriMo. 🙂 )

 

Why Do You Write?

Sandi Ault, author of the bestselling, award-winning WILD Mystery Series, was one of the presenters at the Northern Colorado Writer’s Conference I attended this past March, and one of her sessions was called Writing for Love, Prestige, or Profit.

To say the class was filled beyond capacity is an understatement. We were very cozy with those sitting around us!

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Her class was as packed with useful information as it was with participants. The first thing she had us do is take a few moments to think about WHY we write.  I can’t say that I’ve ever thought about it before, so it was an eye opener.

As the session title basically asks, is our goal to make money, become famous, or simply because we love to write and can’t imagine not writing?

She stated, “If you feel called to do this (writing), its a memo from heaven. Put on your boots and big girl pants and do it.”

She named some of the successful authors and the “why” that drives their writing, among them:

James Patterson – Money

Tom Clancy – Wanted to write about co op missions. (Such a huge loss to the literary world when he died.)

JK Rowling – To bring magic into her life.

As I vigorously scribbled  copious notes, absorbing every word I possibly could, I discovered my “why” is simply because I love to write. While making money at it would be super, and fame could be fun and perhaps validate my efforts, the bottom line is I cannot imagine not writing. And that is what motivates me to keep writing.

Writing makes me happy, it brings me peace, it’s a God-given gift that would be wasted if I didn’t use it.

And in the words of Sandi, once you realize why you write, “honor the why.”

How about you? What is the real honest-to-goodness reason why you write? What is the one thing that gets you to your computer every day?

Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Because the dream is within you, no one can take it away.”
Tom Clancy

“J” is for…

The Journey

Journey

Remember when you were a kid and road trips seemed to last forever?  I used to sound like a broken record as I asked my parents “How much longer ’till we’re therrrre?” Complete with all the drama I could muster.

And as the years passed, I eagerly awaited each milestone.

“I can’t wait ’till I’m in 6th grade so I can get my ears pierced.”

“I can’t wait until I’m 18 and finally an adult. Then no one will tell me what to do.”

“I can’t wait until I’m 21 and can legally drink. I’ll never have to worry again about being busted!”

“I can’t wait to meet Mr. Right.  Life will be so good when I’m in love/when someone loves me.”

“I can’t wait to have a baby and be a mother…until my baby says his first words…takes his first steps…”

My focus on the destination obscured my view of the journey.  It robbed me of the potential delight in each step of each day as I hurried through to more quickly reach my destination.

While I’m a firm believer in goals, I’ve also come to appreciate the steps that get me there.

In a class I took at the Northern Colorado Writers Conference, presenter Sandi Ault had us figure out why we write and to truly honor that why. We were to write down our top goal and work backwards to identify each step that leads up to the one following, leading to the beginning point of where we were at that moment. Missing just one of those steps would alter the path and, ultimately, the outcome, of my goal.

As I’m traveling to a destination, whatever form that travel takes or looks like, I want to enjoy each step of the journey, recognizing the importance that each holds.  It’s the journey that holds the beauty, the opportunities at growth and learning.  And it’s the journey that creates the memories.

Today I am going to create some amazing memories. 🙂

Peace.

 

 

Calm Before the Storm

Since I was at the NCW Writers Conference–which was amazing, by the way–and using every molecule of brain power trying to absorb everything I could, I didn’t post my last usual Gratitude Friday and Weekend Quote posts.  But rest assured, tomorrow begins April and the A-Z Blogging Challenge, for 26 posts in 30 days.  God willing. 🙂

APRIL-CALENDAR [2014]

“See” you tomorrow. 🙂

A Writer’s Heaven

I’ve been waiting for this weekend since about this same time one year ago.  Why, you ask? If you didn’t, I’ll tell you anyway.  🙂  It’s my second NCW writer’s conference, and it’s less than three days away.

The first one gave me so much – ideas, motivation, inspiration, new writing friends, and time to re-evaluate the direction I wanted to take my writing. And, yes, it forced me to get out of my comfort zone which is my study with my computer and books, and to socialize with the other living, breathing beings.  By the time we all left the hotel at the end of the conference, our eyes were bulging, and our brains were jumbled, wires misfiring, from so much information being fed into it. But what beautiful sparks those misfires created!

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the first one brought me close to none other than Andrew McCarthy. (Think Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, Mannequin…) I have to admit when he talked to me I was dumbfounded and speechless.  And I’m quick to say my husband would tell you that simply does not happen often.

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Here we are, a little bit blurry, as I believe the person taking the picture with my phone was likely as  giddy with “teenage heartthrob-itis” as I was, but here we are nonetheless.

Andrew McCarthy's Book

Uh-Hm…back on topic – Andrew is not only an actor but an amazing award-winning travel writer, and was at the conference as our keynote speaker.  Not only did he entertain, he taught me what writing can do to and for a person.  It can lead us on a journey one never wants to return from.  A journey of self-discovery, hope, pleasure, and even the greatest pain.  And yet, a writer can’t help but write.  It’s what we do.  It’s what makes us complete.  As insane as it can make us, it’s also what keeps us sane.

So “all my bags are packed, I’m ready to go”… Oh, wait–that’s John Denver, and he took a jet plane.   I’ll just hop in my car and head to writer’s heaven. And to listen to Chuck Sambuchino teach me from his infinite writer’s wisdom the scoop on literary agents, humor, and anything else my sponge brain can absorb.

Write on.