For the Love of Blogging

Once upon a time, I had a website. An actual website as this was the days before blogging became of age. I had registered a domain as a ‘sandbox’ area to practice web development. At the time I was a webmaster of a small website and was considering growing my reach and a platform to showcase my growing skills.

While making the web page, I wanted a way to update it fast without having to upload the changes to the website through FTP. I discovered a simple blog platform that used a flat file to store data – which was good because I didn’t have SQL database through my web hosting. This was a thing of beauty as I was able to type through the admin page a blog post that then – upon publishing with a click of a button – appeared on my website. I was hooked. I love the simplicity and the instant gratification of publishing. My blogging career started with that simple yet effective platform. While the website may be long gone, my love for blogging continues.

Although some months I don’t even visit my blog or think about blogging at all, I cannot quit blogging. I must keep it going. Blogging is what my inner voice tells me to do that I completely ignore most of the time. “Who would want to read about THAT?” I say to myself as I brush of blog topic after blog topic. But I must remember one piece of advice I was given as a news producer – don’t pretend to be the audience. And so I must do that with blogging as well. I am a reader of other blogs but who knows who may read these words and it resonate so soundly with them? Yes, I cannot keep the words or silly ideas inside my head. They demand to be heard and who knows – someone may find it useful. If not at least I don’t have to listen to my inner voice nag me about it anymore.

2015 Goals Check

We are two weeks into February. Not much progress on my 2015 goals.

Freelance full-time – Still would like to do this but exploring options right now.

Debt Free- working to dwindle down the smallest student loan which should be paid in March. Two more to go and then the car. This goal is pretty much on track.

Save at least $3K- I haven’t started saving this yet.

WRITE- Have written very little. Have to do more.

Draw – I’ve drawn a little bit and bought a drawing book that I’ve yet to open but looks promising.

Lose Weight and RUN! – have gained a pound. Must tighten up this even if it means doing a diet like Atkins to get started just to see some progres.

Organize and clean house – House is still an utter chaos but have started working on a plan.

While I haven’t had a lot of progress, I hope the next update to have the clutter under control and to have lost 5 pounds. Baby steps are better than no steps at all.

Pax South Fun

Pax South 2015

We attended the first PAX South back in January. When we first learned it would be in San Antonio, we knew we wanted to go. Ah the perks of living in a big, thriving city. We had no idea what to expect and frankly I worried my 9-year-old would be bored to tears. I have never been so happy to be wrong.

PAX South was great fun. Everyone had a good time and we look forward to going next year. My daughter loved the handheld gaming lounge. We both had our Nintendo DSs so in between events we would hang out there. My daughter isn’t one of those kids who plays her DS in public a lot but really enjoyed walking around playing games while other people were doing the same thing. It’s amazing what little things can have the most impact. I turned on StreetPass on my DS and got 218 Miis come through my gate from four different countries and about 30 different states. I probably would have snagged more had I known the gate only holds ten Miis at a time. It was like ‘meeting’ people without having to actually engage with anymore. Although it would have been nice to meet other gaming enthusiasts. Maybe next year.

The best thing about PAX South is that it was in January. We now have con fever, so we have many choices for our next con of 2015.

What to do..

So I have been struggling with what to do next with my life. Sure I love my job but really long to do that ‘thing’ that will bring me total fulfillment. I have a few ideas as to what this next career may be but to move forward in any area I need to work on it during my time at home. This means working on my dreams at night. The problem is that I am usually so tired and just don’t feel like doing anything – which was the case tonight. I could not get motivated to do anything. How am I ever going to move forward with anything?

But then I thought about a funny art project I had started Sunday and was suddenly excited to finish it. I am not very artistic but I want to be. I love Inkscape and want to explore being a vector artist. It was nice to do something that furthers an interest of mine even when nothing was appealing. Well at least something was – drawing.

If I can just keep it up who knows. I might even improve.

NANO Winner!

Halfway through November, I was no where near 50,000 words and feeling depressed about it. Writing used to be so easy but lately it has been nearly impossible. National Novel Writing Month was going to be the kick in the pants I needed to get back into writing. Two weeks into the challenge and I was way behind.

I knew that I would probably not make it but decided to still write as much as I could. Then three weeks in I was sitting around 17,000 words and was out of story plot. My story bored me and I had no idea where to take my characters next. Then something happened. My husband had ordered us NANO Winner t-shirts which arrived in the mail. I wanted to wear that shirt but I wanted to earn it. That t-shirt fueled my desire to finish the last week strong. I knew I would have the Thanksgiving long weekend to write so I hoped I would get close to the goal.

Not only was I ready to write more for NANO, I had new ideas for my stories. I wrote plot twists and added scenes. I was in the zone and I felt great. I finished a day early with just over 50,000 words. My story needs heavy – read total rewrite – edits but it is 50,000 words in less than thirty days. That is something I never thought I could do. While my writing still has been slow – or nonexistent – since November, I feel better knowing I still have it in me.

30 Day Challenge

30_day_challenge

For the month of January, I vow to do this challenge – fill 30 grocery bags with either donations or items to trash/recycle. It’s a small, bite-size way I can start de-cluttering our home without getting overwhelmed. I figure one day I may do three bags but another day I may do none. As long as I have filled 30 by the end of the month, I will have succeeded.

I plan to put a simple tracker up in our home. Next month I will do another challenge of some sorts – maybe something with writing or blogging. Each week I will post my progress hoping this will keep me accountable an on track.

Here’s to big, exciting stuff in 2015!

UPDATE 1/20 – I am failing at this challenge. I have probably only filled one bag. Not giving up yet though.

2015 Goals

This year I have big plans as I do every year. I always start out with the best intentions. This year I plan to keep my big goals in front of me in hopes of moving forward.

Freelance full-time This is a scary goal. I can’t believe I actually want to leave my well paying full-time job for the unknown, uncertain world of freelancing. But I value my time and my best hours are work hours. I want to do more for me. To get off to a good start with freelancing leads me to the other goals for 2015.

Debt Free With debt gone, we get to keep more of our money a month. Win- Win.

Save at least $3K I want to have a starting amount for freelancing to help me get started. That way if I only make $100 the first few months I have some money to fall back on since my income will be the fun money.

WRITE If I want to make money writing, then I need to write and write a lot.

Draw Another hobby/passion I am developing hopefully into a web comic at some point.

Lose Weight and RUN! Have to do this!

Organize and clean house By this I mean clear the clutter

So over the next week I will take each of these goals and break it out further for a better plan/course of action. Also maybe a monthly checklist/tracker. So my action items for the next week:

Blog about each goal
Develop tracker for goals for monthly blog post

Here is hoping 2015 is the best year yet!

Stress for the Holidays

Here it is almost the middle of December. The full swing of the holidays is right around the corner. I am so not ready but I never am really. This year though it just seems different.

I can feel the stress slowly building. Work is picking up which only makes me wish that I didn’t work there. I want to write more and do my own thing. I shouldn’t let this stuff get to me but instead use it as motivation to do something about it.

The last time I had a running routine it was because of stress. Running helped relieve the anxiety I was feeling. I’ve joked with my husband that life has been too good and I don’t have any anger issues to work out therefore I cannot seem to get back into running. But that all may be changing as this past week has really taken a toll on me.

This weekend will be about relaxing (and possibly running) and just getting into the holiday zone. I will not stress about gift giving or anything else this December. It’s so much easier said or in this case typed than done.

Day 3 – Christmas Notebook

Advent ornament for day 3

The first year I bought gifts for everyone in my family I was in college. It was easy to keep up with the whole crew as there were my two brothers, four nieces, and a nephew. Years later and that number has significantly grown. My nieces now have kids of their own and there is also my husband’s family. So family gift giving has become way more joyously complicated. Now we just buy for the kids under eighteen but still that number is a glorious twenty-two!
I started keeping a notebook to make my Christmas list a few years ago. I would use one sheet just as a list of people I wanted to buy for. Then another sheet for a budget. On either of these sheets or even a third one, I keep up with what gifts I have bought and for whom which comes in handy the next year. Since we travel to during the holidays, I also keep track of when the gift was wrapped and packed as the last thing I want to do is shop a few days before Christmas.
A composition notebook is what I use, and it works just fine. They cost less than two dollars, and one notebook will last you for several Christmases. It’s an easy way to organize your holiday gift giving.