New Year’s Resolution: Make some goals.

 

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My goal for 2017 is to finish my book regardless of what Darby may have planned for me.

I’ve never kept any New Year’s resolutions. Sure I thought up a few but once the party is over. Once I am back into the routine of my daily life . . . those resolutions I was so eager to start, work through, and eventually achieve, are forgotten.

So I rather than figuring out why I never follow through, I just decided to not make any resolutions and begin each New Year with the same old bad habits I had in the previous year.

Until now.

Recently in my writer’s group our guest speaker spoke about goals vs. resolutions.

Really? Aren’t they the same?

No. Resolutions, she said, are always negative: lose weight; give up smoking; stop drinking, etc.

Whereas goals are positive or should be positive: start running, practice yoga, and switch from bourbon to wine.

But goals aren’t just positive but should be SMART.

Smart?

No. SMART. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.

I hadn’t really thought about goals in this way before. I suppose because I’ve always worked in an industry where someone else was always setting the goals: like manufacturing deadlines, end of fiscal year contracts, statement of work deliveries, etc., and before this, when I was in school, the instructor or professor would tell us when are assignments are due, when the tests are and more importantly the school would set up the calendar so I always knew when the semester ended.

So deciding for myself what goals I want to reach I suppose is a relatively new concept for me and setting my own goals seem like such a daunting task until now . .

So for 2017 I’m not just going to work on my book or think about writing here or dream about what if I advanced my writing career . . . instead I’m going to make a New Year’s Resolution and set some SMART goals.

Looking for a pen

ink joy pen

Courtesy of Google Images

I spent twenty minutes this afternoon staring at the Back to School section at Target looking for my favorite pens. Surprised to say, I must be the only one who liked them, because I couldn’t find them.

I walked out empty handed and disappointed. Something I liked. Something I used. Something I enjoyed was gone. Not longer available.

But it was just a pen.

I’ve always been particular about the pens that I write with. I don’t like really expensive ones, although I do have some of those tucked away in my desk drawer; I like inexpensive pens that I can use until they run out of ink and then them into the trash. Maybe not so Green, but so satisfying to know that I wrote so much I used up all the ink in the pen.

Something about the way a favorite style of pen feels in my hand, the way the ink flows across the page, staining the virgin paper with my words. Some pens become my favorites and I buy them over and over again – until like now, I can’t.

Most people, I suspect don’t write with pen and paper anymore. Now that lap tops, tablets are ‘de rigueur’ pens and paper (and gasp! pencils) are probably too passé for most.

But not for me. When it comes to getting my thoughts down, I want blue ink, narrow ruled paper, and the only noise? The almost indecipherable sound of the scratching across the fresh page.

I left Target empty handed. I looked at the market (their Back to School section) I also checked Amazon, but I came up empty. My favorite pen has gone the way of the rotary phone or the VCR or the ipod.

Sure there are other pens out there, willing and waiting for me.

And, I will have to try them all.

Thoughts on my first RWA Conference

 

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I am home. And, my head is still percolating with ideas, thoughts and techniques from my first RWA conference.

Besides getting to meet some of my favorite authors (No, I didn’t take pictures with them). I did take some stellar workshops and learned a few things that I would like to share.

  • Wear comfortable shoes. Yes, it is true. If your feet hurt you are not going to have a good time or be able to listen or even smile.
  • Pack light. I mean do you really need that designer hobo bag with fifteen pounds of necessities in it? I think not.
  • It’s okay if you don’t have a tribe (a group, a circle, a posse, a gang) to hang with.
  • Even the worst presenters may have something to important to say. Yes, there were a few – one in particular- workshop which was down right bad, but I sat through it and tried to figure out what the heck the presenter was talking about. I think she had some good ideas, but was not too good at presenting them.
  • Everyone has his or her own path to success. Don’t compare yourself with others. I know. Easy to say but hard to do.
  • And finally, it is easy to pack for a trip (all that excitement and energy) than it is to unpack – just too tired to do my laundry.

Would I go again? Absolutely. However, now I must reread my notes and get back to working on my novel. My next conference is California Dreamin’ in 2017.

But until then I must get back to my writing.

 

 

 

 

Multi- tasking? Nope. Not me.

I can’t do two activities at the same time. Well, I shouldn’t say I can’t what I should say is that if I try and do two activities at the same time I do neither of them very well.

Multi-tasking is a concept that seems to have run rampant through out American businesses partnered with the ever-annoying synergy, work smarter, and walk the talk.

None of which makes doing two activates better, faster or efficient: at least not for me.

I guess, it depends on the activity, but I do believe that concentrating on one effort is better then dividing my attention (and skill) over several efforts at the same time.

For instance, when it comes to writing, all I can do is write. I don’t listen to music while writing, nor the TV, and many times I can’t even have my cats in the room with me because they are demanding my attention as I write.

 

What is it with cats and computer keyboards?

What is it with cats and computer keyboards?

Since multitasking is not in my genome or skill set or what-ever-the-latest-buzz word is – I am a liability in the current environment of American business and I am a stumbling block in my home life, too. I am unable to answer the phone, wait on a client and answer emails simultaneously nor am I able to vacuum the floors, listen to a book on tape, check my Twitter feed or plan the next weeks meals, simultaneously. For all these tasks (and many more) it takes me much longer to complete each and everyone one for them because, I do each task one at a time. Yes, it is true: I vacuum only. Write out my grocery list. If the phone rings? Yikes! I sit there at the kitchen table and – ready for this?! I only talk on the phone! How very old fashioned of me, isn’t it?

There is, however something very calming about doing one task at a time. I do feel a sense of accomplishment once I get the house vacuumed. I can concentrate on my phone conversation if all I am doing is talking to one person. I never could understand how anyone could drive and chat on the phone – let alone text!

Geez! I like to drive even without the radio on.

By being a ‘multitasker’ failure, I feel much more calmer, relaxed and in control of my life rather than being ‘controlled’ by all these tasks I think I should be able to do simultaneously.

Will I even be a CEO? Nope. Will I ever learn a language? I doubt it. Understand the workings of my cell phone? Definitely not. Get my book written? Yes, I will – someday.

What I do know is that by not being able to multitask I can enjoy the here and the now. I can be in the moment and realize that this is a real good place to be.

The First.

The first day of school.

The first job.

The first kiss.

The first in line.

The first time.

The first is an important landmark in our lives: our first steps (we may not remember, but our parent(s) probably do or our first date (perhaps we may like to forget this first) or our first car. The freedom to drive – Anywhere we wanted- as long as we had petrol in the tank!

I remember my first pair of glasses; I was thrilled I could see – see every thing really, really well.

So everybody has his or her favorite, or well-remembered ‘firsts’.

So this is, my first blog post, under my own name.

My first.

It isn’t, my first blog. I have been blogging for a few years under my pseudonym of Kemmish at sewforward.wordpress.com. But, that blog has been – for the most part- all about my adventures in sewing (primary garment construction) lightly salted with tidbits about of my life in Southern California.

Now, I’m starting a new blog, under my own name, for my own writing that isn’t limited to sewing, in other words: a new first for me.

Enjoy!