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Ice Cream and Updates

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As I sit here with a bowl of triple peanut butter ice cream, I’m pondering the challenges I’ve set for myself.

Its official, we are 10 days into a double challenge and I think it is time for an update on progress and what I’ve learned so far.

One of the things I’ve learned is that in order to complete these two challenges, I need to continue getting up early in the morning. It gets difficult when I find myself exhausted and unable to sleep at night – 5:00 am comes so early.

I am also reminded that I enjoy this process. I mean the drive of the challenge. Nothing lights a fire under me like deciding to set a goal or two and then telling people about it.

There is lots of advice rolling around the inter web about writing and a million how-to’s to go with it. One that I’ve been reading a lot lately is to show up and write, to not wait for the muse to begin writing. That is never more important than when one is in the middle of a double challenge. It is definitely a must if I am going to complete these challenges.

I’ve also hit the dreaded second week of the challenge. In November 2014 I began NaNoWriMo and heard about the swing that often comes during the second week of the challenge. This is where the words slow down and often stop. The weight of the 50000 words seems to crush some people and they can’t continue. I didn’t really experience it then, however, I have now. Writing a blog post each day is more difficult and I struggled with my novel. I’ve still hit my goals but there have been times where I’ve fought for each word.

For the official update:

I’ve managed to complete blog posts to this point. I’ve even really liked a few of them. I’ve also been visiting blogs from the other challengers. Its been wonderful to see all of the different ideas for the same letters. Amazing. I’ve also enjoyed all of the comments I’m getting. Thanks to everyone who has visited and left a note of encouragement.

I’m nearly half way to my goal of 20000 words on my novel. I’m even excited about where it is going. Again not all the writing is fabulous but some of it is really good. I’m excited to see where the rest of the month takes me.

One of the best things about these challenges are the things I learn about myself and my writing process. I’m looking forward to the rest of the month, though I will grudgingly get up each morning to do so. As long as I have enough coffee I can do anything.

What have you learned about yourself this week or during this challenge?

Keeping up with the House

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It’s happening again. I’m in the middle of a challenge and everything else goes out the window, including house work.

One of the ways I cope with this is to compartmentalize the work. Do the floors have to be washed and moped? Do I really need to clean the bathroom from top to bottom? Can anyone else help with things?

The answers are no, no and YES!

I’ve decided there isn’t a good reason for everything to fall onto my shoulders during this (or any other) time. There are other people living in my house and can take some responsibility. Of course, they must be made to see reason or I won’t get any help after all.

Another choice I’ve made is that not everything has to be done all at once. Little by little is what works best.

The minimum of what I can get away with is my goal. That means sweeping up the big chunks – it is spring here after all. Wiping down the sink and toilet until I have more time and dishes. I work at the laundry little by little anyway so it doesn’t really pile up. I hate it when Saturdays become laundry days.

When April is over, or any month that is extra busy, I will go back and deep clean. But for now, supper is on your own, mostly. Pick up here and there. I’ll be at my desk, writing. After all, priorities are a must.

How do you handle the rest of your life when things get busy?

Gas or Lack Thereof

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I’ve run out of gas. Previously, I’ve spoken of blogging not being for wimps in this post. Turns out I was more right than I thought. It takes a lot of energy to post six times each week.

It also takes energy to keep going. Getting up each morning to write takes energy. Working at non-writing tasks takes energy. Housework and relationships all take energy. If a person isn’t careful, running on empty is a large possibility.

There are few things I am willing to give up so I need to work at keeping my tank full. When I speak to my clients about this I am talking about self-care. You know, taking care of yourself. Doing things just for yourself which women are loath to do. Sometimes men too.

When I talk about self care, it is more than just basic care. It is taking time to watch ‘Buffy’ reruns and taking a 20 minute bath – all alone in the bathroom, going shopping and only buying for yourself. Its getting a mani-pedi with good friends or taking in a movie, just because. Its spending alone time with your favorite book. Anything to feed yourself.

I’m usually pretty good at taking care of myself. I try not to overload any one part of my life. Even then, I’m tired. It just happens.

Its time to take care of me in any way that feels good to me. I think, for now, that is getting some sleep.

What do you do to take care of yourself and recharge?