Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve & Resolutions

I'm here again to list my 2017 New Year's Resolutions.  I do this every year and I never get discouraged with it when I quit most of my resolutions by February.  That's still one month of being mindful about the things I want to do with my life and the things I need to change or improve to accomplish those things.  So this year is no exception.  Even though New Year's resolutions hadn't even crossed my mind until about an hour ago, I still jotted down 7 of them with that familiar giddy excitement I feel when I start working towards a new goal.  If only this excitement could last well into the dull exhausted effort I start putting in when the end of the goal seems impossible to reach and the efforts feel wasteful.

Without further ado:

1.) Write Every Day
2.) Get an Agent
3.) Add an item to my jewelry shop for which the proceeds go to a charity that will be in jeopardy (or severely cut in funding) by the new administration
4.) Tweet daily about writing and jewelry 
5.) Write a blog post at least once per week
6.) Make healthier choices (for my body and my mind: less Facebook, less junk food, more mindfulness, more exercise, more reading, more journal writing)
7.) Read to my children more

I still work full time from home and my job is intense most days, so I realize that a lot of these will be tough to fit in to a daily schedule, especially with a young family, but most of these things really only require either motivation, or ~15 minutes of my time.

1.) Write Every Day:  At least 250 words will be what I use to constitute writing every day.  And maybe using some kind of habit forming tool (I have some kind of app I was using for this on my phone but then jewelry got crazy before Christmas and I had to stop doing everything during my free time but make holiday orders).

2.) Get an Agent....I need to re-query my finished manuscript and just keep chipping away at agents, hoping for it to finally happen this year.

3.) Add an item...I am terrified about Donal Trump. Terrified.  I want to make jewelry (at least one thing) that allows the buyer to choose which charity the proceeds will go to (maybe one extra dedicated to environmental causes).

4.) Tweet daily....I love going on Twitter and reading tweets from likeminded individuals but I'm always really afraid to write my own tweets.  I want to start doing this.

5.) Write a blog post commit even more to this one, I just spent $5 on an app to facilitate this resolution with my iPad...I'm writing this post with it. 

6.) Make Healthier Choices....This one is so easy, yet so hard...I want to drink less alcohol, binge eat junk food almost never, stop getting on Facebook every time I turn on my phone, read more books (I read a lot now but it sometimes takes me forever to finish a book), meditate, take baths, take walks, run, just basically know that when I'm deciding on an activity, a meal, a snack, basically anything, I have the freedom to make good choices or bad choices...and I want to make good ones so I'm less cranky, less sleep deprived, less lethargic, more motivated, etc.

7.) Read to my children more: I suck at this...mostly because I really usually hate kids the short poetic type ones with lots of moral lessons piled on older daughter is into the Magic Treehouse books and I really like their fast pace and adventurous stories so I just want to make it a habit more to read to them...since books are so important to me and I suck as a parent for not making it a routine for them.

So those are it!  Wish me luck! If you are also resolving to change habits this year, I wish you the best of luck as well!! 

Happy New Year!!! (I'm writing this post from Barnes N favorite place ever)


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Scrivener for iOS is AMAZING

So I'm just now really taking advantage of Scrivener for iOS.  I bought it almost the second it became available even though at the time I was only using an ancient iPhone 4S (that’s a long story…I had an android Samsung Note 4 and a little after a year of usage, it started shutting off sporadically…then so frequently that I couldn’t use it anymore and had to beg friends and family to send me an old unused phone…my awesome friend Laina in PA mailed me her old iPhone).

Even on the small screen of the 4S, it was a great program.  A couple of months after the release, I splurged on an iPad Pro 9.7 inch (my husband was away and I was single parenting for 3 months…it was sort of my “thanks for doing all that” gift). Then our upgrade became available for the phones so I’m also using it on the iPhone SE (rose gold…it’s so cute and perfect and reliable and after all the issues with the phones over this past year, I am SO appreciative of all the things these amazingly smart devices can do).

On the iPad I started writing a new project for NaNoWriMo. Except I was still mostly still writing on the Windows OS (I also have a Microsoft Surface 3…I’ve got a disgusting addiction to technology)… I liked that I could still enter full screen mode on the Windows version of Scrivener.  Somehow, that helps me shut out every other digital distraction so much better.

Until recently, that is.  I was messing with my screen on the iPad version of Scrivener when I realized I could “zoom” in on my text.  My issue with the full screen mode in iOS was that the text was so tiny on my big iPad screen.  But zoomed in, and using the typewriter mode, and narrowing down the margins, and using my iPad smart keyboard, it’s like I can shut out distractions almost as easy as I do on the Windows version.

And the real thing I discovered recently and LOVE is the fact that when I tap on the word count, I can set an overall target word goal and a session target word goal. I’ve been telling myself I need to do 3 sessions a day of 250 words each in order to help maintain my progress and make this a better daily habit and this feature in Scrivener makes it a lot easier to visualize that progress, both overall and within each session.

I keep discovering all of these amazing things that Scrivener can do (on every version of it, haha…I’ve purchased all 3), and I keep falling more in love with it.

So yea, I highly encourage you to use Scrivener (they have a 30 day trial) if you like to write (at all) and also like to feel organized.

NaNoWriMo 2016, not a winner...

I've written 28,798 words this month, so sadly, I was not a winner, but I still plan to write the rest of this book, and I'm starting to make writing more often a habit.  

After the election debacle, I had a conference in Arizona, both of which seriously derailed my progress early on and I was never able to recover (emotionally or otherwise).

So here we are, it's December 1, and I knew about a week and a half ago that it wasn't in the cards for me this year.  I still very much plan to write throughout the year because if there's one thing I learned from this year's attempt, it's that I feel like a better person, a more fulfilled individual, when I'm actively writing something new.  

I downloaded the app "Streaks" on my phone and I've set it up so that I need to write 3 times per day for at least 5 days a week and it's helping me make it a habit.  

So hopefully I'll have myself more prepared next November, because I truly love the whole experience of NaNoWriMo.

Until then, I'll be back often with random updates on my life.

Happy Holidays!