Update Day: It’s Spooky How Fast the Year Is Going…

It’s the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time for another Update Day. For those of you who don’t know, a bunch of us set big/crazy/important goals, and then share monthly updates on our progress toward that goal. If you would like to join us, please click here for more information.

So how my goals are progressing… Well. Depends on which goals we’re talking about. The move went well, but I haven’t finished unpacking. Health goals got derailed by the move, but I’m getting back into it. My exercise goals took a hit this week thanks to a heat wave.

Overall, my life has quieted down a lot since moving house, but within days of arriving here, one of my cats got gallstones. This ended up making it really hard for me to get anything done, because each of the several times I had to take him to the vet or fetch him back took two hours both ways out of my day.

That said, I had another record work month. At the rate I’m going, I’m going to hit the goal I mentioned missing last month and then some. This goal is the last milestone I had left before the final one. Which means that the next time I say I hit goal, I will actually have hit the big one at the top of my blog. Yes. That is huge.

So where will I go after that?

That will take some explaining. When I set up that goal, I made it a bit less daunting by double counting. So in a month, I count future income, income I earn the same month I generated it, and then income that I generated before once it comes in.<

So let’s say I make $5 in royalties in May. I’ll count it as future income in May, and then I count it again in July when I actually get that $5 in my bank account.

Why did I do this? Basically I was approaching this as a goal, and my brain loves the feeling of adding amounts to my tracking sheet. So if I do it twice, my brain is happy. If my brain is happy, I get more done. And I knew from the beginning that half the goal in actual income is a hella comfortable living for me.
Basically, once I hit the goal, I have two options: 

  1. I can change my approach and aim for $7,500 a month in real income. As in the number I have coming into my bank account each month.
  2. I can change my focus and start working on the percentage of my real income that comes from royalties.

I’m thinking I’m going to do both for continuity sake, but I’m leaning toward prioritizing point 2. The whole point of this exercise had been a full-time writer (achieved) of my own fiction (not achieved.) So focusing on upping the percentage income from book sales should help me focus on what I actually want.

That said, I really enjoy what I do for most of my money, so I don’t think I’ll want to stop working on that. But my life is sorting itself out, which means there’s really no excuse for me to not write my stories. And once I can finally get into the place of regularly publishing, I’m going to be really happy if/when the passive income from my published books start coming in.

Speaking of Writing More…

I joined NaNoWriMo. No idea if I’ll be able to win, but I recon any progress will be good.

Are you guys doing NaNo? Let me know your name so we can buddy up. 

How are your goals doing? What are you hoping to squeeze into the last two months of the year?

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Do One Thing.

Right now, it’s feeling like I’m on the cusp of something new. Sure, I have a lot of fallout to deal with, but for now at least, it’s not looking like I have any new curveballs coming my way.

This is great, of course.

But at the same time, it’s feeling a lot like I’m emerging from a bomb shelter after a nuclear winter has passed.

I mean… where do I even begin?

It’s daunting to face the task of rebuilding something. Of trying to regroup and get back on even footing. Especially when your somewhat traumatized mind keeps whispering that things are going to go back to hell any second now.

Did I ever mention I’m not an optimist? Can you tell?

Seriously, though, I do realize that I have to believe that my five years of famine have come to at least some sort of an end. Which means I should be looking forward again and moving my way in that general direction.

But man. Moving forward is a lot of work. At the moment, the work is physical, emotional, and psychological. Physically, I have a ton of unpacking to do. Emotionally and psychologically, I’m working toward letting go of five years’ worth of crap so I can heal and move on. While dealing with a mind that very much wants to jump into fight-or-flight mode at the smallest opportunity.

Still, the past few days, I’ve… started feeling like my old self. By this I mean the person I was about three years ago where I felt battered, but firmly believed that I’ll still be able to achieve something. I’m hoping that, if this was an action movie, I would be getting up around now to kick life’s ass after it gave me a pummeling.

Time will tell whether this is indeed what’s happening, but in the meantime, I’m sticking to the one thing I’ve learned by necessity.

Do one thing. 

Even if that’s the only thing I manage to do in a day, at least I did that. (Instead of… you know… curling up in a corner and crying the whole time.)

When things were really shit, I did this. It meant I mostly worked and got very little else done. But the result is that I built a new career out of thin air. One that makes me happy and helped things settle down to the extent that now I don’t have to be at panic stations the whole time.

The other interesting thing is that now that things are calming down a bit, I can do one thing much quicker and easier… And then I can do another. And another…

Which means that, after focusing on only doing one thing, I can look back at a day like today and be shocked at how much I actually ended up getting done. It becomes as simple as keeping track of what I’ve done, and actually doing something instead of fussing about it.

Et voila. My semi-inspirational thought for the day.

How are you doing? What are you busy with at the moment?

IWSG: A Fresh Start

More information here.

After about three months of drama around finding a house, we’re finally moving to a new place. In fact, I’m writing this on Monday because I know that I’ll be about knee deep into packing, loading, and moving things by the time this post comes live.

Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but it’s really feeling like this move will mostly bring to an end five years of chaos that I’ve had to cope with every day. To that end, I’m really excited to get moving, even if the amount of stuff that needs to be dealt with would have other people pulling out their hair.

But at the same time, this new start also involves a ton of processing of another sort. Emotional. If this move is to be the first day of the rest of my life, I have to cut some stuff out and leave it right here in this house.

I’ve been so locked in survival/defense/fight/flight mode that it’s become my go to. The thing is… it’s exhausting. Except for hopeful, my other single-word emotional status is currently drained. So in a lot of ways, I haven’t felt like myself for at least three years… which is also why my fiction-writing productivity took a massive hit.

I’m not a person hoping for a certain set of perfect circumstances, but when negativity and the accompanying anxiety hits often and at random, making you lose any small amount of momentum you might have gained literally the day before… It’s heartbreaking.

So the fact that I managed to get Book 3 of War of Six Crowns to any stage of completion despite this is something for me to be proud of.

But despite this and despite my growing success as a full-time writer… I’m feeling a growing sense of discontent. In a sense this is a good thing. I’m actually calm enough and able to not be at panic stations for long enough to allow me time to miss certain things I had left by the way-side to just allow me to get through.

See, I’ve been cutting back to the bare minimum so that I could keep going while dragging such a huge amount of drama with me. But now I’m very much to offload the drama right here. Which should really leave a lot of space for other things. And right now, that space feels like a void. A void of writing where I took over two years to finish a rewrite and revision because I hadn’t been able to write consecutively for more than two days in a row in over two years. A void of art because I never felt secure enough to actually commit to an art project.

Here’s the thing though, I’ve been so used to… not… fitting everything in that the thought of moving furniture around in my head is pretty daunting. It feels almost like too much of a challenge to work and write and focus on my health and do more art (other than writing) and read more and resume my French practice so I don’t lose it again and be more active on social media and… and… and… 

But the thing is that I just have to find a way. My thinking is to spend maybe the rest of the month evaluating my life and everything I want to do, and then decide how I’m going to start bringing those things in.

Do you also find it daunting to make things fit into your life? How do you approach it?