In four weeks it will be Spring here in Australia. Spring is my favorite season of the year. In makes me think of: New life. Transformation. Hope.
Nearly every spring I’ve made changes in my life in an effort to be happier and more fulfilled.
Last year, it was to embrace independent publishing. Which I’ve done successfully.
The year before that, to become a calmer and more organised mother (although to be fair, that didn’t last at all).
And this spring I want to achieve two things. And both have to do with finishing things.
‘Finishing What I Start’ is Spring’s Theme
Adventures in how to write a novel
The first thing I want to achieve is to push myself as writer. Do something different. This spring I want to become a novelist.
Up until recently, while I knew I was a writer (the heart never lies), I never believed I was clever enough to write fiction. Not good fiction at any rate. That’s why I headed in the direction of non fiction instead, and wrote firstly, Shopping for Shares, which was snapped up and published by Wrightbooks (John Wiley & Sons), followed a few years later by $0 to Rich (also with them).
To have a book, sitting on a real bookshelf, in a real bookstore, was certainly one of the major highlights of my writing career. To get my first fan email that I had helped someone, another.
I was a non-fiction author. Life was good. And I even went on to write a few more books through my own small press.
That was up until about six months ago when I decided to try my hand at fiction. You know, making stuff up. Just for a lark.
So I wrote a few short stories. Nothing special. A few thrillers for fun. An erotic romance or two for some cash. Just to see what would happen.
And I liked it. No, I Luurrved it. I was in writer lust. (So THAT’S why fiction authors are so pumped about their careers). And while I may not be very good at it yet (YET!), it’s now something that I want to continue to do.
I’m currently writing my very first novel. (Which is much harder than I thought it would be). And my goal is, this spring, release my very first (and hopefully not crap) novel. I’m going to become a novelist.
But this year I’m not content with just one change. I want another.
Adventures in sticking to a healthy diet and exercise plan for three months
The next challenge is more physical. I want to improve my health & energy levels (and maybe achieve a bit of weight loss as a side bonus).
Over the past few years (thanks kids) I’ve put on a few extra kilo’s. And eaten a lot of chocolate. And lately I’m feeling kind of bleurgh.
I’ve tried in the past to eat healthier and even (shock) exercise. But so far nothing has stuck.
About this time last year I signed up for the 12 Week Body Transformation program with Biggest Loser trainer Michelle Bridges. I lasted two weeks before quitting.
I had the wrong expectations last year. I was just focused on what everyone else was doing. They ran for one hour, they lost two kilos in the first week, they won a heart rate monitor. I didn’t stop to appreciate anything that I was achieving. I actually thought my 800 gram weight loss (for the first two weeks) was a sign the program didn’t work for me.
So I threw a baby tantrum and gave up.
This year I have slightly different expectations. For starters I’m not going to worry about what anyone else is doing – only what I’m achieving, and not in a ‘I lost x kgs this week’, but rather in a ‘I ate really well this week and I’m proud of myself’.
For both goals, I plan on focusing ONLY on those metrics that I can control.
I CAN control what foods I eat and how often I exercise. But I can’t control how much weight I will lose.
I CAN control how many words I write per day, re-write the parts that suck and send to an editor for further fixing. I can’t control if anyone will ever buy it or not.
And I CAN control whether I finish both challenges. THAT will be the real test this Spring and one I’m looking immensely forward to.
I’m also looking forward to the warm sunshine caressing my cheek, the new blossom fragrance that permeates the air, and love. Love of life. Love of my husband and children. And love and acceptance of myself.
I can’t wait for Spring.