special word 2018

Why I decided to choose a special word for 2018

I’ve seen a few bloggers and writers whose work I follow choose a special word to define a new year. This ‘special word’ helps them choose the right work and whatever else they’ve decided to achieve.

For the first time, I’ve decided to do the same. Somehow, in previous years, the idea appealed to me but I never got around to actually choosing a word. Because of a change in my mindset and how I’ll be approaching everything in 2018, my word is: COMMIT.

Why commit?

While writing my 2017 wrap-up post, I saw that I started a few projects in 2016 and 2017 which are currently unfinished. I’ve not put any effort into it so there’s been no progress because I lacked the motivation or circumstances stopped me. I don’t like unfinished business.

‘Commit’ will help me stick to my goals and remind me that I need to keep going and more importantly – finish what I started.

I once read a quote about the importance of plugging away at something until it’s finished. Why? Just like a book, the ending may surprise you.

So this year, I’m planning to surprise myself by committing. Committing to typing ‘the end’ on my novel, completing a fabulous copywriting course and knocking out 24 interviews for my magazine.

To help me stay on track to complete all these fabulous intentions I:

  • Bought a passion planner diary from the US which includes my why, where I want to be in 3 months, 6 months, lifetime. While I’ll still be writing a to-do list, a planner shows me the bigger picture and my whys are guaranteed to help me stay on track on the slow days. I’ve only filled in the page for January but already I love this diary and so glad I bought it.
  • made a vision board filled with things I want in 2018, why I chose to be self employed, to remind me of what I’m working towards and why
  • positive affirmations listed near my desk to remind me of some important things I need to be told each day e.g. I intend to run my own race in 2018 and not worry about comparison-itis
  • My list of goals and timelines stuck near my desk to remind me of all the things I need to achieve in 2018 and how I’ll complete them

I’m all set to commit and achieve this year. Have you chosen a word to guide you in 2018?

Happy New Year!

juggling writing and motherhood

The real truth about juggling writing and motherhood

I had a think about what my first blog post should cover, and immediately juggling motherhood with writing came to mind.

juggling writing and motherhood

I write about this first because both of these topics share equal space in my brain, sometimes one over takes the other and there is confusion and a sense of imbalance.

I’m happiest and most productive when these two areas align perfectly in my life which is not that often, I admit.

I never saw myself as a serious writer until I became a mother. If my son hadn’t come along, then most likely I’d still be working in a full time marketing job and wishing I had more time to write. Time then seemed very precious though the truth is I’d probably wasted vast amounts doing inconsequential stuff.

After I had my son, I decided to finally start writing or at least learn more about it, while I waited for my maternity leave to come to an end. I read one magazine, pitched a couple of really badly written ideas to the editor from my Yahoo! mail (cringe) which were accepted (to my surprise). I enjoyed it so much that I did a few writing courses and decided to formally pitch a few ideas, which were promptly rejected by most editors.

But I got up the next day, and the day after that and kept going through the sleep deprivation, early illnesses and constantly refreshing my inbox hoping to see a yes for one of my ideas. I kept pitching, making quite a few rookie mistakes before I learnt what not to do when pitching to an editor (I’m still learning!).

What got me to this stage, 3 years later, with many feature articles in my portfolio and a few corporate clients was:

  1. My passion for writing
  2. Persistence
  3. Flexibility

Without these three ingredients, I doubt I would have achieved as much as I would have done. I still feel on some days that I haven’t achieved as much as I would have liked, then I look at my son, and I know he has given me the life experiences that have added depth to my writing and partly contributed to my success as a freelancer.

I could sit here and tell you what I did to get established as a freelance writer but the truth is, you need to find a system that works for you and your child so that you can get your writing done. However, some general tips that work for many writers who are also mums are:

  1. Write in short bursts of time rather than trying to find a block of time because let’s face it, with a child that’s quite difficult to do.
  2. Have a dedicated space for your writing rather than at the kitchen table in the midst of dirty dishes!
  3. Go for a walk or do some exercise to start doing your best thinking.

Do you freelance around small children? What do you do to make it work?