On Friday I posted a “What’s in my bags?” video because for the month of April I’m getting #backtobasics. To be honest, when I was first thinking about all of this back in March all I knew for sure was that I wasn’t really using my journals or planner(s). And if I’m not journalling then there is something seriously wrong. One of the things that has really worked for me in the past is #onebookjuly. I remember the first time I heard Rhomany of Rhomany’s Realm talk about #onebookjuly–getting back to the basics of planning. If the system you’re using for planning isn’t working it doesn’t matter what notebook you use… And since then I’ve been working on my actual planning system.
I’d tell you about how I’m going to work on getting back to the basics in April, #backtobasicsapril. A few years ago, I participated, along with a lot of other journalers and planners, in #onebookjuly with Rhomany’s Realm, Carie Harling, and MissVickybee. Since then I’ve participated every year since. This year I can’t wait for July, and there are so many other things in my life that I need to get back to the basics with I knew I needed to do something. Here is the link to the playlist for #onebookjuly.
I mentioned my dilemma in a previous coffee chat, as well as a different video on my YT channel. Many others said they were feeling the same way. Many asked if we could do #onebookjuly early. I don’t see why we couldn’t, but I need to do more than get back to the basics with my journaling and planning, I need to purge, clean, and organize my supplies, my house, my life…especially with Camp NaNoWriMo starting April 1st.
In the spirit of Rhomany, Carie, and Vicky’s #onebookjuly theme, which is getting back to the basics of planning, we thought we’d call our mission for April #backtobasicsapril. Some of us will be getting back to the basics with their budgets, or with their meal planning, their craft/journal/planner supplies, their homes, their planners, journals, or some of those or maybe all of those, as well as a few other things most likely. I am going to start the purging, cleaning, and organizing of my desk this week because I will (hopefully) be getting my new computer built this coming weekend, but everything else starts on April 1st. 😀 Continue reading
2016 taught me a lot about what worked and didn’t work for me in regard to planning, journaling, drawing, painting, goal setting, editing videos, etc… I learned so much last year. Part of what I learned is the living a creative life is my passion, but it’s also part of my purpose.
Because there were a few things that did and didn’t work I changed things up this year.
Here is my coffee chat about some of this:
Have you ever thought “Why on earth did I ever think I could be an artist, writer, poet, singer, ____ fill in the blank?” Or “Why am I trying to do this? I’m never going to make it as a(n) ____, I should just find something else to do with my time.” Last year when I first started working on Cameron’s 12 week self-guided course The Artist’s Way I couldn’t help but feel like I was an imposter… in the back of my mind I felt like a pretend writer/artist…This past week was week one of my 2017 journey with The Artist’s Way and I don’t feel so much like an imposter anymore, but I have realized that I do still have some self doubt, as well as the overwhelming need to pile too much stuff on myself, which equals stress, a lack of individual focus, and can lead to not following through with at least one or two things.
I’m going to add a video to the bottom of the post where I talk about a few other things from week 1, my actual check in, and here on the blog post I’m going to delve into a few other things like how differently I feel this go round. How much trouble I’ve had delving into the Morning pages…
Last year when I was working on The Artist’s Way I knew I needed to work on the root of my writer’s block, on my lack of belief in myself as an artist, and my self-doubt in general. I am a creative person. I owned that shit! I learned to say “I’m a writer!” loudly and proudly. And by the end of 2016, I’d learned to say ‘I’m an artist,” proudly. After a thirty years plus some hiatus from creating art, and then to jump into the “Fauxbonichi/Hobonichi/etc” style journaling, adding doodles and watercolor to my journal pages, and then to actually creating art on watercolor paper, and even on canvas, and signing up for Patreon this past year–well, let’s just say I climbed more than quite a few hurdles.
However, for every two or three hurdles I manged to climb over, it felt like there was yet another (or three) obstacles…I learned a great deal about myself last year, and I’m learning even more this year. I learned quite a few things just last week. One of the things I need to remember is that I need to have patience with myself. I could make a list, but instead I’m going to say that Self-Care has become an even more important part of my life. This week as I work on week two, I’ll be working on Morning Pages first thing. I’m going to make it my top priority first thing in the morning. Another thing I am going to work on is taking Wednesday, and maybe even Friday, off from YT. I need a bit of a break, some time to get a few things together–I’m going to make a few changes, and I need a few days to figure things out.
There is this part of me that feels guilty because I need a break… I shouldn’t feel guilty for needed a break. For taking a bit of “me time.” In the video I have linked below, I say “I’m sorry, but not sorry,” and that is the truth. Rationally, I know I need this break, but it does bother me that people might be disappointed, and yet if I am to continue to make at least decent content than I have to take a break. I’m still healing, I need a bit more rest than I’ve been getting, and my body is screaming at me to get that rest. My mind is screaming at me to figure this shit out because I’ve piled too much on myself for the beginning of this year, and I need to spread out the projects a little better.
If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that this month feels so much more positive than the past two months. That’s in part thanks to my wonderful husband, Mr. Rockstar (David), my family, and my friends (my tribe). Not only have I managed to feel more confident, positive, and grateful, but I’ve also realized I’d let my attitude become one of “what’s going to go wrong next,” of looking at the glass half empty–of negativity.
I can’t help but think that the negative feelings were contributing to things going wrong, breaking… I decided that I wasn’t going to allow the negativity from the past couple of months to spread into December. Nope, not happening. So I started the month out with a positive attitude. I changed a few things up. Started planning out my Spirit(ual) Omni Journal, worked on December’s layout and set up in my (regular) Omni Journal… and I set up things for December in my 2017 Hobonichi (which is for my personal, business, and Patreon planning/use). I wanted positive reinforcement. Needed it. And the best way to do that is to start out with an affirmation, a way to hold myself accountable (got on FB, YT, etc) and stated… No more negativity, it’s a whole new month, a new beginning… I’m going to be positive…I’m going to get things done, going to be happy, and I’m so grateful for the good things that did happen over the past few months… it wasn’t all negative.
Changing my attitude, talking about how it was a whole new month, a new beginning spread… other’s did the same… Happiness, positivity, kindness… those are contagious.
SO let’s talk about what I’ve got going on, what I’m planning (not only for December, but for 2017), and some of my goals. (This is going to be a 2 part post (and video), maybe even a 3 part. 😀
What I accomplished in 2016 so far:
- With the help of 3 wonderful women, I opened a FB group for women called Destination Me: Adventures at the Round Table. A place where we are safe to talk about and share things like our creative projects, our goals, our ideas and thoughts about creativity, spirituality, and life. A way to hold ourselves accountable. The four of us (Debbie, Jen, Karen, and myself) all contribute to the DM group… we are similar enough, but different enough, that we each contribute something to the group, and those wonderful women in the group also contribute. It’s become our home away from home. A safe haven to share and converse.
- With the support and encouragement of several people, I finished NaNoWriMo.
- With the support and encouragement from several women in my tribe, I opened up a FB group called Omni Journaling with Burgess.
- With the support and encouragement of several people, I joined Patreon and now have several Patrons.
- I reached 1000 subscribers on YouTube…
- I was the beneficiary of several happy mail items… Y’all… that was so wonderful. 😀 And much needed and appreciated.
- And, I renewed the Hosting for this website and have been blogging much more… I still need to work on blogging more often…
- Last but not least, I checked several things off my “bucket list” this year.
Goals for 2017:
- 2000 subscribers on YT
- To blog every day, at the least every other day.
- To grow my Patreon page
- To make enough of a passive income that I am supporting my creative life myself (supplies like notebooks, pens, camera, lighting, watercolors, washi tape, etc.; Website Hosting, increasing the internet speed so I don’t have “weak connection” anymore, books, tarot cards, a tablet selfie stick, etc…).
- To make enough income from my creative life that I do not have to work outside the home.
- To clean and organize the attic, my craft and art supplies, and the kitchen cabinets.
- To paint our bedroom wall and draw/paint a mural on the wall.
- To follow my path spiritually… to learn and grow spiritually.
- To finish the Witchy Business Novel and the Broken novel, and to have at least the first round of edits done.
- To write every day, at least 500-1000 words per day.
- To draw/paint every day.
- To be more organized and have more focus.
- To practice kindness, positivity, and courage on a daily basis.
- To have a regular schedule: bed by midnight, up by 8AM.
- To be healthier (which includes 10+K steps per day, eat healthier, etc)
My list goes on…
And I’ve started implementing things this month to help me accomplish things in the new year. I’ve created a Spirit Omni Journal, which is a Stalogy 365 A5 Notebook. I’ve started setting up my new Omni Journal for next year, which is an Enigma from Taroko Design.
Here is the video where I talk about this:
- Writer’s write.
- Just write.
- Put your butt in the chair and write.
- Write one word at a time.
- Keep writing…
Each year I participate in NaNoWriMo (and NaNo’s Camps) to keep myself motivated to write everyday. Developing the habit of writing everyday is one of those crucial aspects of a writing career that is essential to success. Recently I heard someone say “If you’re not writing, you’re not a writer.” I think it’s important, as a creative person, to remember that there might be days when you don’t feel like writing, or being creative in general. When depression, anxiety, or life’s curve balls happen and the last thing you want or feel like doing is writing (or being creative). But if you want to thrive and survive as a creative person you have to find a way to get past those, to not only survive them but to thrive.
I love reading and writing. I also love drawing, painting with watercolors, coloring, writing in my journal… the combination of words and art help soothe my soul, they provide me with a healthy way to reduce my anxiety, stress, and help to keep the depression at bay. I’ve also noticed that journaling about my writing process, as well as my day, help keep me focused (and believe me, that’s hard to do since I have ADHD). When a shiny new idea pops up and tempts me to quit what I’m currently working on to go work on that shiny new idea, I just jot down the shiny new idea into my notebook, then go back to my current project.
When I’m afraid that I don’t know what to write next, or the fear of the blank page sends my anxiety into overdrive, instead of freezing and letting that fear overtake me I take a walk, read a chapter in the current book I’m reading (right now I’m re-reading the Stand by Stephen King), take a bath, get a cup of coffee or a bottle of water, eat a snack like cashews or a banana–during that time I’ve cleared my mind. The ability to write isn’t as super power. It takes commitment, diligence, resilience, and determination.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given in regard to writing is two parts:
- “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” ~Stephen King
- “Just write, and keep writing until it’s finished.” Miss Franklin, my 9th grade English teacher.
King also said, “Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.” I firmly believe that. If you don’t understand the basics of storytelling, of a book, how can you write one, especially a good one.
And when it comes to the actual writing, if you don’t write… you won’t have a book, and you can’t edit a blank page, can’t publish the book you don’t write… And the first draft isn’t going to be perfect, or as Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” I remind myself of that daily. I also remind myself that the worst thing I’ve written that day is better than what I didn’t write. Letting go of the perfectionism is one of the best ways to survive and thrive during NaNoWriMo. Turn off your inner editor when you’re writing the first draft. It’s called the Fugly First Draft for a reason.
Here is additional real life tips for NaNoWriMo:
Uncovering a Sense of Support
Critical to any creative journey is sense of creative support. You must practice discernment, weeding out that which does not serve and watering the shoots you want to foster. This week’s tasks invite you to consciously interact with those who are positive on your behalf. Reaching out to others for their belief, you will also reach within and steady your personal confidence. If you had the faith what might you try” This week’s explorations will lead you into knowing your own mind.
When I first saw this chapter (my first attempt at Finding Water), I wasn’t thrilled about it–this time, however, things have changed. Cameron talks about having a network of friends and family there to be supportive. She calls these supportive people in your life Believing Mirrors. Accordingly, they reflect back to you the beautiful being that you are when you aren’t able to see it yourself. And through their own beauty they inspire you and speak the words you were thinking, but hadn’t formed yet or the words that you’re afraid to say. In turn, you will reflect the amazing creative beings that they are and that you are yourself–without having to actually work hard at it, which is what we do when we’re doing it alone. In a group setting, this multiplies. Cameron states that “creativity occurs in clusters,” and I agree with her. Over the past month I’ve found this to be true myself.
This week has been chaotic, especially the weekend. I’ve been busy with family, as well as personal and creative projects. I missed doing Morning/Evening pages more than once this week. I had to split my Artist Date into two different things because of time and obligations, but I ended up having much more fun than I might have had I just done what I had originally planned for my Artist Date. For more about what I did for my walk and my Artist Date I’ve included the video for this week.
Truth is, with each passing week I’ve realized that 1. I need to prepare for my Artist Date better. 2. I need to make the time for my Morning/Evening pages. 3. I need to ask for help more. I know that things are getting better, I can feel it inside and out, but it’s slow going and I’m not the most patient of people–What? Me? Nope, I’m not. It’s one of my flaws.
I prefer to do things on my own, I don’t like asking for help, nor do I like feeling like I’m not able to do things myself… so asking for help is difficult, but not impossible. Over the past few years, I’ve had to ask for help from family and friends much more than I wanted but it helped me, and made me feel good–I have people I can ask for help. Over the past month, I’ve realized (thanks to our group, Destination Me) that I am not out here alone, and it’s alright to ask for help. 😀
Overall, this was a much better week, and a much better experience, than I thought it would be. Now, I’m off to address thank you cards.
For the past few years, this is the third year, Rhomany’s Realm, MissVickyB, and Carie Harling, have been challenging people in the “planning” community to participate in something called the #onebookjuly challenge.
The challenge is: 1 book, one pen, one month. The idea behind it is to take your planning back to the basics. So many people are looking for what they refer to as Planner Peace. I’ve heard it said by many that if your basic planning system doesn’t work then no matter what planner you have, no many how many you try, the system won’t work, which makes sense–planner peace at its core comes from a planning system that works, and all you really need to plan your day, month, year, etc is a pen and a piece of paper/notebook.
For years, nothing worked right for me. Nothing. I tried a day runner type planner, one of those inexpensive one’s you can get at Walmart or the drugstore, I tried a notebook, a tried a desk calendar, I broke down and tried a Filofax, before that (many years ago) I had a Franklin Covey, a Fauxbonichi, then I tried the Bullet Journal method…
Currently, I am using what I call an “omni-journal,” or what MissVickyB calls a Faux-Bujo, the combination of a “Fauxbonichi and a Bullet Journal.” A Fauxbonichi is a “faux” Hobonichi, which is a Japanese planner that allows you to plan and sketch/illustrate your life via monthly calendar pages, weekly calendar pages, and then daily pages on what is called Tomoe River paper (which is divine paper for watercolor and fountain pens) and most people sketch or illustrate little drawings, and/or use diary stickers, on their daily pages to chronicle their day.
I love the Hobonichi, and if the day wasn’t set up for one page per day, dated pages, I would have stuck with it, but I write too big and too much for one page per day. So I bought a Seven Seas Crossfield notebook, by Nanami Paper, which has Tomoe River paper, and I also have a Mystiqe notebook by Taroko Designs with Tomoe River paper, both have dot grid paper and started what I called an omni-journal–a combination planner, sketch book, Hobonichi style, bullet journal style, Fauxbonichi style journal. And I love it, but I’ve found that I don’t like the way the “bullet” to do list looks on my pages that are filled with art and writing… It takes away from the aesthetics of the page.
For several months I’ve debated over whether or not I could actually use Jenny Penton’s Planner Perfect method, where you script your days. Instead of “to-do” lists you script out your day. I bought her ebook and read it. Tried it for a few days but felt lost when it came to my “to-do’s” like paying bills, appointments, etc. I went back to sticky notes for my “to-do’s” in my omnijournal, or putting my little “to-do” list on my daily pages. I flip-flopped back and forth between bullet journaling, omni-journaling, etc… I did not have planner peace.
The beginning of June rolled around and I thought… Oh, #onebookjuly is almost here. Maybe this time I can do this and not fail miserably. Maybe I can figure out something that will work for me. I began taking notes about what I liked about the various planning methods that are out there. I literally made a pro and con list. I also decided that for the challenge instead of using one book, I’d actually use one Traveler’s Notebook. I had a new Jonelifish, a traveler’s notebook made by an artist named Jonel Imutan. I also decided that instead of using one pen since I art/sketch/watercolor/illustrate I’d use one bag. Figure out my very favorite art supplies for my journal, what I’d use if I were going to go out on an artist date or out of town and needed an art travel bag.
I’m going to link my most current video for #onebookjuly2016, which is part of my playlist for #onebookjuly2016 at the end of this so you can check out my videos, if you’d like, that will explain this further, but suffice to say, I am really loving things because I have been combining Jenny’s Planner Perfect Method with what I was already doing in my omnijournal, only I’m finding that I am leaning more and more towards the Planner Perfect Method.
Scripting my day out has helped me change my mindset about planning, about what I’m doing each day, each week. It’s helped me realize that my omnijournal is more of a common place journal. I’ll have more to come about using the Planner Perfect Method, but for now I’m just so much happier with how my daily stuff, like planning, sketching, art, writing, etc… I feel more positive and filled with enthusiasm about each day, part of that is finding near planner peace, part of it is succeeding finally at #onebookjuly, and part of it is Project Me.
Here is the List for the main One Book July video’s:
The ORIGINAL #onebookjuly video (v1) https://youtu.be/AchAsT5YQkY
Rhomany’s intro video to #onebookjuly2016 https://youtu.be/KmBLVaB6uhA
Follow Carie here https://www.youtube.com/user/carielynn74
Follow Vicky here https://www.youtube.com/user/MissVick…
Over the course of several years, I’ve been refining my writing process, which includes ways to get inspired, stay motivated, and get shit done (productivity). Here are some of the things I’ve found that help me.
- Clean up your work area, as well as other areas that bother you and/or need cleaning. A 15 minute clean in your work area, a quick clean of your living areas. A 30 minute clean for important areas. Sometimes it’s hard to work when there is clutter, especially if the clutter distracts you. So taking fifteen minutes to clean really helps.
- Books that help inspire and motivate you to be creative have really helped me lately. Books like “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, or the one I’m working on right now, “Finding Water,” also by Julia Cameron. Another book that’s extremely helpful with productivity is “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.
- Morning Pages are a great way to start your day. They help with clarity, are a great tool to get you in the mood to write, and are overall a great way to put those negative things that are rolling around in your brain down and then let them go–after a while you’ll see that what you write is less negative and more positive.
- Music. Music is a great way to help you get in the mood to be creative, to write, clean, create (art, etc) and to keep you motivated. I often listen to classic rock while I clean, instrumental music or Rainymoods.com when I’m writing, and various kinds of music when I’m creating art.
- An artist date. An artist date, as defined by Julia Cameron, is a solo adventure, that includes something fun, playful and are aimed at romancing or wooing our artist within. I like going for a walk in a park, swinging on a swing at a playground, going to for a cup of coffee and reading or writing or drawing, as well as going to lunch by myself and taking a book along with me. Most of my artist dates include coffee and a book or notebook and/or my camera.
- Candles, Incense…I use these things to help get me in the mood to write, to help cleanse my work area of any negativity, and because they smell good.
- Journal. I often write a few lines down here and there about what I want to do, as well as use my bullet journal to make a list of tasks for the day, week, month. I jot down projects, and then break them down so that I know what I should start with, as well as making sure that I have smaller goals to start with (which helps me feel better, more positive and less fearful–less self-doubt).
- Vision board. This can be a physical vision board, one on Pinterest, in your journal using collage, or whatever works for you.
- Read a book for fun. I often take a break when I feel a bit burned out with writing and read for fun. I now have a goal to read for at least 30 minutes each day just for fun, not for homework or for “working on my self,” but for FUN!
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Space for Writing/creating Art/etc. Whether it’s a corner somewhere, or an actual room, having your own space, a space that is for your creativity helps.
- Limit Distractions. Block out a certain amount of time that is just for writing. That means no Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google searching, etc. You and the page (and my cup of coffee or glass of wine.)
- Get dressed. Get out of those pajamas, those sweatpants, and get dressed. It doesn’t have to be “dress” clothes, but it does need to at least something that you’d wear to the grocery store, to the craft store, the bookstore… It’s a mindset thing. I’m dressed and now I’m ready to go to work.
- Writing buddies, or “Co-conspirators” as Ms. Cameron calls them. Find others with like interests so you can talk about those interests. For me it’s the #writestuff community, #writetube, FB…I have quite a few writer buddies and it really does help knowing that you’re not alone in your struggles (whether it’s with procrastination, self-doubt, editing woe’s, or trying to figure out whether your book should be in 1st or 3rd POV).
- (and last but not least) Schedule. This has been the hardest for me, yet it really is one of the top things I should be doing, should stick to so that I’d be more productive. I know this. I do, but the struggle has been real y’all. I know that I should block out specific chunks of time for writing, for art, for… and cut the distractions, and Just Write, but honestly, outside forces like Mr. Rockstar’s crazy schedule, which changes at the end of this week finally (he goes back to having a regular schedule instead of rotating shifts), or family, or things that happen, or staying up too late because I had insomnia or was in pain and then I don’t wake up until mid-day (or later)… But today is the start of brand new week, and last week I did better than the week before, and this week I’ll do even better than last week, and before long I should be back into my routine.
One last thing, if you’re striving for perfection then you’re bound to be disappointed, so instead of striving for perfection, especially with that first draft, remember this:
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” ~Marilyn Monroe