Nanowrimo 2018 is here, and we should all be writing harder than ever. Check back at the end of the month for more Jobesome goodness.
Just a little reminder to never stop doing what you love.
Happy birthday to my boyfriend, who has always been my most faithful blog reader. ^_^ What a special year this is that I turned 36 on 3/6 and he turns 44 on 4/4.
Did you know that when you get older (I’m looking at you, twenty-somethings) you get emails from the most unexpected senders wishing you a happy birthday? I have received no fewer than four happy birthday emails from: my dentist’s office, Lane Bryant, my mortgage company, and my chiropractor’s office. How odd! The barrage of well wishing on Facebook I expected, but this made me feel, well, somewhere between “grown up” and “old.” Hah! I also had two recent moments where people younger than me taught me how to do something tech-related, and that’s really a surefire way to feel “old.” (I’m putting it in quote marks because I don’t actually mind my age at all and a friend of mine said the 40s are her favorite decade yet.)
So the other weekend we’re at the theater to see Black Panther and I’ve got the text-messaged scan code on my phone (look at me! so saavy!) but the ticket check kid (who looked about 15) told me I needed to turn the brightness up on my phone and I stumbled lamely, “What? But, I don’t–” at which point he said “here let me show you” and proceeded to school me in a super fast method of adjusting brightness that I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW EXISTED. So while I’m still reeling from that embarassment, I’m in the car with my own kid (who is 15) and he says, “oh, I like this song, what’s it called again?” to which I, of course, replied, “no idea,” so he says “that’s what the info button’s for.” Now, I scanned the buttons again to be sure, but I felt pretty certain I had never seen a button reading “info,” and I was right. There wasn’t one. “I don’t have one of those,” I replied confidently, perhaps a little triumphantly, even.
“Mom,” he sighed, “the button with the letter i,” at which point, I swear to gods, he pointed out a button I never knew existed in my vehicle (which I’ve had for many years) and lo and behold, we were given the band name and song title. EGAD. I had no idea what this would feel like, no longer being at the forefront of technological advances, and I’ll admit I giggled with glee when the tables were turned, so it’s only fair I get my come-uppence now, I suppose! Sheesh.
Well I’m just tickled that I’m turning 36 on 36, so that’s my fun for today. Keep shining,
You’ve probably heard of the concept of selecting a Word of the Year (WotY): it’s one way to focus your energy on some goal, feeling, or idea. I love this concept, and this will be my second year participating. Rather than pledging yourself to a New Year’s resolution with an inherent “win or lose” dichotomy, a word for the year is a theme that can’t be let down by wavering consistency. In other words, you can’t fail a concept. If you find yourself wandering away from your word, just return back to it. It’s that simple (and that awesome).
We can be more or less successful in arenas of our lives based on so many factors—our relationships with family, friends, or lovers; our environment at work or at home; our ability to get to sleep, stay asleep, get enough sleep; our mental health and the individual causes that can exacerbate stress, anxiety, and depression; our ability to earn enough, save enough; whether or not we’re eating, what we’re eating, when, how much, how often. Essentially there are countless factors that can influence whether we’re feeling better or worse at a given moment which may determine our likelihood toward success or failure on a given day. We’ve all experienced the day when everything seems to go right—or wrong.
But unlike a resolution, you can’t fail a word. If you’re the kind of person who feels discouraged by failure (aren’t we all?) and less likely to even try if you’re afraid you’re just going to let yourself down, thinking of the new year in terms of a word, a concept, a guiding principle, can be incredibly uplifting, encouraging, inspiring. Let’s remove the condemnation of bad days and stop beating ourselves up for the things we get wrong. Instead, let’s focus on the good, the big picture, and the habit over time.
Last year I chose the word “habitual” because I wanted to combine the associations of “habit” and “ritual.” Even though that’s not exactly what “habitual” means, it made sense to me because of the sounds of the words as well as the meanings. And your word is your own—it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else; you don’t have to justify it to anyone. This is such a personal choice for such a private journey, why not do this one thing that’s just for you?
Words I considered for 2018 included: steady, fearless, active, willing; momentum, frequency, agency, harmony; goldfish; conspire, complicit (I liked the idea of the sinister aspect of secret goals and desires). The worksheets below are part of a year in review packet made by the illustrious Susannah Conway, whom I adore.
In the end, I didn’t choose any of my brainstormed words, though the process of thinking through those ideas helped me come to my decision: I chose the word/phrase “get up and go.” Used as a hyphenate, get-up-and-go is a noun synonymous with words like gumption, moxie, umph. It is your drive tested over time, your get-started-ness and your stick-to-it-tive-ness. As a phrase, “Get up and go!” is a demonstrative command, encouraging the target (you understood) to “Act now!” I chose this because I want to nurture the habits I cultivated last year, those of writing and exercising regularly. (See how it builds?)
“Get up and go” (see also “rise and shine,” “get going” and other variants) is a very popular phrase in advertising, as you can see here:
The phrase “get up and go” is also used in a jokey, fun way for times when we feel like doing anything but:
But it’s also still a tried-and-true concept for earnest motivation:
Last year I was extrememly gung-ho about my WotY for the first few months, and then I kind of forgot about it, although I maintained the goals my word represented, to greater and lesser extent based on what else was going on. This year I made “get up and go” the tagline for this blog, so it’ll be impossible to forget! I encourage you to do something similar: post your Word somewhere you’ll see it often, and choose a word that will make you feel excited to strive toward your best self.
If you want help deciding on your Word of the Year for 2018, check out the fantastic Susannah Conway. And if you want to declare your Word of the Year for 2018, you can participate at My One Word and One Word 365. Also check out the cool stuff happening at My Intent.
Nanowrimo is a time of solemn peace and reflection… Hah! Just kidding. It’s chaotic, and nerve-wracking, and completely insane! I’ve written about preparing before (in 2016, 2015 here and here, 2014 here and here…) so this time I’m just going to say: do it. You’ll be glad and proud you did. It is 1,000% worth it.
Oh, and take it from me.
The thing I wish I’d done differently was kept up more consistency with writing every single day. After a long night in class or at work, I often felt the idea of writing one or two thousand words would just be too tough. In retrospect I wish I had told myself it would be okay to write just 500 words… Maybe even just 100 words on those days.
My proudest achievement this year was writing every single day, even if it was just 100-200 words on my phone. In previous years I allowed myself skip days and that really put the pressure on. But I found this year that I was motivated by the idea of checking in every single day for that badge at the end with 30 check-ins!
Here are the calendars I made for you:
Here is a totally kickass thing I borrowed from a totally kickass blog NOW NOVEL so go to it and check out the awesome right now!!!
And last but definitely not least, I found this:
Which inspired me to create these: (i love you. you’re welcome.)
Here’s a snippet from the press release:
Romance vs. Erotica Writing Workshop
CALS Main Library, 100 Rock St., Little Rock
Thursday, September 28, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Instructors J. Jobe and Kassandra Klay lead this conversation on how the genres differ, surprising traits they have in common, and offer tips on how to construct scenes that will thrill.
And here’s a snippet from the website:
Romance vs. Erotica Writing Workshop
Thursday, September 28 • 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. • Main Library
Find out how the genres differ, what surprising traits they have in common, and how to construct scenes that thrill. Instructors Jobe and Kassandra Klay tell us what’s hot and what’s not. Audience: Adults Only!