Somehow it’s July 5th and my desk calendar is still on April. This pretty much sums up my frame of mind while trying to figure out what the hell has been going on over the past few months. Winter felt as if it was going to be around forever and now Philadelphia is in the middle of a heat wave.
In between the madness of starting spring by moving into a new apartment, then trying to juggle filming for my freelance project on top of a full time job, capped off by the abrupt hospice/death of my grandmother at the end of the season, summer kind of just appeared.
Honestly, there hasn’t been any exciting plans so far besides the Weezer concert I’m attending tonight (my first concert in three years) and writing. Actually, the main priority for summer 2016 is getting the first draft of my book completed by the end of season. While I’ve been dabbling with writing the book for over a year and half now, over the past two months my commitment to seeing it through with a deadline is has materialized.
Maybe it is because I am now closer to 30 than ever before, or that as a writer who has been fortunate enough to be published in a variety of places, there is something inside me that is craving to dive deeper into my storytelling ability. And the fact that I was at Barnes and Nobles the a few months ago and became unexplainably furious to see that Snookie had a book featured in the New York Times Best Sellers section, and I did not.
Despite my silly notion that my brain should be able to write and create quality content at least 17 hours each day, it cannot. Between growing in my abilities as the Digital Content Program Specialist at work, which has been exciting and rewarding, while working on my first (and highest paying) video project as a side hustle- writing for my book has been increasingly hard to manage.
But with the filming complete for the side hustle video (cannot wait to share it on here when it is live), my free time outside of the 9-5 has been redirected to sitting down with my Google Doc and typing. Some days my hands cannot keep up with the thoughts and emotions tumbling out of my head and it is a struggle to get it all down on paper.
Other days it is a struggle to lift up my fingers to write a complete sentence that has an ounce of redeemable quality. But recently, I have made myself slodge through the heaviness of my thoughts and the clumsiness of my fingers to get through the other side of writer’s block. At the moment, my manuscript has 60,000 words that will be become my first book- which is even bizarre to type.
In order to continue to gain momentum and to organize the mammoth of words that have been strung together in my Google Doc, I enlisted the help of Julie Lenard, from The Storyologist. When I attended as session Julie ran at the PHL Blogger Conference back in April, the notion of a writing coach become appealing.
After several emails and a meeting, we decided to work together to help reach my goal. I’ll eventually go into more detail of how a writing coach has helped me organize my thoughts, and push myself to write topics that may not come as easily to me as others. Also, for the first time in my personal life since I was a kid, I am being held accountable for doing something.
With work, it is easy for me to not drop the ball since my accountability impacts others in the office as well as my potential paycheck. For my own personal work, the only person that is affected by my lack of action is myself which never really matters to me most of the time. But with Julie, there are multiple check ins each week to see if I actually did my writing during the times we talked about, which she can go in and read in our shared Google Doc folder. Knowing that her email will be coming and that she is expecting to be reading new content, there is a refreshed sense of urgency of me committing to writing.
Other Things That Have Happened So Far This Summer:
- My 1st experience shopping at the 9th Street Italian Market in Philadelphia. Yes, I am a native Philadelphian and have lived here for the majority of my life but it took me until the age of 27 to experience this local gem.
- Over Memorial Day weekend, I won $210 by putting $3 in a penny slot machine that was called ‘Cats’ in Atlantic City. Never underestimate the power of being a friend of the feline. #CatLadyLife
- Somehow my niece is now old enough to read, write and ride most amusement park rides that require certain heights. She graduated kindergarten in June, and will be starting 1st grade in the fall. As she sang The Rainbow Connection with her classmates and read her drawing of what she wants to be when she grows up (a veterinarian), flashes of the future blurred through my eyes of dance recitals, junior high dances, prom photos and high school graduation. Time never went so fast until I had a child in my life.
- In June, I spent the day at The Delaware Valley Congenital Heart Walk in honor of Weston Keeton. His entire family came up for the weekend, which meant the days were filled with little hands and feet running around the city of Philadelphia. All of the kids came to visit me at my office, making it the first time Julie was able to see my office at Penn Rehab which was really exciting. Being able to celebrate Weston’s life, raise awareness for heart disease and make new memories the continuous effect that The Miracle on 34th Street continues to have on so many lives.
- I had a fight with a metal pole, and the inanimate object won. Rather than wait for another coworker who is a bit stronger than I am, my stubborn streak made it a personal goal to detach the metal pole of the table from it’s wooden top while breaking down an event one evening last week. Somehow after pulling without any movement for over a minute, the grip of the table top let loose and toppled over me. Initially thinking it was just a hard knock to the windpipe, I went about picking myself up until realizing my necklace chain was cut in half while my neck was bleeding. As much as it was sore, red and uncomfortable the most painful part of the entire ordeal was the fuss that my concerned coworkers made. Later own while cleaning the gash at home, I realized that it was right on my jugular. If it had went in any harder or if my thick necklace rope (the one that holds the gem that contains my grandmother’s ashes), the situation could have been pretty severe. The ordeal was a reminder that my guardian angels are never too far away because they are quite aware of my accident-prone self, and that sometimes it just makes more sense to let someone else do the heavy lifting in order to prevent the heavy bleeding.
- Annie continues to be as ginger-licious as ever. Just when I think that after having her for over 2 1/2 years her cuteness would be expected, there are moments where a certain way she looks at me melts my heart all over again. She may be the reason I no longer sleep past 8 am, and have scratches on my hands when attempting to brush her shedding fur- but most of the time I would rather hang out with her instead of anyone else.
Thank you for continuing to read my ramblings and sharing my stories. To keep up with daily photos and random happenings of my life, make sure to like my Facebook page by clicking here.