Planning and the New Year

I’ve always been a reasonably good planner though these last few years have put a definite crimp in my normal routine. And just for the record, my word for 2019 is determined.

In 2017, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. We spent the whole year with surgeries and chemo and all the things necessary to get him cured. In 2018, I spent most of the time recovering myself but there was one thing I was interested in pursuing, and that was my MFA in Creative Writing.

In January 2018, I checked out the local program and was so impressed overall that I immediately submitted my application. Every time a deadline passed, I would email the office to see what was happening. Then I got wait-listed and felt I’d waited too long as obviously my chance was gone. With only six weeks to go, I was informed I had indeed gotten in and was given the dates for that July residency.

Sure, I jumped for joy, but I also knew that it would change everything as I would now have to ‘fit’ everything around my education. Fast forward to January 2019, and I’ve now completed my second semester and no longer am the stunned person I was in July 2018. I also learned that my first semester was excellent and easy to plan around. This semester, I have a new mentor who expects many different things from me, more difficult things and definitely much more polished.

After resting and getting my bearings for nearly two weeks, I realize I am going to have to plan more than ever. Last semester, I revamped older writing things to use but this time around, I’m having to start from an idea to getting it on the paper to critiques, and you get the idea.

A few years ago, I had designed a planner specifically for a writer’s productivity. While I do want to continue that project, I decided to go with a popular planner design from Erin Condren because it fit with my goals. I’m using her quarterly mini-planners as well as her goal planner.

Both of these will get me back into the habit of writing down what I need to do and when. It will also have a daily inspiration that perks me up. Today’s was: It always seems impossible until it’s done. I have space to make notes and then check them off as I complete them. I also use colors: purple is for writing and school things, hot pink is for my own writing life outside of school, and teal is for all things personal.

Every day, I can glance at it and see just how much or how little I might have to do that day from the colors alone. I’ve included a photo of my calendar, which includes today and the weekend. Notice not much is on the weekend and that is to accommodate my husband’s day’s off. Today, you will notice is full of things still not checked off. I usually go back over my daily items before writing in my nightly journal.

What do you do to combine and plan all areas of your life? Do you use separate planners for separate portions? Or do you just use one planner and try to make it work that way?

Can’t wait to hear your answers about planning and coordination of life and writing. Next month, I’ll be looking at the goal planner and how I’m using it to keep my writing, both regular and MFA projects, organized.

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

Playing with Passion

In our last post, Jennifer talked about her word for the year. Finding our words for the year has become a bit of a tradition with our crit group and I wanted to do the same. Something to pull into my life, every day, to shade all my interactions, to push me a little bit further, to give a little bit more.

My word for 2019 is passion. In the last year, I started a new day job and I love it. I have wonderful friends there, I feel good about what I do, and I’m damn good at it.  All the same, my crit partners can tell you, I all but disappeared. No new writing, no new crits, nothing. I was desperately trying to find balance and I think I’m getting there. I’m writing every day again–even if it’s only a little–and I’m prioritizing the things I let fall away.

But I want to do more than that. I want to approach each new project, each new day, each moment with passion.

Wish me luck! I’m hoping you have the very best year, filled with success in all your endeavors.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

2019: The year of Jen

Hi, all. Jennifer here.

Ah, the New Year. So full of goals and promises. But for me,  2019 will be a bit more than checking accomplishments off a list. It will be about checking off more time for me. I feel as if I’m spent up. Not that this was a hard or bad year, but I’ve been neglecting myself a little too long without really realizing it. And now I need to concentrate on that.

Have you heard of OneWord 365? I love the idea of assigning ONE WORD that encapsulates how you want to live for the year and focusing on that.

My One Word this year is REPLENISH. Replenish means restore to the former level or condition. Yes. I need to be restored to where I was a few years ago. I need to take a little more time for myself and refill my “well” both spiritually, personally, and professionally.

That might mean  taking more time off from social media and from social commitments and even some writing commitments. But it’s just temporary. It’s only a year.

But I feel it will be worth it.

Have you set any resolutions, goals, or assigned a word for yourself this year? Please share!

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. Check out her latest sweet romance: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN

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