About Me · Dreams · Editing · Indie · Publishing · Writing

Update on Writing Progress

Morning, everyone!

I thought I’d give you all an update of what’s going on in my little writing world. Jumping right in, I’ll tell you that my tentative deadline is coming up at the end of August. I will be finishing up the fourth edit of my novel manuscript today and starting the fifth sometime this weekend or Monday. I am finding less and less to fix each time (which is ideal) and I am upping the amount of pages I edit a day with each subsequent editing session. Things are moving along. I am about 3/4 of the way through Zoe Winter’s bookSmart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author. GREAT book. You should all check it out if you are thinking about publishing independently.

As well, I’m about 70,000 words into the sequel to the novel I’m currently prepping for publishing. Last year, I wrote four manuscripts. This year, I’m not even done with my first, but I’ve been focusing so much on editing the first novel I wrote last year that it was hard to get more writing done. However, I have confidence that I can finish one manuscript, publish a novel, and at least get half-way through another manuscript by the end of 2012.

Things are getting really exciting in my writing life. I am going to achieve a life-long dream by the time fall rolls around (or at least by winter!), and I will hopefully be successful enough to keep pursuing my dreams full-time. It has been an exciting ride. My advice to anyone who is dreaming of becoming a published author and work full-time on their writing is this: make it a priority. Make sure you communicate fully just how important your writing is to your family, friends, and yourself. Start with an hour a day. Seriously, just sit down and write an hour a day and you’d be surprised how much work you can accomplish. Once you’ve got your hour down, start making a word-count goal for that hour. Once you’ve got that down, keep it going! Read about the craft, try different styles and exercises to strengthen your skills! Practice editing your own work to learn how to think objectively about your own writing. Dare to dream! But, also dare to make goals of your dreams. Typically, dreams remain in the clouds unless you put feet to them and bring them to earth as goals.

Get going! What are you waiting for? You can do it!

Working on anything exciting? I’d love to hear about your current writing escapades and goals!

Thanks for stopping by,

 

L.M.

About Me · Balance

Developing a Morning Routine

I mentioned in here how I wanted to start developing a more structured morning routine. Well, I am actively pursuing that dream. In organizing this dream, I had several goals for myself:

>>go to bed before 11:30

>>wake up at 6:30

>>do yoga first thing (just a twenty to thirty minute vinyasa, nothing crazy, so it is sustainable)

>>do the morning portion of the Daily Office (I use Celtic Daily Prayer)

>>spend time with my husband

>>drink plenty of water

>>eat a nutritious breakfast

>>do a small bit of housework (just one small task)

>>sit at my desk by 8:00

Have I done it every morning? No, but I am easing myself in. With all of the tree drama and traveling that my husband and I did this weekend, I slept until 7:55 yesterday. Today, though, I immediately got up at 6:30, splashed my face with lots of cold water, brushed my teeth, and changed into yoga clothes. I did the 20 minute morning flow created by Reiko. It is really a great, challenging flow that helps wake me up a LOT. I don’t even feel tempted to fall back asleep once we make it to shabasana (corpse pose//restorative rest)!  After that, I did my Daily Office and then got ready for work with my husband. I made oatmeal and ate it after I put in a load of laundry. I was at my desk well before 8:00. I was awake, refreshed, and ready to go.

THAT is what I want every morning to look like. It was super relaxing, quiet, and I gradually eased myself into my work-brain. But, is it easy to roll out of bed when your body is screaming, “More sleep! more sleep!”? No. It’s not easy. In fact, it is super hard….for the first ten minutes. Then, you’re awake and ready to keep staying awake.

How can you develop a standard morning routine?

1) Be flexible— It will not always be possible to stick to your morning routine. You might be ill, have an ill spouse or child and will then need to alter your routine. You may be traveling or have some appointment come up. Be flexible and don’t beat yourself up if you have to alter your morning routine for one day.

2) That being said, make your morning routine a priority— Depending on how close you live to your work, you might need to get up earlier than others. However, never sacrifice sleep to fit in a huge amount of stuff in your morning routine. You need a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep to function properly. Once you’ve identified what time you want to wake up, DO IT! Make it a priority in your life and you will make an effort to make it happen.

3) Set a time and stick with it, even on weekends— This is not one I’ve quite gotten down yet, but I plan to. Sleeping in one or two days a week can upset your natural body rhythm for sleep and can make it more difficult to keep a set schedule during the week. This post from WholeLiving.com talks about the fact that you don’t get “two biological clocks, one for weekends and one for weekdays”. It is so true. If you must sleep later on the weekends, the article recommends only staying up and getting up one hour later than your normal schedule. That way, you’re body won’ t be thrown off so much. I plan on putting this into practice this weekend. I want to start getting my body on a natural sleep rhythm.

4) Establish the few things you’d like to get done in the mornings and figure out how much time each takes— For me, I set several priorities for myself. I definitely wanted to move the first thing in the morning and yoga is one of my absolute favorite lifetime practices. I decided it was worth it to me to factor in an extra thirty minutes for a yoga vinyasa. I also knew I wanted to have devotional time in the morning, time with my husband, and a good breakfast. Waking up at 6:30 gives me plenty of time to do those things and still get to work on time. The fact that I work from home means I can go to sleep and get up a little later than someone who might work far from their home. Be kind to yourself. Don’t wake up at 4 am just to get a bunch of stuff done. Find a few important things and maybe wake up thirty minutes earlier so you can do them.

5) Keep the mornings quiet and calm— This may not be your style, but for me, I adore quiet in the mornings. No music. I like to listen to the birds outside and the sounds of the fans spinning in the house. The only sound I’ll allow is the instruction of the yoga teacher on the video and the sound of prayer. After I’ve had time to chill and wake up, I’ll talk with my husband (who is usually getting up about that time) and I’ll engage in other sounds. For lighting, I keep the house lit up only by natural light during the day. It saves on electricity and there is something magical about sunlight peeking through the blinds and curtains.

6) Be willing to re-evaluate your routine to see what is or isn’t working, and add or subtract accordingly— Sometimes, your routine just isn’t working for you. I happened to find my exact sweet-spot for waking up and the routine I established, but that may not happen for you the first time. Don’t be afraid to wake up a little later or earlier. Don’t be afraid to try a different morning exercise or habit. This is YOUR routine. Let it flow organically and change it as you need to. If you are only feeling sleepy and lazy one morning, that does not mean you need to change it. You only need to change it if your routine is not working with your sleeping patterns, body needs, or work needs.

>>>>>>>>>

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it is helpful to you! Dare to get up a little earlier and get a nice morning routine going! I’d love to hear about your plans. Already have a morning routine? I’d love to hear it! Share in the comments section.

Thanks for stopping by,

 

L.M. ❤

About Me · Balance · Indie

Penchant for Reading Multiple Books at a Time

I’ve definitely got it.

On any given week, I’ll spend serious time reading from two to three books. Is this a bad thing, you might ask? It depends on what your reading preferences are. Personally, I have a harder time not reading multiple books. Right now, I’m reading the following:

>>Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg

>>Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

>>Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author by Zoe Winters

(P.S>–It gives me no end of pleasure that these books all start with “S” at the moment. 😉 I’m a weirdo like that.)

I tend to read certain genres at one time. Typically if I have three books going, I’m reading some sort of spiritual growth book, a fun fiction read, and some sort of professional development book. If I’m just stuck on two books, they will probably fall within the spiritual growth and fiction categories.

Some people find it challenging to split their focus from one book to two or three (or four!), but for me, I sometimes have a harder time trying to focus on just one. The only real time that I read one book at a time is when I am on some major goal-oriented reading kick. For instance, in June, we went on vacation and I brought along four books. By gosh, my goal was to finish those four books by the end of the week. Did it happen? Nope. But I got two of them down. 🙂 I did this by taking one, devouring it, and moving onto the next. When I’m reading several books at once, I’m not so concerned with how quickly I finish them. My concern is deriving the most enjoyment and knowledge out of them as possible. Sure, I still have my monthly book goal in the back of my mind (see my I’m Reading… page), but I am typically confident that I can accomplish that even while reading several books.

Do you like to read several books at a time? If so, do you have specific genres you like to be reading at once? Share, share, share! I’d love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by on this lovely day!

~L.M.

About Me

私の誕生日です!

私の誕生日です! (Watashi no tanjoubi desu!) (It’s my birthday!)

Sorry. Things just look and sound so much cooler in Japanese! (That’s for you, Philosopher! LOL).

WOOHOO! The big 2-4! Being twenty-four years old feels nearly exactly like being twenty-tree. Go figure. 😉

In honor of my birthday, I’m giving you all an incredibly short post.

In fact, that was it.

Have a terrific June 30th, everyone!

~L.M.

About Me · Dreams · Writing

Reader Appreciation Award

Hi, everyone! I am officially back from vacation! I was so pleased to see that my scheduled posts made it up alright and that people seemed to enjoy them.

I received a surprise when I got back from the beach and checked my email. I had received the Reader Appreciation Award from the beautiful Yawatta Hosby! Thanks so much, Yawatta! I am ultra flattered by your sweet nomination!

Here are the rules for recipients of this award:

1.  Include the award logo somewhere in your blog

2.  Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to

3.  Nominate blogs you enjoy (10-12 or pick a number on your own)

4.  Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate

5.  Pay the love back with gratitude and link to the blogger(s) who nominated you

———–>>>

The Questions for Reader Appreciation Award

1.  What is your favorite color? 

  • Wow…hard question. I am a color freak. Hmm…I could probably nail it down to leafy green.

2.  What is your favorite animal?

  • The mysterious wolf (and rabbit…–I’m really indecisive in case you haven’t noticed…)

3.  What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

  • Green tea

4.  Facebook or Twitter?

  • Facebook. I don’t have a Twitter yet (but it’s coming! As is a Facebook page for L.M. Sherwin books!)

5.  Favorite pattern?

  • Let me see…I love stripes and crisscross patterns (like on storybook cottage windows.)

6.  Do you prefer getting or giving presents?

  • Getting. Unfortunately, I LOVE to give presents, but I am not terribly good at it. I have this strange inability to give people gifts that they actually want unless I nearly burst blood vessels in my brain trying. Last Christmas, I FINALLY gave my husband the presents he wanted and he loved them (and we’ve been together for nearly a decade)! So, I’d say getting, not because I’m selfish, but because I’m mildly handicapped at giving good gifts, LOL.

7.  Favorite number?

  • 711

8.  Favorite day of the week?

  • Saturday

9.  Favorite flower?

  • White irises and tulips (there’s that pesky indecision again!)

10.  What is  your passion?

  • Writing (pretty obvious, huh?)

My Nominations: 

I hope you all enjoyed the Reader Appreciation Award questions! For those of you that were nominated, I know you guys//gals are very busy and there is absolutely NO pressure if you can’t get around to answering the questions. However, I wanted to show my appreciation for all of you out there who inspire me to be the best writer and dreamer that I can be!

Thanks for stopping by!

~L.M. Sherwin