I’ve been a little quiet on my blog for awhile, because I’ve been busy with some personal projects. One of them has been actively working on completing a 200 hour training certificate to become a yoga instructor. This past week I completed all the tasks required for the certificate, including my final project, which was to teach a yoga class.
When the stay a home order came along for the recent outbreak, I thought for sure I would have to wait a long time to teach said class. However, I was fortunate enough to run across a virtual writing retreat who was looking for someone to teach a yoga class. I jumped all over that opportunity!
My next task was to plan the class. So I decided to create a yoga routine geared specifically to writers, who can spend long hours sitting. So the poses I planned for are for stretching the back, opening the hips, and strengthening the wrists, arms, and shoulders.
After the retreat, I realized that other writers might like to try this routine too. And so, I decided to post my very first yoga teaching experience on my blog for those who are into, or want to get into yoga. Or for those who just need something to do during this stay at home period.
I find it hard to pinpoint exactly when I realized I wanted to be an author. I remember writing paranormal stories on my old PC when I was at middle school, with (beautiful) covers illustrated on Paint. I wish I still had those stories, as it would be so much fun to go back and revisit old characters. Even still, I’ve always had a very vivid imagination, and I’ve never had any issues with coming up with quirky plots. But The Forest of Fallen Stars was a little different.
When I wrote The Forest Of Fallen Stars, I sort of fell into a writing frenzy. It was summer, and I had a lot of spare time around my work schedule. I would sit in my room for hours and hours, writing and scribbling down ideas. The plot just came to me. I wish there was some way to explain it, because I certainly can’t seem to replicate it! But I think it was the characters that truly made the story come alive for me.
Alura means so much to me, all of the characters do. Alura is shy, and full of self-doubt at the beginning of the book, but we get to see her learn about her gifts, and develop into a strong and confident young woman.
Kara is troubled and angry, but she has a kind heart and is always focused on doing the right thing.
Loria is also quite unsure of herself and the role she plays in her world, but she is strong-willed and determined.
Self-publishing has been a strange and very stressful experience. It’s taken a long time, and a lot of hard work. But I was incredibly lucky to get to work with an amazing friend of mine, Nicoletta, who formatted and designed everything inside my novel. She did an amazing job, and really helped me when I was struggling with the design.
Over the past few years, I have been making it a priority to have a good feeling life. My long dedication has paid off in wonderful ways, because most of my days now are pleasant, peaceful, and just plain good. The absolute best way I have found to maintain a good feeling life is through appreciation.
Being thankful and/or grateful is similar to this. In fact, the very first positive change I made in my incredibly bad feeling life was to write down three things I was thankful for every day. Eventually, I realized my thankfulness had turned to gratitude, and now I simply call it appreciation.
The word appreciation might have a small distinction between thankfulness and gratitude, but it’s an important one, because appreciation has a far bigger good feeling attached to it (just try it and see for yourself). When I appreciate, there’s not even a tiny amount of bad feeling or obligation attached to what I’m feeling. It just feels good.
Another thing I have found is that consistency is vital to building a good feeling life. I can instantly lift any bad feelings by spending fifteen solid minutes really appreciating something or someone in my life. After that fifteen minutes, I can feel my mood lift, and as a result, the rest of my day becomes so much better. But then what about the next day? Or what if something or someone comes along and completely ruins that good feeling high? Yep, I find more things to appreciate.
Writing the Daughter of the Zel trilogy was hugely empowering for me. I’d always enjoyed writing and dreamt of having something published, but I never had the confidence to put my work out there.
Then, a few years ago, I was having a rather tough time personally, which led me to quit my job and move back home. Even with everything going on, I found myself with a load of free time I hadn’t ever had before.
As a distraction, I set myself the challenge of writing a novel in a month. I’d always wanted to do NaNoWriMo, but November was never convenient. Every day after work I’d sit down and type until my brain ran out of scenes. The rapid progress towards a final word count slowed towards the end, and I had to go back and carefully stitch together key scenes to make a complete story.
I had an idea for where the book was going and every time I wrote it felt like clearing space in my head. Making this mental room meant I’d get an idea for a new scene, usually when I was trying to get to sleep.
Now, like then, in the early days of a story, I get these rather annoying moments where I’m unable to go to sleep because of new phrases, places, people that pop into my head. There’s a process I’ve learned to follow by turning the bedside light on, writing the thought down in my notebook, and turning the light off again before immediately having another thought and repeating it. Eventually my brain lets me sleep.
I have found that the first draft is always shocking. I’ve come to terms with that. One of my betas recently said how she’d love to write a novel, but was worried it’d be awful. I explained the number of drafts my work passes through before she even sees a beta version. I hope this encourages her to get something down on paper. That’s the hardest bit.
It’s a brand new year, and with a new year comes new goals, plans, and a new energy to take action. A lot can be accomplished with the forward momentum of a new year, but it can also be easy to veer off course and land in a rut with wheels spinning.
That was me. I was spinning my wheels earlier today. I knew it was time for action. I had spent the better part of November and December learning, thinking, planning, and growing into what I wanted to do for 2020 (and yes, there’s some awesome stuff coming).
So the first of January arrived, and I was ready to go. But instead of going, I became stuck in a fog of anxiousness, not sure what to do first. My mind stuck in a loop as I considered what I would be doing for the next month and over the next year.
I have learned from past experience that when I this happens, the best thing to do is to just stop everything. So I took a few hours to go outside and enjoy the gorgeous, warm day we happened to be blessed with on the first day of January.
After some relaxation and contemplation, I realized where I messed up. I was paying so much attention to tomorrow, the next day, next week, next month, ect. I wasn’t actually paying attention to the now. And the now was pretty freaking awesome as I basked in golden sunlight.