My mid semester holidays are nearly over and for the past fortnight, I have lived and breathed writing…for the most part. Although I must admit I’ve enjoyed experiencing other activities too, like reading. Oh, and the odd trip to Eumundi and Noosa Marina markets, coffee heists, and sunset drinks along the Noosa River. All in the name of life experience; to help add authenticity to my writing, you see.
I’ve continued to work on and build my new website, A Garden of Art and Stories, wrote two new short stories for children to add to my growing collection for 2014 and I’ve journaled.
Journaling is a given for me. I enjoy it and this is useful because I had asked my students to try and journal over their holidays. I try never to ask them to do things that I wouldn’t, so my conscious will be clear when I ask them on Tuesday, “Who amongst you journaled?” I won’t be judging them, but at least I know I can answer in the affirmative if they throw that question right back at me.
I think my remarks on journaling is called accountability? In every area of our lives, to grow and stay on track, it’s important to be accountable to someone. I think this is very important. If we march on obliviously, to the rhythm of our own beat without checking in with anyone, how do we accurately measure our improvements, our achievements, know if we’ve reached any of the goals we have set ourselves, or, indeed demonstrate that we are on track? Couldn’t we easily kid ourselves? Maybe we could talk ourselves up for a bit, but wouldn’t it all catch up with us in the end? It might indeed highlight just how much time we’ve spent on Facebook, or Twitter, or any social media, for that matter. When we aren’t accountable, things can turn ugly and maybe then we’d be guilty of procrastination. This could be quite dangerous, don’t you think? Adults, as much as children, need someone to be accountable to. When we are accountable, it is far easier to stay focused and on track, especially if you have deadlines to meet. Who are you accountable to?
I did manage to reach some short-term writing goals these holidays. I didn’t leave home much and whilst some might think that pretty boring, sometimes, we need to sit still and be uninterrupted in order to reach certain goals we set for ourselves. Even though I did spend a lot of time in front of the computer or sitting on the back patio encouraging my pen to slip across the pages of my notebook, it was what I chose to do; to help myself move forward with my writing…and illustrating! Yes, I am interested in illustrating too, and I’ve been dabbling. Oh what fun that’s been.
old school vs digital natives – my journey…
Now, this might sound a little nerdish, but I also undertook some online workshops on how to build websites and blogs and I learnt a lot, not just about writing, but about myself as well.
I learnt an important lesson after I watched a tutorial on creating a website. Before I watched the tutorial, I’d spent days trying to attach Widgets, and Pages to my new site and wondering what certain terminology meant. It took me a number of days to work out why I couldn’t attach my Pages to the Menu bar. It was because I’d made my website private (including my Pages). However, I learnt that if I made the Pages public, even though my website remained Private, I could then attach my Pages to the Menu.
This sounds very Irish, I know.
(it’s okay, my mother’s heritage is Irish so that means I have some Irish in me too).
And, you might be asking yourself: Why is she making the website private anyway? Well, it’s because…while I am creating my website, I don’t want anyone to see it. It’s not ready yet. Cakes take time to bake … everyone knows that.
Anyhow…it took time, but I managed to finally sort stuff out for myself.
Then I discovered the first of the tutorials.
The tutorial walked me through all the things I’d had problems with but, even though I should really kick myself, rather than beat myself up about it, I am glad I figured it out for myself. When I watched the tutorial, I understood what he was talking about, because I’d been there, done that. I fully understood because I’d learnt the hard way and it stuck. So, that’s a positive and all I lost was some of my time…and I guess I’m one of the slower ones. Any digital native would have outclassed me in an instant, but since no digital natives live here, I had to rely on myself.
I learnt a whole lot these holidays. Did I say that already?
I’ve been playing on some Apps on my iPad called Book Creator and Artist Set. They are fun Apps to use and I’ve been amazed at what I’ve been able to achieve. I have a sneaky suspicion that I’m going to be really relying on them in my future writing projects.
That just about sums up my dreamy holiday writing projects and now it’s nearly time to begin getting organised for my reality.
Don’t forget, please drop me a line and tell me how your writing goals are going. You might like to share about your journaling experiences or how you conquer the digital minefield. I’d love to hear your comments.
So, until next time…