Today is great because…

2013 is going to be great

Posted: December 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration | Comments Off

It’s that time of year again. Not the holidays, because, who cares anymore about the holidays?! No, it’s the end of the year. Time to reminisce on the past year and start planning for next year.

A couple years ago I found a really great series of posts about how to form a vision for the coming year and how to create a life plan to help take control of your future. It’s written by Chris Guillbeau, a blogger who’s initial focus was on what he calls “unconventional living.” Basically, advice on learning to live the way you want to instead of the way you think you should (or worse, the way you think others think you should live).

Creating that plan for the first time was a revelation for multiple reasons, which I’ll sum up with a quote:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

Easy, right? And that’s the point. I wrote a few intentional goals that I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year.  Some small, like go for a hike along a Great Lakes trail that I’d always wanted to do. Some were larger, like paying off my student loan. It gave me something to work toward and something to measure against. It put all in one place (a spreadsheet) things I knew I wanted to do, things that were important to me in a way that wouldn’t let me forget about them.

At the end of the year, I had completed some of the goals. Some I had not. And that’s ok. The idea is to help direct your trajectory, to make sure you’re at least heading in the right direction.

We often get too busy to think intentionally about where we’re going and what we want.  All it takes is to take some time and think about what you’ve done and what you want to accomplish.

I’m excited to take some time to review 2012 and to look ahead and plan for 2013. There’s some good stuff coming up.


Today: backattit

Posted: March 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration, Today | Comments Off

I’m back in that place where I’m highlighting all the negative things around me. Just check out my twitter stream. It’s full of things that disappoint me, or humorously call out things I hate. But being that negative isnt really all that funny.

people everywhere

people everywhere

Today: I got up early, made an egg and some jelly toast and had enough time to spend 30 minutes writing. That’s amazing. Especially following on the heels of a winter where I slept late and didn’t have enough non-work time to put out some words.

I’ve been wanting to recap my weekend trip to Milwaukee and Chicago. I had a great time and came back home inspired to get active again. Part of it is the spring weather that’s finally arriving. But I think travel is necessary to shine light on unsavory everyday habits. That is also a big part of why I feel ready to DO again. I’m excited to see how this pays off for me.


Michael Chabon publishes excerpt of abandoned novel

Posted: November 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration, Today, writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

When people ask me who my favorite author is, I give them a simple answer: Chabon. I’m getting more and more comfortable with my uncomfortable love for Michael Chabon. I often feel the need to answer with the name of some long-dead great-of-the-greats author, like Melville or Tolstoy, or some obscure dude/lady you‘ve never heard of and that I’ve hardly read. Because the best authors are DEAD, not alive and still writing! It’s kind of like how the best albums of any musician were those recorded before you ever heard of them–Springsteen, Bright Eye, Meatloaf…name anyone, it doesn’t matter. If it happened before you, it was greatness. Classics don’t live in the modern age; classics live in history. **

Chabon is good stuff and he is happening now! Now!

fountain city in McSweeney'sA few years ago, after reading all the available Chabon that I knew of at the time–The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Model World, Wonderboys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, my Chabon love was in full force and I was itching for more. I started reading his website. It was a homemade html and image map layout that, I think, Chabon created and maintained himself. It was amateurish (sorry MC, it‘s true), but wonderful in its effort and, even more, in the hidden nuggets of writing that he made available: blog posts, old essays and speeches, including a guide to the pronunciation of the name Chabon (hint: it’s not Che as in Guevara, but Shea as in stadium). He also told of a mysterious, mythical abandoned novel called Fountain City. I dreamed of the wonderful things it would contain. I wanted it. *^

So I was super excited to see today that the first 4 chapters of Fountain City will be published in the next issue of McSweeney’s. Even if Chabon couldn’t get the whole thing together enough to publish as a novel. I promise you right now that I will buy this and love those 4 chapters just like I would have back in 2003.

**This is all a silly way of thinking that I probably picked up by going to English classes in college and having too many discussions about music.

*^I apparently overlooked the fact that the first chapter was available even back then!!!


NANOWRIMO Preparation

Posted: October 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration, writing | Comments Off

National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow. And I’m ready for it. I’ve been brainstorming, planning, thinking about characters–all the things necessary to write a novel. I went in last year with only vague plans. I didn’t complete the month-long 50,000 word challenge. I didn’t want that to happen again this year. I’m not going to discuss anything about my plans for the novel. But I thought I’d share how I’m prepping for the next 30 days of non-stop writing. I’m hoping these things–along with my pent up excitement–will help me easily get to 50,000 words by November 30.

  1. Blocking time-sucking websites (Facebook, twitter, etc)
    Like most people (probably ALL people) I have trouble managing my internet usage. I waste far too much time waiting for new Facebook posts, Twitter comments or new emails. So I installed the Firefox add-on LeechBlock.  It lets me block access to sites that are notorious time wasters. I set it so that I can only spend 10 minutes on Facebook every day. After that, it’s blocked out. It’s surprising how fast those 10 minutes go. So far, every time the blocked warning comes up I think to myself, “But I have so much more Facebooking left to do.” But really that’s not true. 10 minutes/day is enough.
    Check it out here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4476/
  2. Finding a less distracting text editor
    I only have Microsoft Works on my computer, which has rotating advertising and a side menu that won’t close. I hate it and it’s distracting. So I downloaded Q10. It’s a super simple, text only editor. Black background, green text. Think of editing text on a computer built in 1983. That’s basically what it looks like. (You can change colors if you like.) But there are absolutely no distractions. No toolbar or menu options. Even better you can set a countdown word counter. Or you can do time challenges–set the clock to 30 minutes and it’ll tell you how many words you’ve written after the clock runs out. Simple motivation. It also let’s you add sound effects so it sounds like I’m writing with a typewriter. It was cool at first, but got annoying fast.  And it’s free.
    Find it here: http://www.baara.com/q10/

I should have done both of these things months ago!