I have already written a blog post today. I wrote it semi-anger. It’s currently simmering in the drafts folder. I planned to write a post about colours and colour words. The idea is also sitting in my drafts folder. Tuesday is my least favourite day, so it’s probably the most important to self-care. I know I don’t do this enough. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot.
One of my favourite blogs at the moment is Kristin Tweedale’s blog. She is a feminist scrapbooker and has a great passion about helping women (awesome ladies, as she calls them) tell their stories. She’s very reflective on her story and inspires others to do the same with theirs. Their personal stories — not their families, not their children’s, their own story. By telling your own story, documenting your own memories and feelings, you are looking after yourself. Your soul. It’s your self-care act.
This resonates with me. I know that I don’t always look after myself, but I am trying.
It’s a large part of why I journal. It’s not for anyone else; it’s just for me. I take pictures — I’m using them as part of my story. I’ll eventually print them and slip them into my journal (at the correct date, obviously).
I’m trying something new as well: I bought a bunch of papercraft materials today, and I’m using them to create ‘moment’ cards. They’ll slip into my journal as additional moments, reminding me how I feel and what I’m doing at that particularly moment in time. When I feel low, I can pull out my materials and build something, write something down on the back, and then go about my business. A momentary self-care act that not only picks me up by helps me document my story.
Self-care is important. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but make sure you do it.
|location||the study. surrounded by the mess that is my desk and the boxes on the floor.|
|feeling||chipper. ready to get things done.|
|loving||my task list. it keeps me on track.|
|reading||lots of online articles. lots of Medium.|
|drinking||water. decaffeinated coffee.|
|anticipating||the month slipping by way too quickly!|
|listening to||bastille. specially pompeii.|
|planning||‘Brand Elle’ strategic plans.|
|looking forward to||lunch today. i made leek and cauliflower soup.|
|creating||promo material for Stress Free Pockets, a Papercut Labs class.|
|need to finish||the Charlie & Cub task list.|
|wishing||for more time.|
|main goal||to finish plotting out Sleeper, and then writing some of it.|
This week’s Friday Five is all about reflection. Reflection on one’s life, one’s creative process, one’s goals. I don’t reflect as often as I should. I plan and set goals really well. I do things really well. The middle bit, the strategy, not my strong suit (at least, for my personal goals and plans). And then there’s the after: the reflection. I don’t do this very much either.
But I’m trying. It’s why I’ve started to journal every (most) days. I’m making myself accountable — the husband and I sit down each week plan out our goals and then check in again in a week’s time. We’re reflecting on the past week. Life is so busy, I’ve started carving out time for reflection.
ONE. 10 Creative Rituals You Should Steal, by 99u. Creativity is very reflective on its own. In my world: papercraft and novel writing — they’re both reflective art forms. Papercraft, which I don’t actually do, but have a deep admiration for, is all about documenting your life, recording memories. These are reflective acts. Novel writing, something I actually do, is reflective because I put parts of my life in my novels. Charlie & Cub is set where I grew up. I can visit my childhood environment anytime I like.
TWO. Let’s talk about body shape. We actually won’t be — I’m not a health and fitness blogger (yet! ha.) — but it’s nice to see how the ‘ideal’ body shape has changed over time.
THREE. This post sums up my feelings on being a wannabe writer. I went to uni with Daniel, and we weren’t friends as such, but I know we bumped into each other in class and during NaNo sometimes. I’m eternally scared I’m not going to be a published author, and I’ve become so comfortable with that fear that its not the fear that scares me anymore. It’s not even admitting that I have that fear. It’s that I may not lose that fear one day. I won’t need that fear one day. I’m very comfortable being afraid. (Quote from Dawson’s Creek.)
It’s so real that it’s kept me moving, mostly running from it, never ready for it. … I can’t be let off the hook because I just might get the notion that it’s okay to keep running.
FOUR. It’s hard to find real friendship. I’m not quite as old as Rachel (quickly approaching though!), and she hit the nail on the head. At some point, going out every Wednesday night and getting hammered is no longer, a) going to be fun, b) going to make you friends, and c) an option for your life. Once you tick off all those points, what do you do? Rachel is in a similar situation to myself–we moved to new cities when we got married and don’t/didn’t know anyone. The post does not have answers, but it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one thinking about this.
FIVE. Matt Frazier usually writes about health and fitness, which is great inspiration for me. In this post, he talks about ‘great’ reasons to not do something. But, if you have a reason not to, find a great reason to do it.
BONUS. A fun link because it’s all been a bit serious in this post today: charming illustrated character prints! (Example print below.)
Sometimes I wish weather wasn’t such a filler topic. Weather is beautiful. It provides the background to our pictures, our memories. It’s a beautiful scientific phenomenon. The weather is never exactly the same and is never completely different either.
This week, I’ve been at home working. I’m usually at home working, but I’ve spent a great deal more time in the study this week than I usually would. (I tend to move my work station, aka me and my laptop, around the apartment for a change of scenery.) When I took this picture on Tuesday, it was the middle of the day. That afternoon, it stormed. The next day it was overcast. And then it was windy.
Canberra has four definite seasons, and we are moving into autumn now. The leaves may not be turning, but the weather certainly has. I know it’s just a precursor to winter — I love wearing coats but hate the cold — and I’m okay with that.
It’s so mild at this time of year. I love the weather in Canberra.
As part of my writing goals this year, I’m writing more creatively. Family is one of (hopefully) many drabbles (100 word stories) that I will publish. Image is by flickr user James Niland used under a CC BY 2.0 license: it is a real picture of the setting that inspired the novels.
This drabble can be read on its own — out of context of the novels and the other drabbles. Nevertheless, I’m going to hide it behind a more tag: spoilers for characters and ending of series.
This week, I’ve been most intrigued with things children’s authors have said. Some of the quotes are included below, but there are many more gems at the links. Image by flickr user Tim Geers, used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.
ONE. Children’s books are never just for children. A Guardian article that brilliantly shows just how important getting children’s books right is: so why aren’t they considered for awards? Neil Gaiman has some beautiful words, below, to say about kids’ stories. (As do many other authors.)
When I’m writing for kids, I’m always assuming that a story, if it is loved, is going to be re-read. So I try and be much more conscious of it than I am with adults, just in terms of word choices. I once said that while I could not justify every word in American Gods, I can justify every single word in Coraline.
TWO. John Green is often attributed quotes that he has never written. This is probably the biggest mistaken attribution yet. But I love the honesty in this video; I don’t watch every video, but I do love it when I come across one that is memorable. This is a memorable vlog.
I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ll never meet.
Not John Green
THREE. Garth Nix gave a super interesting interview with The Hub. He talks about his younger self and a little about infusing his writing with his morals (dangerous ground). A little fact you might not have known about Nix: he grew up in Canberra and…
From about fourteen, I thought I would become an officer in the Australian Army. I planned to go to our military college and get my degree there and have a career in the army.
FOUR. Another Neil Gaiman! He had an interview with the Telegraph as his new book The Sleeper and the Spindle was coming out.
You don’t need princes to save you. I don’t have a lot of patience for stories in which women are rescued by men.
FIVE. YA writers talk about their writing habits and how they create their characters that feel real. It’s a brilliant (long) article that is definitely worth the time.
The defining characteristic of YA literature is emotional truth. Even if we’re not the same as the characters we read, they are all dealing with things—issues of who they are, who they should be, what they should and shouldn’t do—that we all deal with, in their own ways. With The Hunger Games, even if we will never be in Katniss’s shoes, the decisions she makes make emotional sense to us—even when she makes the wrong ones.
As part of my goals for 2015, I said I wanted to ‘document’ my life a little more. The everyday things in my life, I guess. I’ve had a little change of heart about why I do this and how it can be detrimental. But that post is for another time. The goal was to post an image every week this year. Today, you have BIRTHDAY.
It was the husband’s birthday this week and due to a lot of circumstances, we had his cake this morning–between getting dressed for work and cleaning our teeth. That’s okay. Sometimes life is shaken up. Today, I woke up early and made this fudgy chocolate cake — I even made the chocolate shards and shaker card myself, too.
Dear husband, I hope you’ve had a lovely birthday week. (It’s not over yet!)
(I apologise for the less-than-perfect image this week. I still haven’t figured out the settings on my camera for darker situations.)
Photo taken with HTC One smartphone, Islandia filter added through phone’s photo editor.