Monday, April 27, 2015


I sound like a broken record, but I have to say it, again: Time passes quickly! April is nearly over. Spring is doing its best to displace winter. I can tell because the days are longer. With the fluctuating temperatures, one day we have the heat on, the air conditioning the next. Running the Martin Goodman Trail along Lake Ontario, the shadflies have hatched, and I try not to swallow any when I run through a cloud of them hovering over the trail. Believe me, they don’t taste that good!

I find myself, here at the end of April, repeatedly asking myself this question: How am I doing? That’s because, at the beginning of the year, I declared 2015 to be “My Year of Selfishness.” What exactly do I mean by “selfishness”? Let me be clear. I’m wasn’t then, nor am I now, subscribing to the traditional definition of the root word, selfish, offered by the Oxford Dictionary: “(Of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.” So what I mean by selfishness is me acknowledging what it is I want to achieve, and recognizing what makes my heart sing. That means making the time to do the things that I love to do.

In this Year of Selfishness, I’m dedicating most of my energy to writing because writing is my life’s great passion. Not only do I write my Morning Pages faithfully each day, but I also get in at least two solid writing sessions, a minimum of two hours each. I’ve been able to do this because of some small changes I’ve implemented in my daily routine. I’ve limited my TV-time to evenings. While trying to be more engaged in social media, it can become an obsession of sorts. So I’m trying, still, to come up with a balanced approach some dedicated time for Facebook and Twitter in the morning and again in the evening. I’ve found that scheduling some of my posts helps to keep the amount of time I spend on social media at a reasonable level. Doing these things have not only staved off procrastination, but have also given me momentum. Since the beginning of the year I have completed rewrites of two novel-length manuscripts and four short stories. With momentum, and more confidence on my side, I’ve made over a dozen submissions. And each day I’m gaining more momentum, and I feel like I’m moving more confidently in the direction of my dreams.

But life isn’t all about writing, either. I’m slowly getting back into a regular running routine. I no longer feel like a beginner, and I’m building up my endurance and speed. Running keeps me active, allows me to clear my mind when life overwhelms. I’m reading more, exploring genres that I have otherwise overlooked and discovering some fantastic writers. In the kitchen, I’m touring the world as I whip up recipes from France, Ireland, Thailand, Australia and beyond.

Looking out my writing room window, the day is overcast and cool, yet hopeful. The day is mine to make of it as I please. And how am I doing? Just fine because I’m going to keep hanging on to the momentum propelling me forward, keep holding steadfast to my dreams.

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