Catch Up, Current Goals, and Curating the Ultimate ‘Stay at Home’ To-Do Lists

Wednesday May 6th, 2020

3:00 p.m

It has been a good ol’ while since I’ve written up a post for my writing journal/writing quest – a little over a month to be exact.

I have been holed up at home (as I’m sure most of us are) just trying to make the best of each day as it comes. My 1-year wedding anniversary was April 26th, and it was one of the most amazing days ever! I have also done a complete solid month of writing every day, or almost every day which was incredible and truly made me feel productive and inspired to keep going. That being said, it’s not like everyday was amazing and thousands of words were being written… some days I wrote 1000 or more, and some days 100 or less. But it’s about quality it is about consistency – at least that’s what I’m telling myself!

Ramadan also began late April, which has changed up my sleeping schedule a little bit but also brought such a light into my life. Ramadan is a Holy Month in Islam in which Muslims fast from dawn ’til dusk for the entire month. This time is dedicated for reflection of oneself, finding peace, and just lifting your soul spiritually. So, I’ve been spending less time blogging and staying off social media overall, to focus on what this month truly means and bettering my mental health overall. Regardless if you observe Ramadan or not, I hope the coming days are filled with more happy and healthy moments than ever before!

I’m not sure if it’s this time in lockdown or what exactly but I am constantly feeling more and more grateful for writing each passing day. It’s become such a fixed part of me that I can’t even begin to imagine my life without it. I will always be that little 12-year old day-dreaming about being a writer, and will continue to work my ass off to get there. While this journey started for me a long long while ago, finally taking the plunge to really give my all to this draft, not rewrite as I go or delete everything when I haven’t even gotten half-way through the book, began late last year. In that time, it became a huge balancing act of being a newly graduate and a semi-newly wed still trying to figure life out and write whenever I could.

It is a huge and fairly long process. With a foggy outcome. The road to publication is not easy and will never be reached without some hardships. It’s a constant reminder I give myself in moments of doubt. After many attempts to write this story that’s been in my soul, bleeding through bone, just dying to escape, I vowed that this time, I would write a first draft without any inhibitions. Just following my gut and passion and writing always and often. This brings me to some short-term goals I set for myself in earlier posts. My goal for the month of April was to reach 10k words. I can happily and proudly say, I entered April with 12k words and currently sitting pretty at just about 20k words. Overall, the word count does not matter too much, especially in the first draft. I mostly use it as a means to measure how much I am getting done in a day and where I am in the story in regards to pace.

After many many years of dragging my feet to commit to writing a first draft completely free of self-doubt and wonderment of whether I am a writer or not, I found that just going for it is the best advice I can ever give someone. Just write. This seventh attempt at a first draft has brought me so much clarity in a way I never allowed myself to have because of wanting everything to be perfect. I’m repeating this for those who need to hear it. We try and sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail. If we fail… get back up – just write!

This quote is one I vowed to live by this year. Really fitting considering how the world is. Every chance I get, I remember how easy it is to worry and fear the unknown… but there is so much hope to will and look forward to. Especially with whatever you’re passionate about.

The first draft is going to suck. It’s going to have weak world-buidling, mismanaged characters, plot holes, and slow or fast dialogue. Either way, this all needs to get on the page for the mending and making the story what it is to happen. Through just drafting without looking back, I have developed more of an understanding of the world, of the true nature of some characters, and of the sequence in which some events should take place. I make small notes in the margins of my word document on tips, rewrites, and suggestions on how I can rework this when I am editing. It’s gotten to the point where I actually am confident about the next stages to come with the editing process and I can’t wait to get there.

But that can only happen when we just write. Write the story in your heart no matter how stupid it sounds on the page or how choppy it seems. You can fix it later!

My current goal now is to have this draft completed by the end of summer. It seems a little daunting seeing as I am just barely a third of the way through, and when you consider that I’ve been at this for the last five months… but I believe I can do it! Especially if we’re going to be spending our days at home for the foreseeable future.

Speaking of… during these times, like everyone else, I have taken to enveloping myself in anything that can make the time go by.

Wishing I was there right about now! This photo was taken last year at the lake where we basked in the sun, welcomed a stormy night, and ate all the BBQ and ice cream you can consume without throwing up in one sitting!!

– What I’ve Been Up To / What I Will Be Up To –

Watching:

Downton Abbey (on Amazon Prime, currently on the 2nd season), Gavin & Stacey (already watched it all in one sitting, it is sooo freaking good and funny and just an ultimate feel-good), Sex & The City (I know, I am so late to this but I’ve been putting it off for so long because I know I’ll love it and I don’t want to binge it too quickly – currently halfway through the series and definitely watching it too quickly!), The Morning Show (I love anything Jen Aniston), Little Big Lies (such a good show, and loving the 2nd season so far), and The Last Dance (Netflix documentary about Micheal Jordan which I am loving. It is soo interesting to see that life from the various perspectives and it gives that boost of confidence and motivation that you can accomplish anything if you work hard enough).

I am definitely more of a person who enjoys watching one show all the way through, especially if it is a good one, but these days I’ve found myself going through different phases and moods that sometimes I want a light-hearted show rather than a more intense one. I have also been watching a lot of movies, some nostalgic and some franchises (currently re-watching all of the Harry Potter movies with the hubs).

I have also been obsessively watching all the original Disney Princess movies on Disney+.

And then there are the holy duo, The Office and Friends that are on rotation and play constantly in my house.

Next on my list:

Modern Family, Sherlock, Little Fires Everywhere, Prison Break, Lost (I know so late again to the game, but I can’t wait to obsess over it as I’m sure it will be amazing), Black Sails (I am hearing such amazing things about this show, I cannot wait to binge it).

Currently Reading:

The Shade of Magic Series by V.E Schwaeb

Next on my list:

Ninth House, Reaper at the Gates, To Kill a Kingdom, We Hunt the Flame, Bone Crier’s Moon, Love From A to Z, and The Queens Assassin. It’s a pretty hefty list but I am in dire need of indulging in some good YA to lift me up!

Baking:

Here are some bakes I’ve made over this past month or so. I adore Sally’s Baking Addiction and most of the recipes I follow are from there so I’ve linked them below.

https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/banana-muffins/

https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/my-favorite-carrot-cake-recipe/

https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/mini-cheesecakes/

https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/orange-sweet-rolls/

https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/soft-thick-snickerdoodles-in-20-minutes/

Doing:

Mostly writing, watching, reading, or baking – haha. I have also taken walks, masking, and sticking to a severe skincare regimen!

Overall, I’ve been spending my time trying to propel myself forward. There are so many tough moments and times ahead of us, and I’m sure it’s tiring hearing it again and again – but maybe it’s not – we will get through this!

I am praying and wishing everyone health, safety, and the ultimate best!

What have you guys been up to? I would love to hear all about your days in quarantine! Also – if there are any recs you have for me in regards to anything at all to be doing, let me know!

3 thoughts on “Catch Up, Current Goals, and Curating the Ultimate ‘Stay at Home’ To-Do Lists

  1. I understand you completely. I too have taken this quarantine time to write and write a lot. In other terms, I’m not a Muslim, but I respect many of your holidays. So glad you explain what Ramadan is, I was always curious. I’m a Pagan and between March and May we celebrate the coming of Spring; it is also a time for introspection and enjoyment of what we have around us. Thus, I too have disconnected myself from social media. Other than that, love the books you mention; super interested in “We Hunt The Flame”. It seems intriguing.

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    1. Aw thank you so much! And you’re absolutely welcome for the explanation 💕💕 I agree introspection and being grateful whether it happens to fall on a religious holiday/time or not, is so important to being happy! Thank YOU for sharing!

      What are you currently writing? Omg yes, We Hunt The Flame seems so promising and has been on my TBR for a while, hopefully I can dive into it soon!

      Like

      1. I’m currently writing reviews on books I’ve read. I’m not reading ‘The Little Shop of Found Things’ by Paula Brackston. Is really good! If you get to read We Hunt The Flame, let us know how it goes! I too have a lot of books on my shelf that I am dying to dive into!

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