For the month of July, I had talked about writing the story you want for your summer. I suggested that if. your summer was a story, it is now time to re-write it. In spite of all the changes COVID-19 has foisted on you plans, what do you want to experience this summer? Whatever you came up with for yourself, I hope you get to have that experience or maybe even something better than what you had planned.
For myself, I had proposed that I wanted my story to be like the kind of stories I like to read. I wanted it to have an adventure, maybe a mystery and, of course, some romance. So I had decided I wanted to go on some new hikes for the adventure, to do a book club and date night with my husband for romance, and complete my Gypsy Dreams trilogy for both mystery and adventure and also some creativity.
I didn't exactly hit all my targets, but I am pretty happy with what I did do. I haven't been on any new hikes, but I did go storm chasing with my son, (his passion). That definitely qualified as an adventure. And some of my son's videos and pictures were featured on the Weather Network, so that was fun.
My husband and I did start our book club. The first book we read was The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It is a short, poetic, parable about a prophet imparting his final wisdom to a community he served for years and is now leaving to return to his homeland. Both my husband and I enjoyed the book, but retaining its wisdom is a little bit like trying to hold water in your hands. It's teachings are elusive to retain. We were going to go on a date night, but since we had just gone out to dinner with friends the previous night, we opted to have tea and coffee in our gazebo and discussed some of the poignant phrases I had highlighted in the book. I don't know if this really counts as romance, but it was a nice way to connect on a deeper level than the every day discussions of managing a house and family. Our next book is The 5 am Club by Robin Sharma. If this results in us rising every day at 5am, I am not sure I will be a fan of this experiment. Or maybe I will. I definitely think this book club with my husband was a good idea to try and I hope we will continue it.
And as for writing my Gypsy Dreams trilogy, I had some great insights from this experiment. I had a week that was pretty free from commitments, so I decided to have a spontaneous writer's retreat for myself, similar to what I did last summer. I even contacted one of the women I did the virtual retreat with last summer to see if she wanted to do it again and have each of us to hold accountability for the other. It was a great week. Not just for the writing I got done, but for the learning that came out of it. I had started the week with about 47,000 words already written for my book and ended the week at about 67,000 words. I continued writing the following week and am now nearly at 90,000 words. So my rough draft is almost complete (of the third book - I still have to finish the second one and why I did it in this order is another story).
The biggest learnings I took from my intensive writing week include, that if you give something time and attention, you can see great progress. Also, to get started on a big project, you need to just begin with a small step and let the momentum develop. And probably the biggest learning for me was to ask myself what was the most important thing for me about achieving the goal I set for myself. We often set goals and work hard to achieve them. It breeds success upon success as we continue to meet our goals. But it is possible to achieve a goal and have it feel kind of anticlimactic when we get there. That is why I asked myself why I was writing my book. A big part of what I wanted to get out of it was to feel that sense of presence that comes when you are creating something. I love that feeling of being in flow. And what I noticed when I was trying to write for several hours a day was that, while I was getting a lot of writing done, I wasn't fully enjoying my days. With summer being so short, it is precious time. So I discovered that writing for half or part of the day and doing other things that meet other values, is a good balance for me.
So as you set about creating the summer of your dreams and moving toward fulfilling your goals, I challenge you to ask yourself "what is important about that to me?" It is a great question for helping you experience what it is that you really want for yourself.
Please share any of your learnings or insights you would like in the comments below, in our Weekly ONE Thing Facebook Group or on Facebook or any other social media.Your stories can inspire other people. I look forward to reading your posts! And stay tuned for next month's blog post on Monday, August 3rd!