It’s that time of the year where social media is filled with invitations to participate in detoxes and diets and celebrity weight loss fads. It’s everywhere I turn!
As a newly qualified Nutritionist it really frustrates me to see the amount of misinformation that is out there about weight loss and the way the body works. As a mother and a woman it upsets me even more to see just how much focus everyone seems to put on LOOKING a certain way — as if that is somehow linked to your worth as an individual.
Do you want to know the secret to loosing weight and keeping it off? Do you want to know how to feel good about your body and wear that bikini with confidence? The answer is simple: eat food (but not too much), move your body in a way that you love to do and stop giving a shit about how your’re ‘supposed to’ look. It really is that difficult and that easy. Let’s all stop placing so much emphasis on what our bodies looks like. Why can’t we all just focus on what it can DO instead?
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix or instant remedy to lose weight (despite what the internet may have you believe). Cutting out whole food groups on some fad diet will not lead to long term success. Your body detoxes all by itself all day long (thanks liver and kidneys!) and doing one will only make you sad and hungry and broke.
If you want to be healthier this year, eat fresh and wholesome foods and be active. Love running? Then run! Hate running? Then go and find something that you do love to do, because it is next to impossible to keep up any form of exercise if you hate it. Ride a bike, dance, walk to work, lift weights…Do both of those things everyday and do you know what might happen? You might lose weight. Do you know what will definitely happen? You will feel great and energetic and much less likely to put that weight back on in the long term. You will have changed your lifestyle for the better without making yourself miserable.
Really, what is the point of life if you can’t occasionally eat cake?
I spent years convincing myself that I was simply too busy to write when the truth was that I just didn’t know how to make it work.
NaNoWriMo taught me a lot of things. It didn’t just prove to me that I could write 50 000 words in a month, it also showed me that I can fit a daily writing practice into my already busy life. Who knew?
Here’s here I did it (and am continuing to do it now that Nano is over):
- Specify a goal and a deadline
- Nano made this easy because the goal and the deadline was already decided for me. Once Nano was finished though I found myself a little lost. So I created a new goal (1000 words a day, complete the first draft of my manuscript) and a deadline (Jan 31st). It’s realistic and it keeps me focused.
- Be flexible (and sometimes creative)
- While I would love to spend my day writing in a quiet room, it’s just not possible with small children around. I write when Mr 2 sleeps, when they watch tv in the afternoons, when they are colouring in or drawing at my feet. Some days I don’t write at all, and that’s okay too because sometimes other things are just more important.
- Have the right tools
- Scrivener has been a blessing for me because I can sync my computer and ipad and write on the go. I had a few weekend trips during November so it was essential that I could write on the plane or in the car at a moment’s notice and it’s handy to have the option to write while out and about, just for something different. Carrying a notebook around is also a good idea for catching any ideas or quiet moments during the day.
- Find your people
- My local Nano group and Twitter have become a great source of knowledge and comfort. I discovered the #500in30 idea thanks to the talented and wonderful Alison Tait on Twitter and use it almost daily now. For those who don’t know about this it’s where you set yourself a timer and then write 500 words in 30 minutes. It stops me from overthinking things and allows me to just get words on paper. I usually always get more than 500 words whenever I do it and by the time 30 minutes is up I’m usually so involved in the writing that I keep going. The #amwriting hashtag on Twitter will also deliver some like-minded people. I’ve certainly found it helpful to know that I’m not alone!
- Have fun!
- I don’t take writing or myself too seriously. It sucks the fun out of it and I need writing to be about passion and not become a chore. So sometimes I don’t write, or I write a lot. Sometimes I’ve just gotta jump on the trampoline with the kids and forget about it all for a while.
I’m sure I’ll learn many more things along the way but for now I hope those tips might help out someone else struggling to fit writing into their day. It’s possible with a little determination and organisation (just like everything I guess), even with a couple of energetic young boys in the house.
I did it. I wrote 50 000 words in 30 words. I am a NaNoWriMo winner!
Even more important than the winning though is the fact that I now have 50 000 words of my story complete. It’s only 45 000 words more than I have ever written on one thing before and actual proof my ability to squeeze some serious writing time into my days. Granted, I did have to get creative at times, I still managed to get some words on paper every day except 1 (I’ll blog about my tips for fitting writing into your day when you also have small children soon!)
My story is not finished but I feel like it is going somewhere. I feel like it is going to work. I have confidence now in my ability to get it done instead of just thinking about it, and dreaming about it.
December is a bit of an insane month with Christmas celebrations and the end of the school year but I’m still hoping to get some words done. Definitely not 50 000 but I’m okay with that, so long as I can keep the ball slowly rolling.
I know I can do it now and that’s the main thing.
I can hardly believe that November is already half-way over.
The great news is that I have been successfully writing each day over the past fifteen days. I’ve also been reaching the target word count almost each day (which is 1667 for those that don’t know). I’ve now made it over halfway in terms of my overall word goal too, with over 25 000 words written in total.
I’m still amazed at how much I have written. This is absolutely the most words I have ever written on one thing and I’m feeling a great sense of accomplishment each day as I chip away at my goal and at this story. It’s also making me realise that it is possible to fit a daily writing practice into my day without too much effort or stress.
I have indeed needed to write in the gaps on many days so far but I am doing it. I am writing in cafes, libraries, on the back deck, in the playroom, on holidays and in bed. I am writing while the kids run around me. I am writing quietly by myself too whenever I can and I am getting it done.
So while I may not be writing here, know that I am writing. I am using up every precious minute of my day.
Murakami pretty much always says it best.
Today is NaNoWriMo Eve (and also Halloween, which seems strangely appropriate). I am ready to go, eagerly awaiting getting started on this crazy adventure. I’m optimistic about reaching the word count and about finding time in my day to write. I have an outline of my story and an idea in my head about where I think things will go. I am packed and ready to go. I guess all journeys begin like this.
I’m certain that there will be difficult days ahead. Days where I won’t be able to fit any writing in or where the writing feels forced and lacking. I’m sure there will be moments of self-doubt and tiredness and I’ll want to throw the whole thing in.
But today there is only anticipation and I love the feeling of it. I love looking forward and knowing that at the end of this journey I will be different to the person who sat here writing this today.
What’s not to love about adventure?
Once I’ve made up my mind to do something I am pretty determined to do it. So why come at this writing thing in a gradual way when I can spend the entire month of November fully immersing myself in it?
I heard about NaNoWriMo through the So you want to be a writer? podcast. I had never heard of it before and it sounded like a crazy/interesting idea – to write 50 000 words in a month. I am always up for a challenge so I looked it up and found that Brisbane has a very supportive Nano community that rally together during November for support and guidance. My mind was made up.
With less than a week to go until November rolls around I have been busy outlining my novel and working on my characters before the hard work begins. I have updated my Bullet Journal with a word count table (and some other ideas from Boho Berry) and started playing around with Scrivener, which is where I will be doing my writing.
I am filled with plenty of excitement and only a tiny bit of reservation about the month ahead. One way or another I am going to get some words down, even if those words don’t quite add up to 50 000.
(Image: courtesy of National Novel Writing Month)
Hi! I’m Jodie.
I used to blog years ago but life got busy and I stopped. Life is still busy but I’ve finally come to the realisation that it isn’t about to slow down anytime soon (certainly not with two small sons keeping me on my toes!) I’ve also realised that in my journey of motherhood I’ve let some things slide. These ‘things’ being my own passions and interests. It wasn’t a deliberate decision but it’s certainly hard to find time to yourself when you’re raising tiny humans.
My biggest passion has always been for writing. I was certain from quite a young age that I would write novels one day, once I had experienced some more of life. I always remember thinking that it would be a good thing to do in my 30’s (and how far off that seemed at the time!) Now here I am in my 30’s with no novel to show and I have spent the last few years neglecting my passion entirely. It’s time to make a change!
I’ve read a few references lately to writing in the gaps. I’ve heard more than one writer talking about how they find time to write novels whilst they are parenting / working full time jobs / promoting books / freelance writing or whatever it is that they do. This really resonated with me because that’s exactly how I have just completed a Masters in Nutrition – working in the gaps in my day for the past three years. Assignments have been done at nap times and on weekends and with the computer on my lap whilst the kids ran around me. I am good at working in the gaps. So why not write creatively in them too? Now that I am done studying, why not fill some of those gaps with writing? And what if that writing became a novel? I’m sure it could!
So here I am, trying to hold myself accountable and practice the craft of writing. I’d love for you to join me on this crazy ride as I discover how to write in the gaps and reconnect with my passion.