Fiction/Non-fiction

3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge: Day 1, Daily Routine

I was chosen to take the 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge by At Milliways with a Pen. Thanks again, JRose88. 🙂 Check out this blog: it features a great blend of posts about gratitude, musings, writing updates and quotes. These are usually writing or reading related but also cover other interesting topics.

For this challenge, you have to write a post with a quote for 3 days and nominate 3 bloggers every day.

Here are the 3 bloggers I nominate for the 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge:

  • enchantedface: This is a great blog with a feature called “Quotable Sundays.” The posts are inspiring and there’s always a great selection of quotes. I also love the honesty and openness in the posts; it feels like a friend is talking to you through them. After reading the blog posts, I always feel better too. Be sure to check out this blog and its encouraging content!
  • My Pink Champagne Life: Meredith wears many impressive hats: she is a mother of four kids, a wife, an Executive Director of the Wegener Foundation, co-owner of Mad Cow Enterprises and author of My Pink Champagne Life. Her blog features posts about daily life that are fun, interesting and light-hearted. Check out her blog and the links to her book!
  • Cafe Book Bean: This awesome blog covers the topics of books and coffee (two favourite topics of mine as well). Posts cover anything from different types of coffees to book tags to book discussions such as Book Bean Symposium. Check out this one as well!

Now that I’ve finally found the time to do this, I’ve selected this quote for today:

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

As someone who is interested in self-improvement, I’ve heard this repeated by people time and time again. Like others, I’ve made New Year’s resolutions in the past and written down goals I want to achieve. However, I didn’t really get anywhere by making really broad, general goals without numbers or timelines. I never gave myself a deadline to reach or a specific measure to keep myself on track. I always went about it willy-nilly.

I’ve since learned that it’s not the goals or milestones we reach (although those are important and certainly cause for celebration), it’s about the daily routines and habits that we establish. The habits that will lay the foundation for success later down the road.

The past year has been a lesson in this. When I made a habit of writing at least 500-1,000 words daily, I won NaNoWriMo. When I set aside some time for reading, either before bed or in the morning, I not only met my 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge but I exceeded it, reading 18 books in total compared to the 15 I had set out to read. When I made a daily schedule for my job hunt, I was more organized in how I spent my day and felt more confident in my job search. I also set a target number of jobs I would apply for in a week. Since then, I’ve achieved some progress in my job search.

As I’ve said though, it’s not the milestones that are as important as the habits you form. Winning NaNoWriMo was great but even more important was the habit of writing I’ve formed for myself. The true success of creating a writing habit lies in the fact that I’m dedicating time to my craft and enjoying it. The same is true with a reading challenge: it’s fun to challenge and push yourself but in the end…the true reward lies in what you gain from these rewarding activities. Reading makes me feel calm, inspired and more enriched.

And by forming a routine for my job search, I’ve honed my organizational skills and my creative thinking abilities. I feel more in control of my situation and I’ve learned to think outside of the box in using different job search strategies.

I don’t think it’s unusual that some of the most successful people have formed daily habits and routines. I’ve read articles about how successful people are normally early risers and get ahead of their day before it really starts. My daily routine is something I still have to work on and although I don’t write and read everyday or always reach my targets, I still have those habits to fall back on. John C. Maxwell has it right when he says that “the secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” I believe our daily routine says a lot about us.

NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo: A Lakeside Retreat

Canoes bobbing on the water.

Late-night bonfires.

Soft, gooey marshmallows that stick to your fingers.

These are some of the images that come to mind when you think of camp, right?

Well, that’s exactly what Camp NaNoWriMo has been like for me so far. Relaxing and steady, like the beat of a wave against a boat.

This is my first April doing Camp NaNo and I find it’s not as daunting as NaNo in November.

First, you set your own word goal. I’ve always fallen short of the 50, 000 word-mark and always thought personally, that 25, 000 words is a more achievable goal for me.

Second, a lot of NaNo writers have hibernated for the spring. It has a more close-knit, intimate vibe, especially with the cabins. You are bunked with cabin mates, based on your similarities and interests. In that cabin,the message board works a lot like Twitter, with username handles and short messages so you can chat about your progress.

And third, your mind has had a time of renewal. It’s gone through the new year, there’s no cold, wet snow or gray, cloudy days (or there shouldn’t be- it’s spring!) , and summer fun is just around the corner.

It’s reawakened my love of writing after a busy winter and helped me start a fantasy story that’s been brewing in my head for a while now.

I’d like to leave you with an inspiring quote from a writer I admire and hope it inspires you not just this month, but every month.

“Our lives are busy, and April is always a busy month, but why not indulge? You can treat yourself to a writing vacation where you visit a project you love, make time with it, get to know it.” -Nika Harper, writer and YouTube personality