Category Behind the Scenes

Organizing and Planning for 2016

Organizing Writing FilesIt’s shaping up to be a busy year. As I mentioned earlier, I spent much of 2015 organizing my writing from the past 20-25 years. It definitely got me out of the doldrums. I didn’t realize that I had written so much. Drafts and drafts of stories, plays, essays and poems are now tucked into colorful folders. I also created a corresponding filing system on my computer. All the duplicate drafts have been discarded. Documents trapped in out of date software have been opened and updated into PDF files.

The result is that I feel more in control.

As I combed through my work, I was careful not to get tied up in sentimentality. I didn’t read every draft or reminisce about where I was when I wrote it. Although my memories of writing were sometimes quite vivid, I chose to ignore that and move forward. Keep it moving, keep it moving.

My next step was to place work into the following piles: Projects to work on, Possibilities, Scraps and Completed. All stories, plays, essays and poems fit into these categories. How best to determine what went where? I went on my gut feeling. A part of me knew what had potential and what was best left behind.

The result is that I now have a list of projects I will work on, probably for the next few years.

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Looking Back at 2015

Years from now, I will look back at 2015 and the word harbinger will come to mind. Back in January, I knew I would be making changes. I wanted change, but it felt like I was trapped in a mud pit. I couldn’t make a move without sliding further downward.

This year, I’m proud of following my intuition. Throughout the past 12 months, I kept getting direct advice during meditation. Each time I acted on that advice, it was a lesson in faith. I didn’t know the end result. All I could do was follow directions and hope for the best.

Alabama sunset (Photo by Laura Axelrod)

Alabama sunset (Photo by Laura Axelrod)

It is much harder to be spontaneous in that way. Society tells us to make goals and plan ahead. Rarely are people encouraged to simply take the next step and believe. That’s what I learned in 2015. As long as I know the next right thing to do, it will work out.

By putting one foot in front of the other, I ended up having some amazing experiences. I couldn’t have predicted any of it back in January. Had I known, I would’ve been completely overwhelmed. I’m grateful I chose this path for 2015.

Sorting through my writing, organizing and filing close to 25 years of work has brought me immense amounts of peace. Throughout the summer and into the fall, I took breaks from writing to create a system that will carry me into the next few years. I had no idea I wrote as much as I did. It turns out I can account for my life through the pages in my files. It gave me a feeling of accomplishment.

Most of all, 2015 will be the year I began to come out of hiding. Wearing a cloak of invisibility is no way to live. Each person is obligated to live fully. Enjoy being you. That’s not narcissism. If you hold back, you can’t contribute to society.

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Behind the Scenes

A freeze warning was issued for the Deep South yesterday. I can’t believe it’s November already. Back in January, an intuitive friend of mine told me that this would be the year of new beginnings. I scoffed at the time, completely unaware of her accuracy rate.

It’s true that 2015 has been a milestone in many ways. Earlier this year, I pared down to the bare essentials. I quit a number of things that meant a great deal to me. Deadlines, self-imposed and otherwise, have kept my adrenalin flowing for over three years. When I think about it now, I’m astonished at my creative output. It was time for a break to regroup and set new goals for myself.

I spent two months reading classic books that have been on my list for years, including “To Kill a Mockingbird.” How did I live in Alabama for so long without reading Harper Lee’s novel? After I rectified that situation, I set up a filing system for writing projects, drafts, emails and other essential papers. While I was doing that, I created a multi-year career plan that included doable goals. I can definitely track my progress with this new plan.

Meanwhile, I also had some extraordinary experiences during the summer. I don’t want to say too much about what’s been happening yet, except that it’s changed how I view myself, as well as my capabilities. I think the key word is empowerment. And I’ve gotten plenty of encouragement and support from people around me that I’m on the right path.

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From my experience with blogs, the first post is the hardest. It’s time to clear that hurdle.

This blog will serve as a touchstone for my projects, as well as a reminder to myself to stay focused on my work.

There have been so many changes lately, and people only know me through social media or work I’ve done for other publications. This site will feature my creative work, which will include films, voiceover work and writing. I am sure there will also be a few surprises along the way.

I won’t offer comments for my blog entries. In my experience, it takes too long to weed out spammers. But you can always reach me through the contact page of this site.

Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”

With that, my first post is finished.

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