Saying Goodbye To the Non-Writing Writer

This is the saddest recent picture of myself I could find to say goodbye...

This is the saddest recent picture of myself I could find to say goodbye.

Yep, you heard me right. It is time that I say goodbye to this blog, to the inaction that spurred its creation, and to the guilt I feel from neglecting it for so long as my writing life has begun to take on a burgeoning life of its own.

But, the good news is this: that guilt that I felt is a good guilt, and this is most certainly a happy goodbye.

You see, I started this blog because I wanted to start writing. I was eager and willing to write anything, and I was tired of years of wanting to write but struggling with what to write, when to write it and where the hell I should start.

However, starting this blog and committing (at the beginning) to write a certain number of words a week got me in the habit of writing. I soon got the confidence to start the novel I’d been planning for years, and then I started entering writing contests, and then I started focusing in on what types of writing I wanted to do…and before long, I stopped writing posts on the NWW as often.

And now, this blog just sits, lingering in the back of my mind, quietly nagging me to pay it a little attention, to show it a little love, but I can’t find time to give it because I’m spending all of it thinking about and working on other writing projects. And when I do sit down to write a post, I have a hard time finding something relevant to say about the struggle to write because, well, I’m no longer struggling to do so. What the hell content am I supposed to write then?

So, this blog has served its purpose. I am no longer the non-writing writer! I work on my novel regularly, I enter writing contests (the NYC Midnight Competition starts tonight – I get my prompt at 9pm!) and I have started brainstorming and planning online content that is more focused and better fits my interests and goals in life. Which brings me too…

My new blog! I’m happy to announce the launch of my new blog, An Adventure A Week.

LOGOFINALHEADER2An Adventure A Week is a travel and lifestyle blog that is about seeking out adventure in everyday life. I am challenging myself, once a week, to seek out something I’ve never experienced, either here in LA or in places I travel to for work or pleasure, and throw myself into them full force – with an open mind and an eager heart. For me, this blog is more focused, has the potential to attract more readers, and most importantly, will add a lot of fun to my own experience of this world! I have already started planning my first few months of adventures, and they range from the active, the culinary, the cultural, and even the dangerous, and I cannont wait to see where this new challenge takes me.

I am forever grateful for my very first blogging experience here at the Non-Writing Writer. I learned a lot about blogging, about the self-discipline it takes to become a writer, and about what kind of writer I want to become.

Thank you all and cheers to adventure!

A New Year, A New Start

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For me, the beginning of a new year carries with it feelings of excitement, hope, and a strong personal drive for self-improvement. It doesn’t feel like any other time of year, except maybe the way the start of a new school year felt to me when I was growing up, and every January 1st, I always can’t help but experience a rejuvenating rush of energy and determination to make this year the best of my life.

Two weeks into 2013 and I am already on a flight home from my first business trip of the year. I’d planned on writing a post similar to this on January 1st, but after making some initial new years resolutions, I decided to give it a couple of weeks and really think about plausible goals I could set for myself to achieve this year, not just in terms of my writing, but in terms of the quality of my life in general and how I impact those around me.

First of all, I looked back at 2012 and the anti-resolutions I made last year. Did I manage to go with the flow and keep a positive outlook? I feel like I really did, to be honest. I  managed to start some great habits that I’ve mostly kept up with all year, the most important one being regular exercise and eating healthy. I wrote and worked on my novel, though admittedly not nearly as much as I’d liked, and I entered a writing contest that I did well in and learned a lot from. I feel like the relationships in my life got stronger, including the most important one – the one I have with myself. All in all, it was a pretty great year for me, and I’m so thankful for the family I have and the incredible opportunities I have in my life to excel and enjoy.

However, there were mistakes this last year, and those few that really stick out in my mind tend to haunt me and come back to me in times of self-doubt. As I’ve written about before on this blog, I definitely am very, VERY hard on myself, and dwelling on my mistakes, especially if they are times that I hurt people I care about, is probably the worst habit that I have. So, I’ve decided to tackle that bad habit this year – I’m going to work on giving myself a break. This applies to all areas of my life, including in the subject of this blog – working on becoming a better (and more disciplined) writer.

Speaking of writing, I’ve set a few tangible goals for myself in that arena as well, which I’m sure I’ll be writing on this blog about in the coming months. I’ve narrowed it down to three goals:

1) Aim for 3-5 posts on this blog a month. I am trying to be realistic (and give myself a break!) by keeping in mind my intense work schedule and focusing on writing when I can and when I have something meaningful to say.

2) Work on my novel with enthusiasm and energy. I have started trying to regain the initial fire I had to work on my novel when I first had the idea and was in the planning process. I felt like I lost enthusiasm as the year went on, and now I’ve started getting myself hyped up again when I sit down to work on it. And I want to keep it up, dammit!

3) Enter 3 writing contests. I enjoy the feedback that I get from these and the spark they give me to keep writing. Also, who doesn’t love the satisfaction you feel when you get a positive response to your work?

Cheers to 2013, and to all my writer friends – I hope this year you write the best thing you’ve ever written!

I am always interested in hearing about other people’s new years resolutions, so please feel free to leave a comment telling me about yours! Also, here are some posts from some of my favorite bloggers about new years resolutions that I read as I started to formulate my own:

 

One Month Hiatus: Annnnnnd Go.

A week ago today, I started a deliciously inspiring one month hiatus following what can only be described as a summer in Hell, aka New Jersey, which consisted of 3 months of working a ridiculous number of hours a week, drinking far too much in the few off hours I had and getting very VERY little sleep. It was a summer of excess, to be sure. Though I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything as I learned a lot and was challenged in every arena of my life (not just professionally), I returned last weekend feeling physically, emotionally, mentally, and most horrifically, creatively drained.

And even worse – I’m unemployed now.

But every cloud has a silver lining, or so I’m told. And for me, that is the one month I’m taking off to write, travel, clean out my closet, exercise daily, get my oil changed and otherwise regain some semblance of a normal life, before I jump back into another project and send my life spiraling into unpredictable chaos once more.

It took about a week for me to unpack my bags, for my liver to adjust to moderation once more, and for my body to get used to being back in sunny, lovely Los Angeles, a place I never realized I loved so much until I was forced to spend 3 full months away from it in the cruel humidity and sudden downpours of New Jersey. My head has slowly stopped spinning and I’ve managed to find a nice, sharp focus to carry me through these next 3 weeks.

I’ve got plans – grand ones. I’m attacking my to-do list hungrily and striking off things left and right. This last week, I cleaned out my closet, de-cluttered my apartment and re-instated my membership at my local gym. I opened up my novel files and dusted off my notes, jumping back into a scene I haven’t worked on since June. I backed up my computer and cleaned out my hard drive. I re-registered my car and even went to the DMV to get a new license. I’ve reconnected with friends and family that I haven’t been in touch with for months. Yesterday I flew to Texas to visit my parents and friends in my hometown, which I haven’t done since March. And I leave for 2 weeks in Hawaii on Wednesday – the yearly “vacation” I take for my own mental health, where I challenge myself to try new activities, face my fears, confront my mental obstacles, escape the grind and find new focus and perspective in my life.

I’d been lost in sea of work and booze all summer. Now, I’m hitting the gym and the keyboard harder than I have in months. I’m actually being productive again. And it feels fucking fantastic.

Watch out world! Lindsay has FREE TIME!!!!!

I Crave The Memorable

Recently I’ve been thinking about how lucky I am to do what I do for a living, and I think I’ve narrowed all of my favorite parts about my job down to a few key perks: I get to talk to interesting people about their lives, I get challenged on a daily basis, no two days are ever the same, and most of of, I get to travel and see places that most people never dream of seeing.

I have found myself in some of the most picturesque locations in this country on the job, some of the strangest, and some that most people on this planet won’t ever see. I’ve found that no matter how stressful these shoot days are (and they are!) I never cease to stop for a moment and thank my lucky stars that I get to be there, in that moment, doing what I’m doing and getting paid for it.

Hard at work on a beach in St. Petersburg, FL.

The reason I am writing about this is because I’ve been realizing something about myself in the last few months – I crave the memorable. I seek experiences that break up the ordinary monotony that one’s life can sometimes start to wade into. If I go months doing the same thing every day, seeing the same people, without doing things I’ve never done before, not challenging myself to think or act in ways that push me outside of my comfort zone, I start to get a little depressed. I feel like our lives are marked by special occasions and memorable experiences, and I don’t really feel like I’m living if I’m not constantly having them.

This is a personality trait that I’m actually pretty proud of. I know people that are the opposite – they have habits they want to keep, schedules they want to stay regulated and their personal happiness levels suffer when they are pushed outside of their routine or comfort level. I like that I would find that kind of life insufferable, and I think this trait has led me to take chances, go after what I want more aggressively and to live a much fuller life than I would have if I’d accepted an office job in my home town, surrounded the people I’ve known my whole life and never venturing too far from where I started.

The New Years Eve Ball in Times Square – up close!

I think that being a craver-of-the-memorable is probably a good trait for writers. Sure, it definitely is responsible for the fact that I have a hard time finishing projects because I get bored of them, but I also am not afraid to dive headfirst into a new story anytime I feel a spark to do so and I’ll ride that wave of creativity for a while and get a lot accomplished.

But most importantly, always seeking out new things gives me a lot of inspiration and gratitude. There is a reason people vacation to exotic locations with beautiful vistas to break up the monotony of their daily lives – it offers an escape, yes, but it also inspires wonder and reminds people that there is a whole world out there to experience. I love being in places that make me think this: If I would have told my 13-year-old self that I’d be standing here, doing this, 13-year-old me would have said ‘No freaking way!’ And then I’d think my 26-year-old self was pretty awesome.

Shooting at the Austin Rodeo.

I’m about to start the second half of my Jersey summer and I’m looking forward to more memorable shooting locations. So far my favorite places I’ve shot are Brooklyn Bridge Park at Sunset, on the roof of one of the highest buildings in downtown, on another roof next to the New Years Ball in Times Square and on top of a double decker tour bus…..while moving through Manhattan…..and having an audio guy nearly taken out by a low hanging street sign.

One of my favorite pictures I’ve taken so far during my summer on the East Coast. Brooklyn Bridge is beautiful any time of day but late afternoon is my favorite!

Updates to come on how I just spent my two week hiatus!

Apartment Porn

In my last post, I broke the news that I’ve moved to New Jersey for 3 months. I also promised photos of my fun new apartment, and due to the resulting overwhelming reader demand (ie my parents and the few close friends that have booked tickets to see me while I’m here) I’m posting them here. Please enjoy Jersey City at (what I’m told is) it’s finest…..

Not bad, right? It is a great home base for all the shenanigans I’ll be up to from now until mid-September. I could use a desk, but that kitchen table will do just fine for diving headfirst into my writing projects, as long as I don’t face the window….with so much to see, I am far too easily distracted.

That last photo was from tonight…..I started to do some peaceful yoga, until my candles set off the fire alarm, scared the hell out of me and completely sent my chakras into disarray. Oh well, I’m too tired for down dog anyways. Off to bed!

I’m a Jersey Girl?

No, I haven’t started wearing a bump it and punching people in bars (though I did back into a parked police car last year….) but I HAVE moved to Jersey City, NJ and I’m here until mid-September for work. In case you don’t know what Jersey is like in the summer (as I didn’t before I came here) it could easily be described as hellish in terms of the weather – it is around 100 degrees and brutally humid. Coming from LA, this is quite an adjustment for me, and my hair.

Downtown Manhattan, taken near the Paulus Hook Ferry Dock – a block from my new front door!

I’ve been here for a little over a week now, and I’m mostly unsure of how I feel about it. I’ve never lived on the East Coast and so far it looks like I will likely spend a ridiculous amount of my time working, even for me, but now that I’m settled (and have located a delightful nearby bar with an amazing beer selection) I think it safe to say that I am ready and almost excited about the adventure!

The Iron Monkey, my new favorite local bar.

I’m living in a lovely apartment building on the 20th floor, which is about 19 floors higher up than I’ve ever lived. I face Southwest, towards LA, and the sunsets are incredible from up here. Despite the corporate housing furniture and the fact that I’m in Jersey (I’ve heard this isn’t something I should admit openly to people I meet in the city) I really love the place. I am a block from the waterfront and I have a view of the Statue of Liberty from my bed. I promise my next post will be full of apartment porn pics!

Anyways, that may explain why I’ve been so MIA. Now that I’m settled in and ready for fun (and newly single!) NYC adventures and a lot of inspired writing, I fully intend on lavishing attention on my poor, lonely NWW blog that has so patiently awaited my return!

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View of the Statue of Liberty from my bedroom.

Let’s Pretend April and May Didn’t Exist.

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……except Coachella. That definitely existed.

Oh wait, I don’t have to pretend, because as far as this blog is concerned, April and May didn’t exist. I was absent, oh so absent, for most of those 2 months. I even avoided visiting my own blog in fear of the guilt I would feel when I looked at the date of the last post. This blog was like that annoying email you have sitting in your inbox from a distant friend you keep meaning to reply to but it keeps getting shuffled to the end of your to-do list, and then chucked out in favor of going for a beer with your friends.

My absence wasn’t really caused by going for too many beers with friends. The last 2 months were, to put it mildly, really full. Full of surprise events and unexpected turns in the road, the kind that are usually dotted over about 6 months or a year but were, for whatever reason the universe had for me, were feverishly packed into 2 months.

I like to say there are some sections of your life that you live a lot more in than others. I lived densely during April and May. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I believe all of life’s experiences should be embraced as they all impact the person that you are ever evolving to be – but it certainly took a lot of my free time away.

Most of the stuff that happened is personal – far too personal for a blog post – but suffice it to say that the mixture of several surprise events with some not so surprising ones, along with my always hectic work schedule kind of catapulted me into a new phase in life, which I knew deep down I needed to enter but was too chicken shit to take the first step into. I found myself newly single and without a plan – and let me just say that wandering aimlessly in life isn’t something I do well. I tend to be self-destructive and entirely unproductive, drinking too much, partying too hard and then crashing even harder. But luckily, after about a month I pulled myself up, dusted myself off, and did what I always do when I feel like I’m drowning – I make a new plan.

And, the good news is I have plenty to write about.

So I’m back, hungrier than ever for that blank Word document, a free Saturday afternoon, some good movie scores playing in the background and my imagination taking off while I cling to its tail, holding on for dear life.

Let’s go.