Thank You.

I started blogging weekly, more than five years ago. October 20, 2011– to be exact. I was just finishing up grad school and my first book, Neverending Beginnings, hadn’t even been published. I had a different non-writing job than I do now. I hadn’t met Julia Kelly & Alexis Anne and therefore, had no idea I’d co-host a monthly podcast. I’d never attended a huge national conference, much less presented at one. Five years ago I’d maybe run a couple of 10Ks, but if you’d told me I’d a half marathon once, let alone twice, I’d have swiftly dismissed that as crazy-talk. I had never been to Paris, or Belgium, or Portland, or Austin, and I’m sure there were countless beers I hadn’t tried, books I hadn’t read.

Five. Years.

The thing is though, when you do a thing for so long, it’s easy to just keep doing it because it’s that thing you do, right? You roast chicken every Monday, and make quinoa bowls every Wednesday. You go to happy hour at that one brewery every Thursday. You meticulously move things from this week’s to-do list to next’s every Sunday night. You always brush your teeth before you wash your face. And then maybe one day, you forget and wash your face before brushing your teeth, and you realize it’s no big deal. Or you can’t get to the chicken on Monday and realize it’s just as good cooked in the slow cooker on Saturday. And maybe you break your brewery routine to join a friend for jazz at the cafe around the corner and realize there’s this whole other world of things to do on Thursday nights. And that to-do list? Well, perhaps if it’s not getting done there’s no sense in re-writing it.

Five years. Thirteen weeks. But today, I break my routine.

I don’t know what it will feel like not to publish a blog next week. I haven’t not spent some of the hours leading up to Thursday preparing a blog post for the last 273 weeks of my life, so I imagine I’ll feel like something is a bit out-of-order. However, for some time, I’ve been feeling like this whole thing has just become a little too habitual for me, just one more thing to check off the list and write down again on the next week. Like it’s missing a bit of soul. I’m quite certain there is a whole other world of writing to do out there just waiting for me to breathe some life into it and better serve readers.

So that’s my plan. I’m going to take some space and explore some other venues and new projects. But I can’t step away without saying thank you for spending a few precious moments of your day with my words. Whether you’ve been here for all 273 weeks, or are finding yourself here for the first time, I am so very grateful.

Five years. Grateful.

 

Since I won’t be blogging every week, I will no longer send a weekly e-mail. However, I’ll still be sending a message on at least a quarterly basis with an update on the progress of my latest novel, including excerpts,  release dates and pre-orders, so I do hope you’ll stay on my mailing list (or sign-up for the first time, below). And again, thank you.

 

Stickers

I got a gold star today. Actually it was red with polka dots. I got one yesterday too. I can’t help but smile as I write this, because how can you not smile about getting a sticker! Or maybe that’s just me . . .

Anyway, my gym is running this contest where if you work out four times a week between May 1 and June 7 you are entered in a drawing to win a Kindle Fire. When you leave for the day, you’re given a sticker to put on a chart next to your name, under the correct date. This is the second time they have run this contest recently. The first time I didn’t sign up, because I already go to the gym at least four days every week. I academic-ed myself out of it: “I see your charts and stickers and gadgets and external motivation but I have my own intrinsic drive, thank you very much!”

This time I decided to step off my pedestal and play along. And the crazy thing is, it really is fun. Seriously, as I was winding down my workout this morning I found myself thinking “I get to put a sticker on the chart!” A good reminder to myself that understanding a technique is equal parts knowing theoretically and empirically how it works and understanding how it actually feels to use it.

And tomorrow, I get another sticker. That’s right, little pink striped star . . .I’ve got my eye on you!

*Gold Star from pixabella.com