I Quit…TV.

Focus on now. Not being overwhelmed by the amount to do. Not doubting the end result. Focus on NOW.

Each day I am making positive changes that are slowly (but [if I am consistent and cumulative] surely) helping to progress toward my goal—my book.

So I’m not going to get upset at myself for having lived four city blocks from a San Francisco Public Library for two years and never once going inside. I am not going to get upset at myself for all those times that I reasoned, “Eh, I have nothing I really feel like reading,” and instead watched mindless TV. Instead, I will focus on what I can do NOW.

Last weekend—my first official weekend as a blogger (am I a blogger? Don’t you have to have a certain number of posts or followers or retweets or starts or stripes? Perhaps those people are Bloggers, capital B)—I was exploring the vast world of WordPress. My topics of interest, of course, center around “writing” and “book publishing.”

I stumbled up Author Raimey Gallant‘s post, Developing Your Reading List: A Strategy for Authors. In addition to her reassuring words, “Try not to be overwhelmed [by the overwhelming amount you need to read],” she offered advice to help encourage a personalized reading curriculum.ª

Within minutes of finishing the post (and a mini-panic attack—so much for not feeling overwhelmed), I registered online for a library card, and was out my front door.

I checked out three books:

  1. Hungry Heart, the newly-published memoir by Jennifer Weiner, which I consumed (no pun intended) in four days.
  2. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. She is 31! If she’s not too young to write a memoir, neither am I.
  3. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess.

I also quit TV.

Time to get reading!

 

 

ªAt a particularly low-moraled moment of my 9-5 week, I checked my Gmail. Someone is following my blog! Thank you, Raimey Gallant for being my first visitor, reader and follower. *:)

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Before You Get What You Want, You Have to Do What You Need.

Take a deep breath…

Now, visualize what you wantwant to happen. Want to be.

Things don’t just happen. In real life, as an adult, if you want to be extraordinary, you have to try.

It’s easy to coast along. Work week: commute, exercise, happy hour, return home to a nightly routine of preparing for the next day. Weekends: laundry, social plans, marveling at the kids—they grow up so fast.

But if you want something to change, you have to try. You have to be thoughtful and proactive. Lean forward. Disrupt routine.

***

I moved to California for many reasons. To get away from winter. To get away from my family’s doubtful opinions of me. But also, to write a book.

Have I mentioned I’m writing a book? It’s called Let Me Out I’m Stuck.

You’ve probably never heard of it though because I haven’t finished writing it yet (not to mention the professional proposal and polished pitch I need to attract a publisher).

Four years ago, I arrived in San Diego, California with a New Yorker’s swagger and determination. (I also arrived with no idea of how complicated, tedious and time consuming it was to write a book.)

My first summer here I proudly pronounced, “The Summer of Writing!” With four months vacation from my contracted copywriting gig (and very few friends within 3,000 miles), I committed to transcribing my New York journals onto my laptop. Eight years of City escapades and self exploration packed into three hundred typed pages of exercises in candor and wit.

First Draft

After two months of diligent digitization, I printed and bound my first draft at 2nd Street Printing in Encinitas, California.

For the remainder of the summer, I remember pouring over those bound pages. I added creative writing assignments I had written throughout the years and wrote new, scenic prose to introduce the reader into my world. I meticulously shaped the first fifty pages, focusing on my “hook,” as they call it in the publishing biz.  

Then, I got distracted by a complicated living situation. In the two years I lived in San Diego, I packed up and movedª five times.

After the fifth move, I decided to leave Southern California. I put my book on hold to apply for jobs in San Francisco—Which is where I live now, working at yet another corporate copywriting job (this one without a four-month summer break).

Work week: commuting, exercising, happy hour-ing, returning home to a nightly routine preparing for the next day. Weekends: laundry, social plans, marveling at the kids, experiencing the city.

***

This month marks two years in San Francisco. Four in California!

I moved to California as a result of trying, leaning forward, disrupting.

I moved to California to write a book.

No more distractions, Charlotte! You’re accountable now.

So, take a deep breath…

Visualize what you want.

I want to share my voice and vision with the world by writing a book.

Good. Now, what needs to happen/what do you need to do to make that happen?

Many things.

Today’s post is focused on the acknowledgement of two:

(1.) Read more. I recently changed my commute to secure a half hour to forty five minutes on the bus to read each morning on my way to work. (My previous commute required switching from bus to BART, ten minutes on each. Sure, I got to work faster, but was that really my objective? The great thing about public transportation is that someone else is driving! I might as well relax, turn the page and enjoy the ride.

This weekend, I plan to finish the Handmaid’s Tale. My next book is How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh. I saw her on Chelsea Hander’s new Netflix series. If that chick can write a book, so can I.

(2.) Write more. Content is reliant on production (more on this later). Starting today, right now, I am making myself accountable to a weekly 2-3 hour writing session every Thursday evening. 

 

ªShout out to Tttttravis who actually moved my stuff.