Looking back at 2017: a writer’s life

This year has got to be the quietest year of blogging on record thus far, but it wasn’t the calmest behind the scenes. There are a few of reasons for this, and maybe you can relate to the struggles of trying to “do it all”.

/1/ the book

First, I decided to dedicate free time to my second memoir. The good news is I did, but blogging took a dive. More good news though is: I finally have a title (that was driving me bananas, trying to figure that out, let me tell you), I received feedback from my first round of readers (thank you!) and have finished going through their notes. I also reorganized chapters, added and took away parts and I’m currently on slogging my way through the last chapter. Next, I’ll be getting it ready for the second round of readers!

/2/ the other writing task

Then, there is another personal project that I’m currently wrapping up that I’d like to share with you, but I can’t until I’ve had some time and distance away from it. I’m not a fan, if I can help it, of talking about an experience without digesting it. Although, I will say this project has complimented my book, involved lots more writing and goal setting. It’s a lot of work, but I believe it’s worth it.

/3/ work + making time to write = insanity

It was also another big year of teaching. I taught less hours, but it didn’t feel like it because I was given more challenging classes. Trying to live the life of a creative while holding down a full-time job (teaching encompasses so much more than simply the hours in the classroom) really split me into two angry pieces. Often I felt like when I had the time, I didn’t take advantage of it, but when I didn’t have the time, I was frustrated that I didn’t have time, and that I didn’t kick my butt into high gear when I needed to. Yeaahhh.

/4/ social media

I started to experiment with Medium and uploaded some old posts there. I was quickly invited to join a community, but I haven’t cracked Medium yet. I’m not sure if this is where I want to pour my energies so my account is counting crickets right now.

Finished another Instagram challenge #gratitude30 from Positively Present. Love her feed. I need to check out her blog. Nevertheless, I’m still working on my #365daysofmagicalthinking / #365daysofmagic which I have mixed feelings about.

I like having personal purpose on social media, but no one is doing this hashtag, except me and this real life magician, so it’s kind of pathetic. I will say though that I find myself wanting to read more fantasy and sci-fi books and I still like the idea of thinking magically, even though it’s damn hard to do.

Twitter has never produced any results. I’ve never found my tribe among the zillions. I’ve done deep purges. I’ve gone from trying to promote others and myself to full stop promoting myself completely. However, I’m going to try to promote myself again, but my Soundcloud account only. I’ve contemplated deleting my Twitter many times.

I also stopped sharing my blog posts on Facebook, until just recently. Part of the problem is my life is an open book on the blog, colleagues and students follow me and I became embarrassed to share what I had written about. Now, I’m getting over “my ideas of what others might think of me” (it’s like I’m a newbie all over again!).

But here’s the thing…

/5/ my life

There’s so much going on that I haven’t been able to share. I’ve been looking back at my journals to discover the underlying theme of 2017 and that’s it. The theme is under-lock-and-key, top secret, working behind the curtain so that when I am ready, I can put on the show I’ve been working hard on. Thanks for sticking around.

 

How has 2017 treated you?

25 thoughts on “Looking back at 2017: a writer’s life

  1. Hi, the blog post email came in just as I was polishing my first attempt at a WordPress blog. A journey starts with the first step…

    I stumbled on your blog I think via YouTube with a video you’d done over in Chiang Mai, then saw you’d written a book. I have to say, I love the book and it came at the right time in my life to decide what to do with my own life after leaving a work at a certain company. It was not an easy place to be and I had been planning on leaving on my own in the new year, but they made that decision for me, thankfully. Now I’m recovering from that experience and taking some time off.

    Your own experience and journey gave me confidence to possibly go into retirement and do something else outside of the corporate world. Like the Robert Frost poem, taking the road less travelled. So, thank you for your book and helping others to think about what they are doing in their own lives, evaluating their past experiences, and rethinking what to do next.

    Blogging and writing are great ways to process our thoughts and feelings and share with others. The WordPress world seems like a great way discover others on the same writing and self-discovery world. I just recently turned off the Twitter account and feel a lot better about getting away from the flurry of comments that people post and simply getting too many posts and feeling overwhelmed. Also, have been dialing back on FaceBook and often forget to check it. We have friends and family in Thailand (my wife is Thai), and FB is a way for us to keep in touch. Instagram is nice by keeping it simple (so far).

    Patrick

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading my book and all the nice things you’ve said here! Truly. It was lovely to open up WP and read this comment.

      It’s funny that you found me via YouTube. I forget that I was part of Mia’s crazy but great plan to do a Thai podcast and video series. It was fun and I’m constantly surprised when people recognize me from those videos!

      Blogging can be a really gentle way to share your thoughts and connect to a larger community. It certainly has been an eye-opener for me. I’m touched when anyone finds me and writes back!

      Good luck with the blog. And thanks once again.

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  2. It has been rather quiet on the blog front for you, Lani. Sometimes we do need time away from it to focus on other things to do, and blogging itself if something time-consuming. Congrats on your second memoir. It does sound like it’s coming along nicely. Reworking it is always the stage I like most – you have something to work with, you have some semblance of direction and you feel at least a little bit productive.

    On social media: agree it is hard to keep up, which is why I mainly use IG. Facebook for me is just for chatting for those who matter to me or if someone wants a listening ear, I am there. I’m with you on Twitter. Keeping up is hard on social media all round. True that your life is an open book on Facebook if you are the kind who shares about your life. Come to think of it, as writers and bloggers, that’s how it is too…sometimes I do ask myself do I want to keep my blog going since I am very much a private person. Expression usually wins out in the end.

    Good luck with the rest of the book 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. After years and years of writing once a week, it was a gift to step back from the blog and allow myself to work on other things that matter. When I’m rich and famous, I’ll have more time to do it all, right? 😛

      Yeah, the interesting thing about having an online presence is folks can get confused over how much to share. I’m on the cautious side which from anyone who knows me would find laughable because I have a tendency to over-share in real life. But print! No, ho, ho. Even as a memoirist, I have to protect certain areas of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Often I felt like when I had the time, I didn’t take advantage of it, but when I didn’t have the time, I was frustrated that I didn’t have time, and that I didn’t kick my butt into high gear when I needed to.” Oh, this. This is how I feel far too frequently. Especially when I’d get caught up on politics on social media, yet I don’t feel like anyone should have the luxury of ignoring rising fascism.

    Let me know when you find the perfect balance between life, writing, self-care, work, and activism, please.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Autumn, I strongly agree that no one “should have the luxury of ignoring rising fascism.” It’s happening so fast, and yet so many people don’t want to think about it. I feel a loss of hope in the air and also a confusion about what to do. We want to resist but aren’t sure how.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I think we’ve all been guilty of spending too much time on social media and politics. As an expat living in Cambodia (and having lived in Thailand and Ecuador), I don’t have the luxury of ignoring local or global politics. (You might want to look up what’s recently happened over here.) But there is a reason why I don’t talk about it.

      When I lived in Thailand, I followed the account of the American Consulate to be aware of what was going on, to keep up to date. When the military junta took over, you better believe I was paying attention. Our visas are tied to the local government and we’ve been through some very stressful situations.

      But I’m grateful that I have the passport that I have.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Expats remain at the pleasure of the host country, and when that country is unstable, it can be frightening. We were in the Philippines during the imposition of martial law, the assassination of Benigno Aquino, and during several coup attempts. I didn’t have a blog then, so I didn’t worry about what I said to my friends. I just tried to stay out of the way. Now my concern is not as much for myself as for my country.

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  4. Lani, I’m in awe of all you’ve been getting done. I’m glad you’ve been devoting time to your second memoir, and I’m so curious about your other writing task.

    I, too, used to faithfully blog once a week. Lately I’ve been posting only twice a month, which seems enough for now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be in awe, but thanks! I feel like I could always be doing more and experimenting with different mediums or writing down ideas don’t always produce results. In any case, I’m glad I’m here. Cheers.

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  5. Hey there! Saw your comment on my post and I realized I haven’t seen a post from you in a while, and thought maybe WordPress had somehow made me unfollow you, so I came here and maybe that’s why! You’ve been off radar for a while. Sounds like all good things. Have a great 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It’s been a little crazy over here, but I’m excited for what’s to come. Happy holidays to you, too! 🙂

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  6. Note: reposting as I suspect my comment didn’t log on the system. If this ends up as a double, go ahead and delete!

    Hey Lani, I haven’t been by in so long and I’m glad to be back! So, my random thoughts as I went through your post:

    – your writing – Exciting! Depending on if our timelines mesh, would you happen to need another reader for the second round? Proofreading is one of my strengths – it was part of my day job previously + I won a regional news proofreading competition back in high school lol – so if you’re interested, drop me a message. Excited for your progress btw; good writing takes time and effort, and cheering as you push through.

    Social media – aah same for me! Twitter and Medium weren’t a good fit, and neither was Facebook for privacy reasons. I’m trying to do more with IG, but it’s something I’ll focus more on once my writing routine is back in shape. Social media has its strengths but overall, it’s too tempting to want to do all the things and lose time on it. I’m really on the fence about this one.

    Work + blog – I got promoted and have been busier as a result, so I get where you’re coming from. I’ve been in that place but I turned a corner last month. I realized accepting the hard and fast limits on my free time is actually forcing me to be super intentional about the little time I do have to write. I’m 100% there when I blog, have cut out a lot of what I used to do out of necessity, and paradoxically, am actually getting better results in both work + blog. I keep finetuning but pretty happy with the balance so far.

    Life – Ah my words for this year are secret, crazy, and simplifying. The first two are out of my control and the last is my reaction lol. Looking forward to seeing your hard work bear fruit, Lani!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Daisy,

      It’s good to see you again. You’ve been gone for awhile and now I know why (always suspected work ;). If you don’t mind editing, I am going to start putting the feelers out there soon. Are you sure? You are too kind. Yes, I’ll email you, but I don’t plan on bothering anyone just yet since the holidays can be an overwhelming time all.

      Congratulations on your promotion. You sound happy and energetic. Have you been blogging? I’ll pop over there.

      I know what you mean about streamlining. I think that is why I had to step back from social media and blogging. Something had to give and I have no regrets. Sometimes I feel guilty, but I know that’s useless to feel that way. I know I need to accept what I can and cannot do.

      Thanks again, Daisy! xxoo

      Like

      1. Yes, I’m sure! I read a lot any way, so it will just be a matter of reading your stuff too. It would be fun to help. 🙂 And I have been blogging; thanks for visiting me! I am happy and energetic – not necessarily because everything’s rosy but because I’ve learned to be happy anyway. (My grandma was in hospital and cancer’s affecting someone close to me, so that’s also why I was so quiet.)

        I so understand cutting out blogging for a while – which you can clearly see is what I did for a few months. I’ve missed it though, so I switched up priorities to get back into it. Now something else has been let go of so I can come back to this space lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is tough to juggle it all, but I suppose it is what makes life interesting!

        Sorry to hear about your grandma and friend. It’s frustrating to be on the sidelines during these trying times, but I believe we can send loving thoughts to those close to our hearts.

        Really appreciate it Daisy! xxoo

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  7. It seems you had a busy but productive year. Blogging definitely takes a lot of time for me too, and I don’t even try to promote on social media because honestly I don’t have the time (also I have never been good at marketing, haha).

    Looking forward to reading more about your new book and your secret project. BTW, isn’t it a bit early to review the year? There’s still one month left! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought about that. Yes, we do have a month left despite my bad math, I knew that 😛 But I wanted an excuse to let folks know where I’ve been, so to speak. I needed an update, stat!

      Thanks, Marta 🙂

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  8. Looking forward to the big reveal! I’m so curious now. Well done to you — I’m lucky not to have a full-time job, and I don’t know how anyone who does manages to maintain a blog on top of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how people with children remain sane. Hahahaha. As far as work goes, I think it helps me motivate because I have only a certain amount of time to do writing. You also take a look at what’s important and carve out the extra bits. In any case, I’m glad I piqued your curiosity. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

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