Bullet Journaling

This week has been crazy.

Between job interviews, work, implementing information and ideas from the conference I went to last weekend, Easter, sending a foster child to his forever family, and writing, I feel like I got a little swamped this week.

In a good way.

You can get swamped in a good way, right? Like, a wave rushing over your head and sending you head-over-heels at the beach, but it’s all still cool because you’re at the beach and there is salt and sand and that weird crabgrass that somehow is uglier than no grass?

We’re getting off-topic. The point is, it was a good kind of swamped. Like at the beach. Not like in a swamp.

Anyway. One of the ways that I managed to keep myself partially sane and moving forward this week was by bullet journaling.

*Que intense backstory music*

See, I have a lot going on right now. Things are happening. Secret things that I’m not allowed to talk about yet. (I will tell you eventually, I promise.) And the trouble with secret things happening is that they take up a lot of time and force me to sit back and really rethink my priorities, both in my life and in my career.

They also force me to work really, really hard and get my butt moving instead of procrastinating. But that’s neither here nor there.

So, acting on the advice of the conference speaker, I bought a journal. And about 50 markers, because I am a child and I love to color. So, since then, I have been journaling. Some of it has been getting a picture of what I want my life to be and some of it . . . well, let’s just say that some of it has been more about discovering my artistic talent that digging into my soul.

There isn’t a whole lot of artistic talent there, in case you were wondering.

But it’s been fun! And personally, I happen to think the best part of it has been that I am not particularly amazing at it. There’s no pressure to have everything perfect, no pressure to be the best or come up with Pinterest worthy pages. This is just for me. Something that I enjoy, that I can play with, and something that I don’t have to constantly judge and correct and improve in.

And since most of my life revolves around the high expectations I have for my writing, it’s pretty nice to have a messy journal and do something that I’m not very good at—just for me.

Do you bullet journal, or any kind of journal? Is it a task for you, or something to play with and allow yourself to be imperfect in? Tell me about it in the comments!

A Gathering Of Souls

I went to a writing conference this weekend.

The Young Women’s Writing Workshop, if we’re going to be technical about it. I’m just going to call it a gathering of souls.

It was the best thing I’ve done for my writing and my soul all year.

I think. I’ve done a lot of things for my soul this year. But this one was particularly relaxing and inspiring, so we’re going to say it was the best thing.

Or one of the best.

I’m going to shut up now.

Seriously, though, this conference was the most invigorating, inspiring thing I’ve done for a long time. When writers gather together, especially in small, tightly knit groups, things happen, man. Things. Happen. Ideas flow, people cry, books are built, fears are overcome, and dreams are realized.

I am not exaggerating.

The conference is held every year in Glen Eyrie, Colorado. And every year, I tell myself that I can’t afford it this time. Then I book a last minute room because I can’t bear to be left out when all my friends are gathering together. Oh, and the venue is a castle.

Like, a real castle.

I think it’s the only castle in Colorado. Certainly, it’s the most beautiful castle in Colorado.

So who can resist that?

The conference lasted for three days, Friday to Sunday, and the weekend was a kaleidoscope of classes, conversations with some of the most interesting people you will ever meet, and ideas. Our mentor, Nancy Rue, is one of the most brilliant and beautiful women you’ll find out there, and her love for her craft and zest for life is catching. When she gets excited about something, it’s impossible not to get excited about it too. More than that, she is committed to speaking God’s heart and bringing his spirit into the room while she teaches. Which accounts for how powerful this weekend was for all of us.

So, Nancy, I thank you for being your own wonderful self. We all needed it this weekend.

If I had to detail out everything that happened this weekend, I could probably ramble on for a few hours and never get to the point of it all. Instead, let’s just say it was a weekend of good food, beautiful scenery, tears, ideas, play-dough, dreams, books, tea, and good people. So, the best kind of weekend.

I can’t wait to go back next year.

(And, yes, I did say play-dough. I’d explain, but . . . I think I’ll just let you wonder.)

Have you ever been to a writing conference? Would you like to? We’d love to see you next year and include you in our gathering!

 

 

Cauliflower, Gordon Ramsay, and Hobbies

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Guess what?

I have a hobby.

And it’s not writing.

Shocker, right? Writing used to be my hobby, back when I was seventeen. I would spend all my extra time writing, and I never wanted to do anything else. I would get all my work done, and then go write and love every minute of it.

Now, I’m twenty-four. Writing is my career. And my passion. But it’s not my hobby.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t love it. I do. I swear. But, to me, a hobby is what you do to rest your brain, to recharge after a tough day or week, and to give yourself a bit of a treat.

And, especially in this last year, I began to realize that I needed something to recharge my brain after I spent all day writing. As much as I love it, as much as I want to do it every day for the rest of my life, I still need a break every now and then. For mental health.

Balance is a good thing. I’m discovering that.

Lately, and especially since I moved into my little house and got my own kitchen, I have discovered a new love for cooking.

Not baking. Cooking. I can’t bake.

For one thing, I don’t have an oven. For another, I am a terrible baker.

As I mentioned in this post, my sister bought me a pass to Gordon Ramsay’s masterclass, and, as I’ve had time, I’ve been going through his lessons. The passion that he puts into everything he does is so inspiring to me, and although I have no intention of ever entering the food industry (because I am a ball of stress and I would die if that many people were yelling at me at once), I have loved learning from such a master.

I’ve also been experimenting with recipes on my own, learning from Pinterest, Youtube, and good old trial and error. One thing that I’ve found I LOVE is cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles. I cook for my mom a lot, and we are both sensitive to white flour and high carbs, so it has been so fun to experiment with alternatives and come up with tasty recipes that are low carb AND delicious.

(Apparently, this is actually possible. Who would have guessed?)

It has been such an adventure for me to delve into a new hobby and try my hand at something that I’m not already good at. (I might have freaked out to a few of my friends the first time I poached an egg properly.) As I develop more as a writer and take my career choices more seriously, it has become important that I have something to rest my brain and recharge a little bit.

What are some new hobbies that you have picked up since the New Year? Tell me in the comments! I’d love to hear about it!