NaNoWriMo Update 1

NaNoWriMo Update 1

There is good news and bad news.
The good news is I have started writing my novel!  Hooray! 
It feels like such a great achievement to have even started. 
The bad news is that I missed two out of the last seven days
in my writing challenge, but I have kept my promise and have not missed two
days in a row.  I missed Friday because I
had to work, take the kids swimming etc etc, and just could not fit any writing
in.  I missed Sunday because I had a
REALLY big night on Saturday at my 20 year school reunion (watch out for a post
on that coming soon!) and was not in a fit state on Sunday to do much at all. 
Rather than beat myself up about missing those days I am
celebrating the positives.  I have
started writing my first book!  How cool
is that.  I am totally excited about it
and am enjoying the process.  I had a
very busy week last week and still managed to write on most days.  My word count as of this morning (I haven’t written
today yet) is 4,630.   I still have a
long way to go but I am off to a good start.
The first day was the hardest.  I felt like a bit of a fraud and took a while
to get going.  Every time I’ve written
since then has been a bit easier, and I have enjoyed just letting the words
flow.  I am not editing as I go, trying
instead just to get the story out.  After
the month is over, I will reread and see if I think it is worth editing or
sharing with anyone.  But for now I am
just focussing on the process and proud of myself for giving it a go. 
I am not yet ready to share what the book is about, for now
it is just for me.  I am happy to share
that I have taken an experience that happened to me in real life and used that
as the inspiration for a starting point for this story.  I am totally making up the rest as I go.  It was great to have that inspiration to
start me off, and I am loving seeing where my imagination will take me from
I have found it fairly easy to hit the target of around
15-1600 words each writing session, if I do my writing while my daughter has
her midday nap.  It is nice to have a
good chunk of time to get the flow going. 
The days I didn’t hit my word count were days where I tried to write
around other jobs, and it didn’t work as well for me.  Writing while my daughter is in bed gives me
total peace and quiet, without interruptions to concentrate and let my
imagination run wild.  The only downside
to that is I usually use that time to get things done (make appointments, write
blog posts, fold and put away washing, do my creative projects like crochet or
sewing etc).  So for the next little
while there will be less of that.  I
think what I might do though is allow myself one day a week where I still give
myself that time to do other creative things and try and make up the words on
another day.  We will have to see how it
goes.  And allocating that quiet nap time
to writing will still allow us to carry on with life as normal and minimal
disruption.  I did consider getting up an
hour earlier each day to write, but it takes a while for my brain to wake up
properly, so I think I’ll continue with midday writing for now. 
I am trying not to be too strict about it, because I want to
enjoy this process.  I don’t think that
being creative should be a chore, it should be something you enjoy.  It may take me longer than the month of
November to get to the 50,000 word target, but I’m in no hurry.  I’m just so glad that I stumbled across
NaNoWriMo and have given it a go. 
Until next time

E xx
The time is now

The time is now

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”     — Henry David Thoreau:

“Things that can be done at any time are often done at no
time” says the wise and inspiring Gretchen Rubin.  For me, that sentence seems to hold a lot of
truth.  Think about where you live for
example.  There are fabulous things to do
in the place you live, but because they are close by and you can do it anytime,
often, you don’t do them at all. 
I think it is the same with goals or things we want to
achieve in our lives.  I have always
wanted to write, and that is how this blog came about.  I’m very happy writing away, sharing thoughts
and stories with you all.  But I’ve
always dreamt of writing a novel.  It has
been something that I have always thought I could do….someday.  Well, the time is now!  I don’t want all my “someday’s” to slip by
and never make the time to do it.  So in
an effort to be creative, and connect to who it is that I want to be, I’m going
to give it a go. 
So why now?  I have
always wanted to do it.  I feel like
right now I have the space to try.  It
seemed a bit serendipitous that I discovered Bullet Journaling, started
following a few random BuJo’ers, and three of them mentioned NaNoWriMo (which I
had never heard of before). 
National Novel Writing Month (
is an annual event, where for each day for the month of November, you commit to
writing 1,667 words.  At the end of the
month, you have yourself a 50,000 word novel (which is about the length of The Great Gatsby – challenging but
achievable).  There is a supportive community online with
other writers who are taking up the challenge, so you don’t feel like you are
doing it alone. 
What a great idea! 
Just four weeks commitment and I might achieve a goal I’ve had for a
long time.  I want my children to see
that you can achieve what you want to out of life.  I am trying to teach my perfectionist son
that it is ok to just give it a go, do your best, even if what comes out of it isn’t
worthy of public consumption!  Maybe, I
can inspire someone else to have a go at something they have been putting off
until “the right time”.  The right time
is now everyone! 
I am under no illusions that it will be easy.  I am going to have to sacrifice other
activities in order to achieve 50,000 words. 
However, I really, really am keen to give it a go.  I just want to know if I can actually write
that many words!  I’m not even sure yet
what it is that my novel will be about, I plan to just sit and write each day
and see what comes.  I’ve read some books
by authors who plan their novel from the beginning, but I think for this first
go, I’m just going to wing it.  Who knows….
Maybe my 50,000 words will be the beginnings of a number of novels.  I’m not sure exactly where the month will
take me, but I’m very much looking forward to giving it a red hot go!  Even if nothing spectacular comes out of this
first month of writing, it will set up a good writing habit for me that might
lead to something better. 
So if I’m a bit quieter than usual, please forgive me! 
Vintage Black and white photography:
Photo credit from

Normally I would be a bit quiet about this kind of challenge
and not share that I was planning to do it with the world.  I guess we all face the fear of failure, and
often I think it doesn’t matter if I fail and I’m the only one to know about
it.  I have recently discovered that I am
an Obliger in Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies framework (see this post about it
here or go to her website here).  Rubin’s
book Better than Before outlines the
four tendencies and strategies that might be helpful for each in building and
maintaining habits.  I really enjoyed the
book and have found it useful in knowing myself better and finding ways to make
life easier. 
Obligers have no trouble meeting external accountability,
but find it difficult to meet inner expectations (so we are awesome at meeting
work deadlines, but find it hard to keep our own New Year’s resolutions).  Rubin suggests one of the ways for Obligers
to succeed is to impose external accountability on themselves (join Weight Watchers
if you are trying to lose weight, go to the gym with a friend if you are trying
to be fitter, be in a book club if your goal is to read more etc.).  And that is why I have signed up to NaNoWriMo
and am sharing my goal here.  I have to
regularly check in with NaNoWriMo informing them of my word count, and I will
do the same with you here with a weekly post about how I am going.  Feel free to message me or comment on the
blog to keep me accountable and encourage me to keep going.     I am
really hoping Rubin is right and that having this external accountability will
be the thing that makes this new habit stick. 
I am imposing a rule on myself this month to never miss two
days of writing in a row.  Sometimes,
life gets in the way, and I just won’t be able to get it done.  If I miss more than one day, it will be just
too hard to catch up and I will likely stop. 
So please encourage me to keep up the momentum! 
I would love to hear what are things are on your list to do
anytime/sometime?  Want to join me in
committing to doing it sometime in November? 
Do you have any ideas for plot lines for my novel?  Or interesting characters you would like to
see feature in the story?  Would you like
to join in NaNoWriMo with me?  Comment
below or on the Creative Calm Connected Facebook page. 
Until next time,

E xx
Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday

Do you have a list of things you would like to do on the
weekends or places you would like to see, and find that, like us, weekends get
filled up doing all the little things we don’t do during the week and that list
of fabulous fun things never gets done?  I
love weekends, because it is time that we get to spend together, which is even
more precious now our son is at school. 
But I’ve felt for a while now that we tend to do the same thing every
weekend.  And I was a little bit
bored.  There are so many things that we
say to each other we’d like to do, and we somehow were never making the time to
do them.
So, a little while ago, I suggested to my little family that
we should do Sunday Fun Day!  We would write down all the ideas we have of
places we want to go or things we want to do on a Sunday, put them in a jar,
and each week, pick one out and do it! 
Easy!  We used our trip to the
coast recently to come up with ideas, and we made sure that everyone was able
to contribute.  There are some things in
there that not all four of us would have chosen, but we agreed in the interests
of fairness we would give every suggestion a try.  The suggestions needed to be achievable in a
day, and locations needed to be within an easy drive of Canberra. 
We draw out the coming Sunday’s activity sometime during the
week so we can prepare if needed (e.g. a day trip to the beach would need us to
pack beach toys, towels, sun cream etc. the night before so we can leave early
in the morning), or if it is a weather dependent activity, we can choose
something else if the forecast looks grim. 
Last week we had drawn out a visit to the Arboretum but as we were having breakfast, we had a call from our son’s best friend (our Goddaughter) inviting us to the zoo.  We were all excited, and because the zoo is also in our Sunday Fun Day jar, we decided we would do it.  What a great way to kick off the new tradition than with close friends (who are our special chosen family anyway). 
Best friends 

I love being stuck in between these two!
We have loved going to the zoo since our son was
little.  He has always really enjoyed it,
so we are members and go often.  Recently
there have been a lot of upgrades and it is a really lovely place to wander
around.  We have been a few times since
our daughter was born, but Sunday was the first time that she noticed and got
excited about the animals.  She
particularly loved the fish in the aquarium, and made lots of animal noises as
we meandered around looking at the different animals. 
It was really relaxing to spend the day with our beautiful
friends.  These friends mean the world to
me.  We have been through a lot together
in the time we’ve known each other and they have a special place in my
heart.  It was so good to be able to
watch not only the kids happy faces, but also to see my Soul sister and her
husband relaxed and enjoying the day. 
Soul Sisters

If our first Sunday Fun Day was anything to go by, I can
already tell that this is a great way for our family to feel creative, calm and
connected.  I can’t wait to find out what
this Sunday’s activity will be!
What do you think of the Sunday Fun Day idea?  What ideas would you put in your Sunday Fun
Day jar?  Comment below (I am pretty sure
the comments should FINALLY work properly now!) or on the Creative Calm
Connected Facebook page. 
Until next time,

E xx
I’m back!

I’m back!


Refreshed, Reconnected, Relaxed, re-energised,
re-focused.  Ready for the rest of the

I have just come back from a week away and that’s how I
feel. Once again, I am convinced that I have my Core Desired Feelings right (if you want to read my post about Core Desired feelings go here). Our holiday had all the elements there – time for being creative, plenty of connecting with those i love, and lots and lots of calm.  The combination of those three things make me feel how I want to feel every day.  When I get all those elements together, I am at my best.  Have you thought about what your Core Desired Feelings might be?  Honestly, since I’ve worked it out, I feel like it is much easier to live the kind of life you want to live.  To be honest, nothing much has really changed in my life, but the focus of my life has.  And I like it!  
We took the kids and my Mum and Dad to Merimbula for the week, and had a beautiful
time together.  I didn’t feel rushed, but
we did plenty of fun things.  I really
enjoyed spending our time together.  The
kids were pretty well behaved, and the weather was great. It was so much warmer
than home, and even though it was a bit windy some days, it was really nice to
get a break from all the rain we’ve been having.
I love the special bond that my children have with my
parents, and it was so special for them to have Grandma and Poppy on holidays
with them.  We are lucky to have my
parents living so close by.  The whole
reason for our trip was to take Mum and Dad away to thank them for all they do
for us.  They look after the kids for us
so that I can do my Pilates shifts.  But
more than that.  They are only ever a
phone call away if we need them and love spending time with our babies.  They are supportive, offer us all unconditional
love and we all love spending time with them. 
I also love the way they love and accept my husband as their own. 
It was also special to take them away because my Dad has had
a couple of years where he couldn’t travel. 
Before he got sick, Mum and Dad used to travel around this beautiful
country on their motorbike, seeing lots of different places and having
adventures together.  But that silly
little “piece of meat” (as our son used to say) put a pause on that for a
while.  Now though, Dad is almost fully recovered
and has the all clear, so it was wonderful to see him excited to go somewhere
different again. 
At the beginning of our week away, everyone nominated some
things they would like to do/see while we were away.  We worked our way through the list and made
some beautiful memories together.  Here’s
some photos I took of us:
My Dad took this photo

And here’s some of my more creative pics:
It is amazing how just a change of location can reset
you.  I found that without the demands on
our time that exist at home, I was able to be more calm and present.  It was nice to slow down a little and prepare
for the last school term of the year.  Wouldn’t
it be great if we could maintain that feeling of holiday calm for a lot longer
when we return home?  I am going to try
really hard to hang onto it this term – we are going to be busy, but with some
special things to look forward to between now and Christmas.  I’m glad that we have those things to look
forward to; I think they help lessen the blow of the post-holiday return to
I have come home determined to make the most of this fresh
start, feel ready to make some positive life changes in terms of healthy
habits, and am excited about what the rest of the year has in store. 
Until next time, 

E xx
The missing piece

The missing piece

Complete a jigsaw puzzle, flip it over (carefully) and write a message on the back, then take it apart and mail it to a loved one or acquaintance who loves puzzles, so they have to put the puzzle together to get your message! (It might be helpful to let them KNOW there's a message to find!!):  
I have been struggling a bit lately with inspiration for
what to write here on my little blog, wondering why the ideas aren’t
coming.  I’m not the kind of person that
writes religiously every day, but when I want to write it seems to just pour
out of me.  When I decided to start this
blog, I thought that I would aim for two posts a week with a Wise Words Wednesday
in between.  But even two posts lately have
seemed like too much. 
Maybe I’m just feeling a bit worn out and taking the
pressure off the writing will help inspiration to return.  We have had a very busy couple of
months.  August is birthday central in
our house, we have a LOT of birthday’s to celebrate, which is so much fun but
can be exhausting by the end of the month. 
I have been working hard to get my daughter settled into childcare,
which has been an emotional and exhausting slog, but we have recently turned
the corner and she is now happy to play there for the day.  We are also at the end of a busy school term,
and I think I’m a bit worn out with all that we have been packing into our
lives.  I wouldn’t change any of it, but
I think we are all ready for a bit of rest and rejuvenation. 
I am very much looking forward to the school holidays and a
bit of a coastal break we are planning with the kids and my parents.  I feel like it will be exactly the reset we
are after. 
I think perhaps I need a bit more time for the “Creative”
bit of Creative Calm Connected.  I think
I’m doing pretty well on the Calm and Connected fronts but the creative seems
lacking.  So I think for a while, I will
concentrate on that.  I will aim for one
written post a week, and use the time I would have otherwise spent writing on
doing something creative.  Maybe I could
even post about those things!
I have been slowly gathering a list of creative things I would
like to have a go at:
  •    I half completed a photography course at the
    beginning of the year; I would really love to jump back into that and start
    making time to take some fun photos.
  •    Santa bought me a sewing machine for Christmas
    last year, and last week I finally got it out of the box.  I am looking forward to having a go at some
    sewing.  My first project is a simple
    quilt I am going to make.  I got some
    fabulous fabrics at the recent Lincraft and Spotlight sales so I’m really
    looking forward to trying some of that each day as my little one sleeps. I have
    also promised to make my big Sister a bag and have bought some pretty material
    for that.
  •     I have half-finished crocheting a cushion cover
    my son asked me to make him.  I am
    enjoying making it and it looks pretty fancy for my beginner abilities!  I think I will take that with me to finish
    off on holidays.  I find it relaxing to
    do while chatting and it is nice to have something to do with my hands.  I find it really helps on days where my
    anxiety rears back up again.
  •     Our son has asked if he can change his room
    around.  I think what he means by that is
    to redecorate, and I think it is probably time. 
    He seems to have outgrown Winnie the Pooh and I think he would love a
    Star Wars theme.  I am going to have fun
    redecorating with him, allowing him to bring a little personality to his space.
  •     I have discovered bullet journals!  Have you ever used one?  I am excited about it because I LOVE lists
    and it is a way that I can be a bit creative while keeping all my lists in one
    place.  Go here or here if you want to
    find out more about bullet journals.  I
    am just in the early stages of setting mine up but I am really excited about it
  •     I also feel like I should start dedicating some
    time to the novel that I’ve been saying forever that I would like to
    write.  Now that our baby is going to
    childcare one day a week, I am taking on a short shift at Pilates that day, but
    I could use the time around that shift to dedicate to developing my

So that seems like the beginning of a good plan to me.  What do you think? What do you do to
re-energize your spirit when inspiration doesn’t come?  Comment below or on the Creative Calm
Connected page on Facebook.
Oh, and I have had a few people saying that they have tried
to leave comments on the blog but they don’t get posted.  I am following up with Blogger (the hosting
platform) about that.  I have no idea
where they are going or why they aren’t being posted.  I will let you know as soon as I have found
an answer for you.  Please keep trying, I
love when people comment.  It is good to
know that I’m not just talking to myself!
Until next time,