When Life Throws You Lemons Change the Recipe

You have two option (well maybe three); you either learn to make lemonade, or you cry.  (the third option, you make lemonade and add some vodka).  Either way you look at it, life changes and you need to learn how to deal.

Life comes at you fast, I mean really fast.  There is very little time to stop and smell the roses sometimes. Things that you really want to do get put on the back burner while things that aren’t as important to your soul are suddenly front in center.  It is difficult to find balance and often you feel like you have failed at life.  The one golden rule in life seems to be, it never stops moving. And now that I have to small children (who aren’t staying small for long) it is becoming more and more apparent that this rule is true.

It has been over a year ago that I promised to keep up with this blog and create amazing content that was going to blow your mind.  Then life got in the way.  And I mean in the way.  At the same time, I decided to go back to school (for accounting) while being a full-time parent.  This was not a good mix due to how much time school and children take of your day.  I got overwhelmed and I struggled to little to the little voice inside that begged to write.  I ignored her and pushed through with what the outside wanted me to do.

Life Changes:

Currently, I am still in school.  I have discovered that I really like accounting and taxes.  Both of them are like trying to put a puzzle together.  And due to the fact I have small children, I need to have a day job (ish).  That is until my writing starts to make us million (I can dream okay!)  The plan is to finish school in December 2018.  I still have a lot to do, but I am going to finish it. The main purpose of finishing school, I need to show my girls that with hard work, anything is possible and sometimes, giving up is not an option.

When it comes to my blog, my main goal is to have a new post once a week.  I am refocusing the topic of the blog about balancing life with writing. Or you can say, school and children; or blogging with sanity; children and writing; you know, the basics.

On top of the changes with college and the blog, I have also decided to take on the world of freelancing.  I’ve started with UpWorks.  If you need me, here is my profile.  If you need anything, hit me up there or email me at info@stephwenburg.com Presently, I am focusing on writing and basic bookkeeping.  Furthermore, during tax season, I will still be working as a tax associate and will be preparing taxes.

On the writing front, I have to start slow.  I am still active with NaNoWriMo (which I will be keeping you guys up to date on all the happening; so stay tuned for changes and updates.  Apart from NaNoWriMo, I am currently trying to get an ebook underway.  Since it’s in the very beginning stages, I won’t say much now, but once things have started to progress, I will be sharing tons of information about it!

Not so changed:

A few things haven’t changed.  One big non-change is that I am still a redhead.  Another non-change, I’m still married and I still have two children.  The children have changed due to the fact they are getting older.  Now I have a three-year-old and a one-year-old.  I’ve also gotten older but I don’t want to talk about it!

The main take away from this is, even if its slow, progress is still progress, life changes, so learn a new recipe and when there is a will, there is a way.   Oh, and I’m back, so enjoy!

Until next time…

Goals for blog

In almost every blog, self-help book or webinar, at some point, the speaker will state that a goal is best kept when it’s made public. So that is a critical thing I do to help me keep my goals. For anyone who knows me, knows this isn’t easy.

I know some people out there might be upset about the fact that I am going to have a few blog posts about my goals but for me, this is important. It’s a huge step on many I’m going to have to take, I might as well jump all into the cold water.

My overall goal for the blog is to be able to express myself and share my journey with others.  But as anyone knows about writing goals, this statement is WAY to general. To have a great goal statement, it has to be specific, have an action plan and have a due date.  So, I am someone who really likes to show by examples.  Let’s get started.

Alright, let’s take my general statement and get down to the root of what my goal is.  I want to express myself and share my journey with others.  Okay, let’s break down.  Why do I want to share my journey?  I find that the most exciting thing in life is to share stories about one another.  I am not talking about making up stories or gossiping and things like that.  I love to read about how people got to where they are now and how they built their lives.  I also am I fan of sharing information and how to do things.  I am a first time mom, a wife, a suffer of depression, a dreamer, a writer, a blogger and most of all, human.  I love to save money where I can.  I love to learn.  I love to write.  I love to share.  Why don’t I combine this all?
So, here is what I am planning on doing.  First of all, I think I am going to bring back my Wednesday Writing.  This was just a blog post of one of my writings from that week.  It will either be a sample of a project I am working on or a just random free writing.  For more about my writing goals, see another post coming soon! 

Also, my other goal is about just updating about my weekly projects.  This is going to be a little odd since my household runs on a slightly different weekly schedule.  My husband starts his work week on Saturday and ends his work week on Tuesday.  So for me, I start planning my week out on Friday!  That means that I will post about planning my week out on the day that everyone else is finishing his/her week up!   On Fridays I will post goals for the week, things I am into and stuff of that nature. This will be new territory for me but it’s exciting!

The other things i really want to do with this blog is share information.  Now for me, I’m into a lot of things.  I love to learn, I love to use my phone, I struggle with depression, I am a first time mom, my husband and I are currently looking into buying a house, I am a stay at home mom and so many other things. One top of that, my past is a very dark and sad place.  I have been through a lot and have experienced many things that others never wish to.  With that information, I would love to share what I have learned with others.  If I find a great way to save money, I would love to share in with others.  If I find an amazing app, I would love to share that with the world. If I have an experience that I would like to share with others, again, I would love to share it with others.  This pretty much boils down to the fact that if I find something good, whatever it may be, I am going to share it with the world.

Other than that, I really would love to create an amazing community of sharers and I would love it if you would join me!

Okay, so be on the look out for more goal posts!  I can’t wait to hear your feed back! 


My New Year Resolutions!

2013 has been one hell of a year and my only hope for myself and for my family and friends, is it will be one of the best years to come! I’m hoping for bigger and better things but to do that, I have to get my butt in gear (and in the chair). So here is my goal statement for this year. Let’s see if I can do it!
One of the biggest things I want to achieve is getting into the habit of writing everyday a minimal of 2000 words. These do not have to be for a current project but it has to be words that are typed (or hand written). This is just to build the habit of writing daily. It takes 30 days to build a habit, why not make it a good habit?
My current goals for my current project ‘Memory’ are as follows: I have set up a tentative deadline for when I want the drafts to be done. The overall word count goal is 50,000 words. It’s on the smaller size but I think that is an attainable goal. You never know, maybe I’ll surpass it! Here is the breakdown of the goal deadlines: the first draft I want it to be done by March 31 2014. Then I will edit and rewrite for the second draft; the goal for that is to be done by June 30th 2014. My goal is to have my third draft completed by October 2014. I will have a few beta readers read it and give feedback for it (applications are open!). During the time of October, I will be deep in researching for agents and/or publishers to send my manuscript to and finalize who I’m sending it to! Hopefully, I will have a finished manuscript by the end of the month and will have it sent out before November rolls around! I am going to have it sent by this time next year! 
Also, I will try my hand at NaNoWriMo this year but I will work out the details out when it gets closer. I will have to come up with an idea and have it all plotted out by before November rolls around. Trust me, I’ll keep you guys posted on that.
Also, as any good writer knows, reading is an important part of writing. My goal is to be able to finish and read one novel a month. Working full time and my aggressive deadline schedule with my project, I don’t know how much reading I will be able to get done but my goal is to get a book read a month.
Another small little goal is to get one short story written a month. It’s a small goal and kinda on the vague side but I really think that if I can write one short story a month it will be good. They don’t have to be the next best thing but just to get in the habit of writing anything and work on forming plots will be great for me to do! Maybe I will even share and maybe send them off to get published! Once more, I will keep you guys updated on how that goes!
On top of all of this, I really want to go to back to school. I just had graduated in May with a diploma in nursing but I feel that writing is my true passion and something that I have to use and enjoy. I have a few schools in mind and already have the gears in motion for that route. So the overall goal for my schooling is to get a school picked out and start attending by the end of the year.
Now time for my blog goals. I have deeply enjoyed working with this blog. It is a great outlet for me to great some writing out there with the world. So I have decided to focus a lot more on my blog. The first thing I want to do is to have at least one blog post a week but hopefully two a week. The topics will vary from updates about me and my writing but also about how-to’s about writing and other things I know about. (I am also thinking of helping my husband with his tech business with blogging and content building.) Also, I need to work of building readership and increase my page view count. If I can turn my blog into a resource for people – beginning authors– that would be a dream come true. I am also going to refresh how my blog looks like and refresh my widgets that seem to clutter my blog. So stay tuned for the changes. I hopefully will have the blog all looking pretty by the end of January but I’m thinking sooner.
One more little thing I want to work on this year is on my freelancing opportunities. I signed up for Elance in December but I haven’t finished my profile completely and I haven’t gotten all the samples I have looking all delicious. So I am going to work on making my profile look amazing and start trying to get work through there!
Okay, so I have shared my new resolutions with you, what about yours? Please share bellow. I would love to hear from you! Until next time, keep your head up, it gets better. J

Goals Goals Goals

This will be one of a few posts I put up today. So you have been warned.
Its the last day of 2013. So there will be a lot announcements about people wanting to better themselves and that this year will be the year for people to improve themselves or do what they always wanted or make other self-oriented goals. I will admit, I will be on that bandwagon but not for the same reasons as other people.
I am a strong believer in writing things down. It creates a connection and – indirectly – puts it in stone. And when I say it, I mean anything you write down. Your brain remembers things better when more than just one process is involved.  When you write down your goals, you remember what words you wrote but you also remember the actual action of writing down those words down. Also, another benefit of writing your goal down is it makes it more real. It makes it more concrete. The left side of your brain will love this. It is now given structure and a deadline. The right brain may not be completely happy but it now has something to create. For me, I tent to write my goals down and then post them (to a blog or to a social media site).  It’s not for the attention but it to remind myself that once I post it, others will have seen it and in the back of my mind that makes me have to follow through with it.  Even though no one may have read it, it is out to the world and makes me feel that I achieve what I wrote.  Not everyone does this, but for me, it helps.
Keep in mind that when you go to write down your goal, there are a few things that you need to remember.  First off, make sure your goals are reasonable.  Make sure that the goal you want to achieve is something that is important to you.  Just as important, be specific.  Do not just put ‘run a mile’.  It’s too broad and almost sets you up for failure.  On top of that, know your limitations.  Do not put down “go skydiving” when you are scared of looking out a second story window. Be logical. If sometime in the future you want to skydive but you really can’t bring yourself to even look out a second story window maybe that will be your goal.  Maybe you will be able to look that window and maybe you will look out the third story window as well.  That brings me to my next point, you have to set (a realistic) deadline.  This will be when you want to get this done.  Again, be reasonable and understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I could go on and on about goal writing but I will leave you with these little guidelines.

So, now that I have shared these few steps with you, I will post my year goals using the advice I just shared with you. Enjoy and stay tuned!  🙂 

Got time?

               So a lot of things have changed since my last post that was just a few days ago.  It is just crazy how fast things can flip around.  I am amazed that I didn’t get whiplash.  It is a very strange thing, and for people who know me, I am very strange.  I feel like I am on the edge of a mental breakdown but I can’t be weak and give up.  I need to push through this.  This is not me; I don’t like giving up.  I pushed through nursing school and mastered it; I can do the same thing here.  I am trying to do a balancing act with my life.  It is currently between my husband having a job, me having a second job and the rest of how I want to spend my time. My husband is currently on a tightrope about having a job or not.  Either way he falls leads to disaster or if he makes it through this, he will be unhappy and shit rolls downhill fast. I am trying to balance a second job but it is failing horribly because when I go to do this second job; no one knew anything about it.  It made me feel like a jackass.  It was pretty bad.  On top of all that is a balancing act about what to do with the time I have left over between my writing and spending time with my family.  I can do this.  I can do anything, I survived nursing school.

            My husband got in an accident at his current place of employment just before Labor Day.  So right now, he is suspended, but be truthful, this isn’t the first time.  It is a bit of a problem but like the times before that, we will just have to deal with and make it though it. It just feels like a slap in the face.  I don’t tend to let a lot of people in on whatever I am working on and once I do, I feel like that life takes the ground from under my feet and lets me fall into this pit of nothingness.  It hurts but I am going to have to use this pain to push me forward.  I just have to remember to use the pain to help me, not hurt me.  This is just a small roadblock and I will kick its ass.
Okay, end of the personal rant.  Let’s get to something with a little ‘matter’.
           I have read a lot of books.  Anything with words in it, I have read it.  I have read all sort of fiction novels, a lot of textbooks, and a lot of books about writing.  (Also, I have read a lot of magazines about writing but that is another topic for another day.)  One of the major things that people say about writing is it is just about sitting down and getting words down on paper or on the screen.  Many of those people say that you have to get passed that interior editor that pretty much everyone has.  For me, writing has about two big problems.  The first is the one I just spoke about.  The second one is time.  It is really a hard to find time to get those words on the paper or on the screen.  Not everyone is a full time writer and for the ones that have to still hold down a full time job to pay the bills. It’s even harder to find time to just write. Time is so important and so many people seem to forget about it.  People worry about their jobs or their money.  Something that I learned from a cousin of mine is that a person can make more money, just not more time.  Time never ‘refills’ itself.   It is something important to keep in mind.

           For me, it came down to what was more important for me and ‘my time’.  I cut out most of the excess TV time.  I cut out a huge chunk of my video game play time.  For school, I have decided to take this semester off (since I have been a full time student since fall 2010)  I have to maintain about 35 hours a week at work to be able to float by.  (I am really hoping that my husband and his job stuff work out so I don’t have to pick more hours or another part-time job.) But I have added a few things for me to do. I have added a little more time to get more reading done.  Plus I am going to be working up to be adding about two hours a day for just writing (for both my current project, my ‘ideas’ and my blog).

That’s right, I have added this lovely blog which will serve more than just one purpose. It will keep me committed to what I have ‘announced’.  Also, it will give me a place to voice my opinions about stuff and maybe give advice about stuff that I found to work.  And at one point, I will edit some of my old school papers and post it here and share them with the world.  *cue the evil laughter*  Okay, so back to reality.  So enjoy.  Until next time.  Have fun!  

Goal Statement

Someone once told me that if you write your goal down, it becomes more ‘real’.  I have tried this one before but failed horribly at it.  I was in the middle of nursing school and was trying to hold down a full time job, a new husband, and a new house.  So here I am trying this, and this time, I will get this achieved!  I will get this done, so here is my goal statement.  I will share more about me later!

My goal is to become a published author.  The first step of this process is to complete the first draft of my current “Untitled Project” by October 31, 2013.  I will take the month of November off from this project and I will partake in NANOWRIMO.  Then, my January 31, 2014, I will aim to have my second draft completed.  At this point I am going to reach out to some of my trusted friends to read my manuscript for grammar and plot problems. Hopefully, with their input, I will be able to begin my third draft and have that draft completed by the end of April 2014.  One last proofreading (possibly by a professional) will hopefully be completed by the end of May 2014.  Once I have a polished and ‘finished’ manuscript, I will start to send it out to different publishing houses (to where and how many different publishes will require research).  By the end of December 31, 2014, if my novel is not picked up or rejected by all the publishers, at this time I will look into self-publishing (which will be reached during the waiting period).  Hopefully (pending saving and more research) I will have my novel published by June 2015.

            As I am working on the project, I am going to start and maintain a blog about my journey through this, working on a project, updates about my project, my thoughts and daily life.  It will be the beginning for my platform.  

I hope you enjoy the ride.  🙂