Missing The Writing Life

I have been writing memoirs for over ten years, with oneself published book and a handful of poems and short stories floating around the worldwide information highway. These days I am miss writing fiction. I have more than a few notebooks filled with half-finished romance, thriller-type stories needing my attention. To be truthful I have been filling my time with ego-related activities that are pushing me away from the one thing that I love. Writing. How do I get back to my routine of writing every day? Practice. I do write morning pages every morning. It is how I start my day. It is where I dump all the stuff filling up my brain that needs to be shuffled to the corners so creativity has space to play. I haven’t been writing much after my morning pages. I go to my day job and after eight to nine hours, I started to tell a story that I didn’t have time to write after work. That is downright a lie. I have all the time in the world to write after work. I just need to sit my butt down in the chair and at least be in front of a notebook or a laptop and start writing, even if it ‘I have nothing to write’ something will show up after the pen or fingers start taping on the keyboard. I have to remind myself of this.

Other ways I get back to writing. Reading about writing. I am a big fan of reading other authors’ books about their writing experiences. At the moment I am reading, Turning Pro, Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work, by Steven Pressfield. Steven is downright truthful on how to become a better writer, he doesn’t hold back. You either want to write or you don’t. There is no waffling. Yes, there are hurdles to jump to get to the writing life, but it comes down to one thing, do you want to write or don’t you?

I want to write

One of the chapters (which are either one to two pages ) that I have posted around m writing room is: qualities of the Professional, Steven shared these habits and qualities in, The War of Art, another inspiration book about the writing life. It comes to the habits and qualities that the professional possess that the amateur doesn’t:

  1. The professional shows up every day.
  2. The professionalstays on the job all day
  3. The professinal is committed over the long haul
  4. For the professional the stakes are high and real
  5. The professional is patient
  6. The professional seeks order
  7. The professional demystifies
  8. The professional acts in the face of fear
  9. The professional accetps no excues (something I need to work on)
  10. The professional plays it as it lays
  11. The professional is prepared
  12. The professina does not show off
  13. The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique
  14. The pforessinal does no hesitate to ask for help
  15. The professional does not take failur or succes personally
  16. The porfessional does not identify with his or her instrument
  17. The professional ensures adversity
  18. The professional self-validates
  19. The professional reinvents herself
  20. The professinal is reconized by other professionals

This is a big list and there are more qualities Steven shares with us. I will share these qualities in the upcoming blogs in September. I can look at this list and say that I am not a professional. I have the qualities of a professional, but my habits are of an amateur at the moment and that is my motivation for being a professional. I have to stay put in my writing room and keep writing. I will start with number one, the professional writes every day. I can say that I do write morning pages every day, but I know I need to work on my other writing projects every day. I will start creating a habit where I spend at least 15 minutes on my writing projects every day. I will share my progress publically and honor my commitment because creativity chose me to work through and I have to show up to honor that privilege to be chosen by creativity. It has to be that blunt for me. Sit down and write for 15 minutes and after that 15 minutes see what happens. Keep writing or get up knowing I honored my commitment to myself and creativity. It feels good to share this commitment with all of you. Now back to the writing.

Thank you for being here with me today. If there is anything I can offer to help you with your writing commitments please drop me a line at marionann.berry@gmail.com or message me on social media. I am here to help and support your writing life.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

The Creative Life ~ Truly Outrageous

A colleague of mine shared a sweet story about her four-year-old daughter. Her daughter was in a rocking chair singing and rocking a little faster than she was used to and she fell off the rocking chair head first resulting in a bump on her head that needed the small but deep cut to be glued together. Sounds awful, more for the parents but the four-year-old was not phased at all. At the emergency room, the little girl waited patiently and did not cry when the doctor attended to her minor abrasion. She was more excited about the multiple Wonder Woman band-aids she received for being a brave little girl.

My colleague shared her little girl loves all things girl power, anything that uplifts women. I loved hearing this and for some reason, I thought of Jem, The American Rock Star Cartoon TV series from the mid to late ‘80s. There were underlying themes of girl power, sharing how young women can do anything when they work hard. Nothing comes for free type of theme.

So, is Jem?

Jem is an alter ego of Jerrica Benton, the owner, and manager of Starlight Music. Jerrica’s father built a holographic computer named Synergy, that transforms Jerrica into Jem.

Sound a little familiar? That’s because Jem is a collaboration by Hasbro and Marvel, the same team responsible for G.I. Joe and the Transformers. Alter ego’s saving the world, themes of helping your fellow human being. Jerrica also has twelve foster girls living with her, she helps them with life skills and uplifting them to know they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. It was an entertaining show when I was ten, but it must have set an intention within me because here I am at the age of 47 remembering this short-lived animated TV series. Is it because of the power of subliminal messaging in the writing of the show or was it just because I was looking for a mentor at an early age and I found an underlying message through an animated TV show? Possibly a little of both.

On the flip side, my creative life has always been engaged with sharing stories of how to uplift people. To share that no one is alone in this. We are here to support one another. I am here to share experiences, to share stories, to connect, and be of service. Sometimes a story about a four-year-old bumping her head triggers the reminder of who am I. For that, I am grateful.

What was one TV show that has stuck with you? How did it impact you? I love to hear from you.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

The Journey of a Writer

As I make my way through Margaret Atwood’s, On Writers and writing, I find myself nodding in agreement to similar stories of the creative life.

The transformation of not being a writer and becoming a writer for Margaret was much like mine. It just happened in a way that in one moment I knew I was a writer. I was eight years old and just watched the original movie, Annie, with Carol Burnette singing her blues in a bathtub and Daddy Warbucks tap-dancing his way into Annie’s heart. I was hooked on the story, the thrill of the chase, the plot twists, the romance, the laughter, and the ups and downs of emotions the writers moved us along with.

I found myself thinking about what happened next. I wrote a side story about how Annie’s life turned out after she moved out of the orphanage and how her friends wanted to move in with her, they wanted out from under Mrs. H’s thumb. All I wanted to do was write stories and that’s what I have been doing ever since I can remember.

What Type of Writer I Thought I Would Be

I read a lot of Judy Blume, Sweet Valley Twins, and young adult romance novels when I was younger and my mother was always reading a Danelle Steel novel. I was surrounded by books and formulaic writing at an early age. I started reading Stephen King when I was in Junior High and High School, I then thought I could write thriller/horror books, but could never stomach watching any type of horror movie. The images and dialogue stayed with me for weeks.

Write What You Know

I thought I may write young adult romance novels because I was a young girl who had crushes on boys who didn’t share the same feelings. I could write about the heartache of someone not loving me back just because I wasn’t their type.

So, I wrote short stories about the boys I had a crush on, and then I started to write about other people’s relationships. I watched my friends with their boyfriends and pretended I was the one whose hand was being held for the first time, what excitement, and the first kiss, oh my! I couldn’t even imagine. I wanted to write about everything I experienced. Little did I know I planted the seed to write memoir.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Living a Creative Life

To give back something of what has been given to me ~ Margaret Atwood

I am reading Margaret Atwood’s, On Writers and writing. I love books about writing, that is one of the reasons I started this blog. To share about this creative life, to share about the writing life, all things writing, the good, the bad, and everything in between. Some weeks are easier than others. There are times I, the ego, doesn’t want to write something because the ego is thinking way too much, “no one is reading this, what’s the point? Why even try?’ Ouch! The ego can be downright daunting at times. Do you know what the creative, the true self says?

“This is fun, I am sharing experiences, we are not alone, I love telling stories that have been whispered to me. It doesn’t matter if one or one hundred people read this. I’m writing for me; I’m writing to get the words on the page to share. I’m writing because I can not, not write.”

Because the story took hold of me and didn’t let go ~ Margaret Atwood

I have been gratefully struck by the muse on many occasions. The story started off with a whisper of a conversation between two characters and when I started to write down their words, the story grabbed me close and didn’t let go. I couldn’t let go, I didn’t want to let go, I wanted to see what was going to happen next. I wanted to learn who these characters were, what makes them tick, their backgrounds, I wanted to learn everything I could. I was hooked.

I continue to work on this particular story. It was presented to me over five years ago and I am aware it may leave me to move onto another writer. Elizabeth Gilbert shares in, Big Magic, how creativity wants to work through and with us, but it may move on if we don’t pay attention to the story. This scares me so I make it an effort to visit my stories that have shown up over the years to make sure they know they are not forgotten about. The story that has been popping in and out from time to time is a murder/thriller theme about an intriguing woman serial killer. Her back story is in-depth. I have spent long periods of time learning about her. I can’t let her go, so I much get back to her as soon as possible.

The only excuse I have is ego-related because ego says, “I’m too busy” Well that is a bunch of bullpucky. This writing life is not to be wasted on ego. This creative life is to give back to what has been given.

How do I stay on track with my writing life? I am a creature of habit and latch onto a routine that works for me. Lately, during the pandemic, I haven’t been as committed to my routines as I once was. A lot has happened and I already see the ego-related excuses starting and I won’t go there. I simply didn’t make time for my writing as I once did and I am fully aware of the choices I made. Now I am back. I am taking it one step at a time; I am giving up the excuses and open to the endless possibilities that are being provided to me to maintain and excel this amazing creative life. I am starting with Sundays. I am now part of an intimate spiriting writing group. We sprint for 20 to 30 minutes at a time and I get a lot of work done during the sprint. We chat about all things writing and life. It is good for me and the writing.

I am committed to my writing life. The next step is to break up with the TV, again. It’s been long enough of the nights after dinner of binge-watching Netflix or Amazon shows. It is time to get off the sofa and move back to the writing desk. It is time and there are no excuses anymore. It’s simply time to take back my creative life and the ego can go back to the corner for a long time out.

Now, back to the writing.

Thank you for being here with me today. Happy writing!

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Sharing Snippet: Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ Resort Life

My next memoir, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ Resort Life, continues with my journey working for luxury hotels in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. I focus on how it is to work in a resort-like hotel during the winters, where the hours are less and I picked up shifts where I could, and a second job at a daycare where I ended up with chickenpox at the age of twenty-three. There was never a dull moment. Every experience was one step forward of the path of where I was going.

Christmas at the Lake

Christmas at the Lake was magical. It was a snow globe of a perfect winter wonderland. Snow-covered mountains, the glistening snow on top of the frozen lake, a section plowed off for skaters, and a cross-country ski trail to the end of the Lake. It also seemed that every tree outside around the property was wrapped in white Christmas lights. It was stunning.

Inside the hotel, it looked like Santa’s workshop from all the Christmas movies you can think of. Most recently I think of the Christmas Chronicles with Kirk Russel and Goldie Hawn meets White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney.

The Christmas trees in the lobby were gargantuan species of bright and dazzling yuletide ordainments. Each tree had an empty box decorated in shining holiday paper with oversized bows placed ever so perfectly around the base of the tree. There were Christmas trees everywhere you looked in the lobby, each dining room, and hallways throughout the hotel. It would be easy to play hide-and-go-seek and get lost in the trees.

***

When I was working on the holiday buffet, I watched people pile roasted turkey and slabs of prime rib on their plates, I would break up the monotonous of the buffet service by staring outside the floor-to-ceiling bay windows facing the glacier-fed Lake. The Christmas trees outside were beautifully decorated and with the falling snow on the branches of the trees, the magic of the holidays filled my heart.

            Sis: Excuse me do you have any horseradish?

            Marion Ann: What?

            Sis: That woman is pointing at an empty bowl.

            Marion Ann: Opps!

            Sis: Daydreamer.       

            Marion Ann: Yes. Yes, I am.

***

I didn’t talk to Michael a lot during the holidays. He was busy with school and I told him how busy the hotel was. I shared stories about the elaborated buffets the companies chose for their employees. I told him about the overpriced wine I pushed onto my tables to make extra money.

He would imply it was a good way to save money for when I was ready to move back to Nova Scotia. I would agree to avoid the conversation.

Marion Ann: I wasn’t ready to leave.

Sis: Either was I.

            Christmas Time for Employees

My first Christmas away from home was painless. I was working a lot to distract myself from the traditional events that I was missing in Nova Scotia.

At the Lake, on Christmas day I only had to work a small Christmas morning champagne breakfast for a family that booked a private room to celebrate together. It was the easiest hundred dollars I made, that as on top of the gratuity built into the private room and catering fee. The family felt bad for me that I had to work on Christmas day.

            Sis: Then hand over another hundred.

            Marion Ann: Exactly.

After I cleaned up my function, I made my way to my cousin, Debbie’s, house in Canmore for Christmas dinner. It was nice to spend time with family.

I didn’t mind working Christmas, it meant double time pay, and extra sympathy tips when I shared, I was away from family.

The one event I was looking forward to was the employee Christmas party. It was one of the elaborated buffets and the managers served the employees. The poured the first glasses of wine but then left the bottles on the tables for free pour service. It was a recipe for disaster.

The management was in charge of bussing tables and wine service. Dinner was an elaborate buffet by a culinary team from another sister property. Usually, Kananaskis sent a team to work the event, and then we would go there to help them with their Christmas party. Who wouldn’t want to work at another property, get paid to hang out and drink, because that’s what happened. The cooks prepared dinner, the servers and dishwashers did their jobs and then after dinner, they were offered to party with us, we all knew each other from staying at each other’s property with the staff discount, or transferring from one property to another, the mountain properties were one big happy family.

***

My debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, shares my first three summers working for the Chateau Lake Louise, a beautiful hotel on top of a mountain. It may be far away from your home but you can’t hide from what you left behind. Click Here fore more details ~ Thank you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

The Road to Turning Pro

Can you turn pro?

As I read Steven Pressfield’s, Turning Pro, Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work, and have Gabby Bernstein’s, The Universe Has Your Back, rolling around in my mind, reminding me of what I know, what I’ve always known, I am a creative being. It’s true. I am a creative being. I have been provided the talent of making up stories, and writing my personal experiences to share with the world. Now, it is my job to share it with the world. The problem is, the ego as Pressfield describes it, our shadow life. Aka: Resistance and our addictions.

Before we get serious about our writing life, we tend to hold onto additions that seem like they are needed. We know they are bad for us but we can’t help ourselves. Pressfield shares a few addictions that I know related to.

  • Addicted to Distraction: Resistance hates two qualities above all others: concentration and depth. Why? Because when we work with focus and we work deep, we succeed. Resistance wants to keep u shallow and unfocused. So, it makes the superficial and the vain intoxicating. When you sit down to do your work, do you turn off the internet? How many times do you check your email? It can be fatal, keeping up with the Kardashians.
  • Addicted to Failure: Sounds odd but it’s true. Pressfield shares; There is a difference between failing (which is natural and normal part of life) and being addicted to failure. When we’re addicted to failure, we enjoy it. Each time we fail, we are secretly relieved. We are off the hook. We no longer have to ask and answer Stanislavsky’s famous three questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want?

These are two examples of our resistance getting in the way of our true selves. There is hope though. We have to be committed to our professional writing life. We can’t afford to half ass our lives any longer. We deserve to share our great work with the world.

Here are a few facts about habits and qualities that the professional posses that the amateur doesn’t:

  • The professional shows up every day.
  • The professional stays on the job all day.
  • For the professional, the stakes are high and real.
  • The professional is patient.
  • The professional accepts no excuses.
  • The professional does not show off.
  • The professional will not be distracted: The amateur tweets. The pro works.

The last one rings true for me. I am easily distracted these days. I was distracted by other work for the past year. Being on call as a GM of a hotel is a big distraction. It didn’t’ matter how many times I set boundaries, I am the one to be called if there is something wrong with the building and there tends to be something wrong with a building every Sunday afternoon. It was like waiting for the shoe to drop every time I sat down to write. I would wonder, will the hotel call? Will I need to go in on my “day off”. I witnessed my ego take over my true self and the road to my professional life was on a major U-turn back to the amateur lane. My true self was not having any of it, she was frustrated and had enough. She picked me up my shoulders and got me back on track. More meditation, more reading, more engaging with other authors and sharing with the universe that I was ready for a change.

I know I already went through a major change in the past two years, but why not again? If it is going to get me to where I am to be then let’s do it. The thought of waiting for the other shoe to drop was making me sick. I had no excitement left. The only joy I witnessed was when I was in the greenhouse planting or harvesting and when I as writing. So, my true self was pushing me towards doing more of what I loved. Then guess what, I got back on track.

I joined a writing sprint group and that helped me connect with other writers. I applied for a job that I have been gaining experiencing all these years in my hotel life and I accepted the position and have been working at the new hotel for less than a month and feel the weight on my shoulders lifted. The restless sleeps over being a GM of a hotel stopped. I now have full nights sleep and that helps me concentrate on what needs to get done.

I am serious about my writing life and this week I am taking steps to not be as distracted. Social media can wait, the story can’t.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Sharing Snippet: Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ Resort Life

I am trying to honor myself and the creative life by sharing more of my work in progress, my next hospitality memoire, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ Resort Life, where I share my experiences working for luxury hotels in the Canadian Rockies. I pronounced at an early age I wanted to be a writer. Possibly at the age of 8 or even earlier. I always had a story in my head. I wanted to write (and still do) TV shows, movies, books and I thought I would write romance or maybe mystery, because I read a lot of romance and mystery books. I also loved watching, ‘Murder She Wrote’, and Romancing the Stone, who wouldn’t want to be Angela Lansbury or Joan Wilder?

Through serendipitous events I have been provided with life experiences that I am grateful for.

***

FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT

            Standing in the kitchen by the entrance to the main dining room of Chateau Lake Louise, the Victoria dining room, meant I was either coming or going from the kitchen.

            Going into the dining room to get whatever appetizer, entrée or desert to place in front of a couple, table of four or the dreaded table of eight or ten tourists sitting together. Too many people to keep a track of at one table. Give me five tables of two (tables for two people) and I’m good. It’s easier to talk to a couple. Couples usually are on a special occasion, not wanting to talk to me. They want to gaze into one another’s eyes.

                        Sis: Honeymooners. Ugh.

                        Marion Ann: Low maintenance is good.

            Larger tables, for example eight or ten people, meant multiple couples or family traveling together. The beloved Taulk or Princess Tours guests tend to group together when they travel weeks together. Then they decide to have dinner together, which is fine, but for servers, it’s a lot of work. The people at the table like to talk to one another across the table about everything and anything. Sometimes it was too much information.

            Guest A: Lilian, did you hear about the woman on our tour with cancer?

            Lilian: What kind. What a shame.

            Guest A: I thought you knew.

            Guest C: Who?

            Guest A: You know, the single woman who sits by herself on the coach.

            Guest C: I know her, well I don’t know her but I know of her.

On and on it goes, until I stand up straight and I speak over their noise.

            “Good evening everyone. Can I start anyone with a cocktail while you review the menu?”

I look at each of the guests as I talk, they are nodding and smiling acknowledging me. Some of them look past me or right through me as if I’m not even standing there. They don’t care.

            Guest A: Gin martini, straight up, that’s without ice, with a lemon twist.

            Guest C: Chardonnay.

            Guest B: Water is fine, I have a heart condition.

            Guest C: Shame. They say a glass of red wine a day is good for the heart. Have a glass, it won’t hurt you.

            Guest B: Who says that?

            Guest C: Doctors.

            Gust A: It’s true. I heard it as well. Go ahead, have a glass.

                        Sis: Gezus! I’ll finish it if none of you finish it.

Ten minutes later I’m ringing in the drink orders at the bar. I see one new table being seated in my section. Normally this wouldn’t happen if the table of ten is seated. But nothing is certain in the dining room.

                        Marion Ann: Seriously!?

                        Sis: Here we go!

My friend is bartending and gives me a look of understanding. I roll my eyes as I place the glasses of wine and high balls on my serving tray. The bartender is placing the martinis on another tray to follow behind me. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Before I get back to the table of ten, I say hello to my new table, they are a young Asian couple, all smiles and taking pictures of the Lake. I see the little note by their drink menu to tell me they are a F.I.T table, (A tour Individual traveller, they are travelling on their own but their meals are like any of the larger tours, soup, salad, entrée and desert, easy Frisbee services). I ask if they would like a winero or a beero and they point to the white wine on my tray. I smile to acknowledge their request.

I walk towards my table of ten who are now talking about a grandson’s wedding.

            Guest C: They spent five thousand dollars on the dress.

            Guest A: Five thousand? I didn’t spend a hundred dollars on my dress.

            Guest B: What are these kids coming to?

                        Sis: Oh my gawd!

                        Marion Ann: Deep breath.

I place the drinks in front of the right people and they all pick up their glasses and toast one another. I let them know I will be right back to answer any questions and take their order.

            Guest B: Oh dear, we haven’t even looked at the menus. Give us another five minutes.

                        Marion Ann: Shit. I hate when they do this.

                        Sis: Self-entitlement.

                        Marion Ann: High maintenance equals no tip.

I nodded and confirmed I would be back in five minutes to take their orders. I walked towards the couple with their white wines. They thanked me several times and started taking pictures again. I headed to the kitchen with my bar tray to pick up their first course of miso soup.

I walked back in the kitchen where I could stop smiling and take a deep breath. I knew the table of ten was going to make for a long evening. I over heard them trying to figure out if they should share all the appetizers.

                        Sis: Sounds like fun.

                        Marion Ann: At least I could gather more personalities to use in a story.

                        Sis: That’s a girl. Focus on the writing.

There was a reason I returned to the Lake and wanted to stay for as long as I did. Creativity provided me with the perfect surroundings to write about. The other life stuff that happened was part of the deal. The table of ten ended up tipping me more than the regular fifteen percent. They told me they appreciated my attention to detail and privacy. I didn’t do anything differently that night. I did my job. I provided them quality service, food and an experience.

***

If you would like to read more about my first memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, please click here. Thank you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Back to the Basic’s ~ For the umteenth time

A few years ago I was a disciple of Steven Pressfield’s, The War of Art. There is so much to relate to, especially with Resistance. Now I am reading Mr. Pressfields, Turning Pro, Tap Your Inner Power and create your life’s work, and right from the start I am hit hard with the truth. Before I started reading the book, I flipped through the pages because there is a message for me right away.

Art and Addiction – bam! Let’s get into now, there is no time like the present.

From The War of Art, there is a theme about resistance which resonated with me. Resistance of getting to the page as often I as I use to. I was beating myself up because I use to write for hours at a time, the was when I had an entry level job, no responsibility, except to show up, do the job and leave and leave the job at the work place for the next day.

As I started to grow in my hotel life, the distractions, the displacement activities that Steven Pressfield’s, Turing Pro, talks about, started to show.

” When we’re living as amateurs, we’re running away from our calling – meaning our work, our destiny, the obligation to become our truest and highest selves. Addiction becomes a surrogate for our calling. We enact the addiction instead of embracing the calling. Why? Because to follow a calling requires work. It’s hard. It hurts. It demands entering the pain-zone of effort, risk, and exposure.” ~ Turning Pro

Read that again. Let it sink in. I am still floating around the truth of these words. I shared how I was more productive when I had little responsibility at the day job and had more space for creativity. I was happy to be diving into my destiny as a creative being. I look back and can see the moments where my writing started to suffer, where I stopped writing for hours and was happy to squeeze in a half hour each day. I started to take on more responsibility at the hotel life, then I became a manager and the level of responsibility took over and creativity was on the side lines waiting patiently for me. This sounds like an excuse, and maybe it is, but on some other level I was possibly self-sabotaging myself even though I knew I was born to tell stories, to write stories and share them with the world.

I gave myself a swift kick in the behind and finished my debut memoir, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, and with the help of a great friends, self published the book over two years ago. I found a balance, I told myself that creativity comes first, the day job needed to be treated like a day job where I left work at work, and the only thing I took home with me were the guests that provided me with character development. The ego and I broke up and I knew it would be back, but I thought I knew what it looked like to avoid it again when it showed up like a bad boyfriend. The sad thing is, I saw ego coming back and I fell into the old routine of giving more attention to the job then creativity. It seemed the distractions were greater than my will to write. I moved to a new province, started a new job with more responsibility then I expected and started a farm. Where was the room for writing? This is where my sassy alter ego says, “Hello, writing always comes first!” Exactly. Creativity has to be my number one priority and buying Steven Pressfield’s book is one of the many steps of my true self getting back on track.

I will be sharing more of my writing journey for the next few weeks. This is how I started this blog and I must stay true to creativity. “It is my responsibility to share my great work with the world.” ~ Gabby Berstein

Thank you for being here with me today. How is your creative life? What are you doing to keep on track? I love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

On The Road Again…

It’s not what you think. We are not moving but I am moving on in the hotel life. I have given my resignation as the General Manager of the beautiful hotel I work for because I accepted a position at another hotel as their Director of Human Resources. It feels good to share this news. I am nervous and excited for the new adventure. How I stumbled upon this wonderful opportunity has to do with intention of my true self asking for what she wants and needs to maintain her creative life.

What you resist, persists

It’s been a trying year for all of us. We have been tested with the novel Covid-19 virus and maybe some of you have learned a little more about yourselves than expected. I have know a few things about myself that I need to deal with and the things that I have been resisting have persisted and showing up saying, “Hey, pay attention and deal with it!”

I was provided with a wonderful opportunity to be the General Manager of a beautiful hotel in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I have been in the hotel world for over twenty-five years, being of service is in my blood, but to my own fault, it can take over your life and in a blink of an eye. A year goes by and your true self is waiting to have her turn to speak up. She has been waiting patiently and I love her for her kindness while I have been struggling with the ego slipping in and out over the past year.

“I am grateful for this amazing opportunity that is being provided to maintain this beautiful creative life.” ~ This is my mantra I write over and over in my gratitude journal, morning pages and on top of mind, always. I am truly grateful for every opportunity that has been provided. Every experience has brought me to this very moment, here and now.

I have shared many times in my morning pages, with friends and family that I didn’t want any more responsibility in the hotel life, but I tend to take on more to help the hotel, the employees and my colleagues. My experiences have provided me to be offered positions that have provided life lessons and sometimes I have to go through the same experience to learn that life lesson to really learn it.

So, now, I have learned twice that I am not cut out to be a General Manager of a hotel, but then on the flip side, never say never. However, in this season of my life I have come to terms that I don’t want the level of responsibility that comes with being a General Manager of a hotel. My over-all well being depends on the quality of my habits. Being a GM is not easy task. I have excellent soft skills and that has helped me grow my human resources experiences. I have always been that person people come to and tell me their story. I enjoy sharing life experiences that may help someone in a similar situation to simply say, ‘you’re not alone’. The same things apply in the hotel world. Everyone starts somewhere and no one is alone in their experiences.

It wasn’t easy to tell my boss that I was leaving. I put my heart and soul into the hotel for the past year and half. I put the hotel, employees and owners a head of my own happiness. I didn’t see the repercussions of my choices until around December 2020. I wasn’t writing as much as I needed to be. I was not fully invested in either my creative life or the farm life. I was on auto pilot trying to live two separate lives, but it wasn’t working. It didn’t matter how many podcasts I listened to about leadership, setting boundaries, striving for the work-life balance that I use to preach about. I tried to reread writing reference books to get me back on track, but I was not fully invested. I was always worried and thinking about how the phone would ring on a Sunday afternoon from the hotel. I was not living my best life, how could I lead a team when I was in the ‘fake it till you make it’ mind frame for over a year. How could I be living my best life when I wasn’t happy with my choices. I simply asked the universe for some help, I remembered Julia Cameron’s commitment to creativity,

“Okay creative force, you take care of the quality, and I’ll take care of the quantity.”

I have asked creativity, once again, to help me so I am able to write the ideas that creativity is providing me. I asked, I stood back and now I am receiving with open arms the help and support that is being provided. Thank you.

I have a week off between jobs and I know I may be called by the hotel for assistance from time to time, but I am turning off my phone when I am writing because creativity deserves my time. I deserve time with creativity. I have to start practicing the quality of my habits that reflect the quality of my life. Honor myself to honor others.

Have you have a recent life change, a shift in your life plans? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Writing & Farming ~ Can you do it all?

Life is an adventure. I am one who is not afraid to say yes to opportunities. I embrace change and the end possibilities to support this creative life. My focus up to two years ago has been my writing life. I will admit that I am my own worst critic where I placed judgment on myself for continuing to work more than full time in the hospitality world and try to self-publish my first memoir. But I did it. I stayed home when friends went out to socialize. I wrote after dinner when possible. My days off were spent in my writing room. I wouldn’t surface until I needed to move the body. I was, I am dedicated to creativity and my writing life.

It will be two years in August since we moved across the country to start our farm. My hubby is the sole visionary and I support him any way I can. I do 90% of the social media, started our Newsletter, and working on a website. I am the admin support and I love that. But, I also get my hands dirty. I love harvesting spinach and leafty greens. I am no stranger to farm life. My paternal family were farmers. I helped on my grandparents farm my memoires of picking strawberries to sell and shucking peas while sitting on the porch with my grandmother make me smile. I use to walk into the chicken pen with a bucket of feed, at first I was scared with hundreds of chicks flocking towards me, but as I learned to be still and quiet, the chicks only wanted the feed. I was just the person who happened to bring them the bucket of nourishment. Running through the cornfields and playing with bunnies fill my heart with joy. As a young girl I knew I would someday live on a farm. The intention was set. Now, here I am on our five-acre property staring out the window at our 96-foot greenhouse. Thank you universe.

The first year and a half has been focused on microgreens and we are so grateful for being welcomed into the community. We provide microgreens to a health food store, a local Co-op, and a handful of restaurants, and the biggest platform, the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market. Now we have opened a farm stand at the farm on Saturday and Sundays. Now we are offering spinach, salad mixes, and rooted vegetables. We are growing to share our commitment and vision to provide fresh local produce to our community.

Where does writing fit into all of this? Very carefully. As I was committed before farm life, my writing is as important and a priority. My life is full. I recently shared this on my Instagram: I am a writer who happens to run an urban farm with my hubby and I am a manager of a hotel. This is my full and joyous life. This morning as we opened our farm stand I was also on a virtual writing session with some amazing women. I set up my laptop at the kitchen table and when someone stopped by to purchase some produce I left the writing sprint, did the farm thing and then back to the writing life. I am grateful for the understanding and support. After the writing session was over and the farm stand closed, the hotel life kicked in due to unforeseen circumstances. I jumped into action and when that moment was completed I started the laundry and opened the laptop again to get more writing done. It’s all a balance my friends. Some moments are easier and some are a struggle but it’s how you react to the situation and go with the flow. Today, i am reminded of how I can practice being in the moment more. For this, I am grateful.

There are days I don’t get to the writing life or the farm. I come home from the hotel life utterly exhausted from the level of responsibility I carry. The last thing I want to do is write, but I have to because it’s my true self. I can write my way into another life and to write my way out of the days events is the best way to honor the writing life. Last week I came home from the hotel life and went straight into the green house to harvest and bag spinach, it was relaxing and exactly what I needed to get my mind off the days events at the hotel. Please don’t get me wrong. I am truly grateful for the hotel life, it has provided me with endless opportuities that have and continue to provide me with what is needed to maintain and excel this creative life. Saying that there is room for all things I am passionate about. There is room for the writing and the farm life in-between the hotel life. It’s all how I approach it and go with the flow.

How do you juggle your days? Do you have a full-time job and a aside hustle or two? What’s your secret? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…