A Wild and Woolly Third Quarter

It’s been a wild and woolly third quarter. Emotionally and professionally, life challenged me. It was also a three-month period of growth and of promise for the future.

A wild and woolly third quarter represented by the image of a dart board with a yellow dart just outside the inner ring.

If you’re a long time reader of this blog you know that I set Intentions not goals (though that’s mostly semantics). You’ll also recall that I divide my things to do into four buckets: Making, Managing, Marketing, and Home. And I analyze each month and quarter in terms of hits and misses.

Making

In the making or creating bucket, I edited thirty-two chapters of If I Should Die. That includes a baker’s dozen NEW chapters. I made another trip to Subtropolis to refresh sensory details and learned that I’d mistakenly put a does-not-exist cool detail into the manuscript. Then I had to figure out how to take that cool detail out and keep the story intact. And I did. *Smile*

September was the first month I posted three times a week in the past eight months. But my blog posts received a lot of attention and some comments from you all. Your comments are the best part of blogging.

Managing

The managing bucket has been more difficult for me to accomplish during this time. (If you don’t know why, see a grievous loss and new life journey.)

However, this quarter I made improvements to my internet and zoom connections, revised book blurbs, learned more about marketing (one of my goals for this year), and made some connections online and in person.

I read a critiqued a novella and Mars One by Jonathan Maberry. I enjoyed Mars One. The story is one take on the Mars One Mission I’ve mentioned in past blog posts.

There are exciting (for me at least) things afoot. You’ll hear about one of those things in a couple of weeks.

Marketing

I chose not to do any in-person marketing during the third quarter of 2021 for several reasons: emotionally I’m not in a place to socialize much, despite being vaccinated the surge in COVID cases gave me pause, and a planned trip to a conference for writers is coming up in the fourth quarter.

Online marketing is ongoing. I continue to learn more about this formerly foreign-to-me aspect of being an independently published author.

Home

It was an especially wild and woolly third quarter in the “home” bucket of activities and goals. Grief is the biggest influence on my ability to accomplish things. Triggers are many but are of varying intensity instead of always extremely high.

Friends are helping me organize, sell, and give away the tons of supplies and products from my husband’s business. This means I can see a small section of the garage floor again.

Last Year

Comparing this quarter to last year’s third quarter is difficult. This time last year I changed the things I track. Looking back, I can see that it needed to change. The changes create a more accurate glimpse of what I accomplish.

Beyond that, my circumstances have changed so much that it’s difficult to make meaningful comparisons.

What I Learned

I’ve known about and studied resilience for a long time. So it’s not that I learned more about it but I re-learned from an emotional place rather than an intellectual one.

Resilience is more than bouncing back. It’s a combination of giving oneself grace and recognizing one’s strength despite overwhelming emotions. It’s having support systems in place. Knowing when to push through and when to sit with the uncomfortable feelings is also a large part of resilience.

Finally, resilience is unique to each person. Some of us are reeds that bend in the wind and bounce back. Some of us lose weak limbs in the storm but continue to blossom. It will reshape others. Neither our scars nor our differences make us less. We are weathering the fierce storms called life.

Going Forward

For my wild and woolly third quarter and the transition to the fourth quarter this is Image of a long road across a high desert to distant blue mountains with a quote from Julia Cameron "Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves."

While I didn’t finish If I Should Die in September, I am certain I will in October. By the end of this month, I will proofread it and send it out to first readers. By the end of the year, it will go to my editor. Look for publication during the first quarter of 2022.

Opportunities are coming my way that will help me grow and serve my readers better. Sorry, I can’t say more yet.

I am ever grateful for my small group of really wonderful, supportive friends and family.

Redefining my home, my work, my life has created a wild and woolly third quarter. Rearranging of my life and work will continue for a long while. Bending, not breaking, isn’t easy, but I am more like a reed that bends than a tree that breaks in the wind. I grieve, but I am also excited about the future.

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