Words In Focus: October

Welcome to my monthly collection of inspiring and helpful articles, books, and resources plus a mini-monthly review.

Outstanding Articles

Recommended Course

Be a Better Blogger and Do the Work You Love – Although I am a seasoned blogger, I benefited so much from taking this 4-week course and having two individual consultations with Courtney Carver from Be More With Less.  Courtney’s training and support helped me clarify my business focus and establish better blogging priorities.  The generous amount and targeted nature of information and direction she provided added a slew of new skills and knowledge to my blogging repertoire.

If you are interested in learning how to blog in a simple, focused, authentic way while also growing a sustainable business, this course might also be perfect for you.  I’ll be writing more about my experience, but for the moment I would like to personally introduce you to Courtney Carver so you can discover if The Goodblog Project is right for you.  This happens to be an affiliate-type link, but I would be telling you about the course even if it wasn’t.  It just helped me that much.

October in Focus

“Writing a monthly review is like watching the seasons of my life pass by.  What exactly have I accomplished this month?  Is it of merit?  Does it take me where I want to go?  I like the measure it provides.  I like the way it’s serving me as a monthly wake up call.  A reminder of what is real – and unreal.  A reminder of passing time and what’s important to me.  By sharing my month in retrospect, I hope to inspire you to chart your progress as well.”

-from an earlier post

October was all about Killing the Angel of Perpetual Giving, I would like to say, in one final swoop.  That’s probably not the case, but she’s out cold for now.  Reclaiming my time allowed me to write and submit a guest post to a major blog and begin to rejig my writing services to focus on editing and evaluating manuscripts for authors, entrepreneurs, and bloggers.  Know anyone who might need help with their memoir or non-fiction book?  I would be grateful if you would pass my name along.

I devoured Turning Pro:  Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work by Steven Pressfield. You mean I’m not the only one stalled by resistance and fear?  I’ll be re-reading the cogent manual for moving through obstacles again and again.

I dabbled in simplicity, deploying my one-step method for decluttering fast and reducing my wardrobe to 33 items.  It’s been easy for me to live, work, and play with just 33 pieces of clothing and accessories.  I didn’t include the right number of sleeveless tops, given our toasty heat wave of late, so I’ve needed to adjust the composition of my collection.  The one in, one out method.  Living with less frees up time and space for more happiness and joy to sneak in.

It sometimes feels like climbing a mountain, but I’m learning to respect my limits.  I ask myself, “What would I do if I only had six months to live?”  This reflection realigns my priorities toward more beneficent actions and away from over worry about this illusory experience called the “self”.

I’m very grateful for YOU!  Your comments on my articles are so deep and insightful.  It would not be the same place without you.  Thank you too for all your meaningful input into my reader survey.  Your requests are in the forefront of my mind and I will continue to write articles in response to your wishes.  Whether you are able to comment or not, I know you are there and I am writing for you.

Looking ahead:  I won’t be signing up for National Novel Writing Month in November, but I do have a specific writing goal.  I plan to revise and expand an ebook I prepared last year.

The flavor of October:  Breakthrough!

How was October for you?  Any special challenges or accomplishment to share?  Any special tips on breaking through?

Thank you so much for reading and sharing!  If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe for free updates by email.  With love,  Sandra

Image:  Public Domain Pictures (dot) Net

 

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the list of links, ‘Resolving to fight for what really matter’ was particularly great. I highly recommend it to anyone.

    Dan @ ZenPresence

  2. says

    Sandra,

    Thank you for listing my blog post among the other amazing ones.
    Your monthly review helps me recall the posts and challenges you offered this month, even though I fell short of some of them .

    I’m happy to report that I got two courses written, but my efforts at a clean desk only lasted about two days. I had to pull out loads of folders to do my taxes. Thankfully they can be filed away now.

    I enjoyed Pressfield’s Turning Pro and The War of Art, but will need to reread them again and again.

    I did give away some clothes and things, but my wardrobe is nowhere near only 33 items. I’m sure I have the ability to do it if I were moving to smaller digs, but other tasks seemed more urgent this month.

    Thanks for introducing Carver’s course and reminding me about your editing and evaluating services.

    I’m going to join in NaNoWriMo in the morning, doing my modified version. It’s a great time to do the 2nd edition of my book on happiness where I plan to add a chapter. It doesn’t matter that it’s not a novel. That’s why Nina Amir started NaNonFiWriMo for nonfiction writers. In either case, any push to commit to finishing before years end is a worthy goal.

    Looking forward to your November insights.

    • says

      Hi Flora,

      You’re welcome! Your example at the coffee shop was such a great metaphor for how we related to happiness. I enjoyed it immensely.

      It’s funny, I didn’t set out to link to my own posts, but they do tell the story of my month since I often write from the inspiration of the moment.

      I didn’t know about NaNonFiWriMo! I’m very happy to hear about it and will check it out. Thanks for the resource. I’m happy to hear you are working on the second edition of your book. I sure it will benefit many more people.

  3. says

    I love your flavor of Breakthrough month Sandra. I remember reading your post about reducing you wardrobe to 33 items and admired you- No I haven’t got to that although I did give 2 bags full of clothes to charity on Monday and my wardrobe is slimmer.
    I have made many breakthoughs this month. I successfully launched Your Weekly Heart Whisper and their have been five editions . I finally launched my online studio sale one sale to date- will extend it out for November. Your post today has me acknowledging what I have achieved- gratitude.
    I have woken up this morning with feelings of excitement for November- I am revamping and relaunching my book emergings: a meditation on the emotions of change as an ebook and starting on my book Lucky to be Alive- My year of living positively. I too looked at NAMO and decided maybe next year. You have inspired to write a post- we all need to celebrate our achievements as Joy often reminds me
    I look forward to connecting with you too in November
    Namaste

    • says

      I’m amazing by all your accomplishment Suzie, while I know you are also being good to yourself and taking downtime as you need it. I’m very excited by your new offerings and wish you will with your new projects. Yes, I agree, it’s fun and essential to celebrate our achievements!

      • says

        Thanks Sandra,
        that was so good to read, as I then went and read what I had written in my post and thought yes I have made a breakthrough or 2- I must be kinder to myself :)

  4. says

    I always love your reviews! I’m going to make some tea this afternoon while Jaden is napping (I’m babysitting today), and read the posts that I missed the first time. For me, October was a flurry of activity around my book release, and it was also a time of deep discomfort and reflection as I grappled with (and still grapple with) an issue in my family that is stirring up a lot of “stuff.” Thanks for sharing your reflections and encouraging us to reflect on our own Octobers.

    • says

      Hi Galen,

      Your book is so beautiful! I’m sure it is helping many people. Even when we find our “happy place” it’s not immune to discomfort! I’m feeling a lot of sadness myself at the moment. My heart is with you as you navigate the “stuff”.

  5. says

    Honored to have made this distinguished list, Sandra :)

    October was decidedly a mixed bag, with satisfying progress in many ways on my writing, gardening, and personal growth, yet in others so thwarted or lacking. A lot of it had to do with the unpleasant weather here for most of the month, preventing me from having a last fling outdoors before it gets too cold. Mother Nature and I are not getting along, but I’m increasingly convinced that is because she is ill with Climate Change. Not her fault in the least, poor Dear. Changed nearly all the lightbulbs in the house to daylight-type CFL, hoping to make up for what is lacking.

    • says

      I don’t face the precise same challenge although I can remember when I did and how short the summer seemed. It can also rain here for very long periods in the Winter but usually the sun pops through at least every few weeks. I tend to agree with you. Climate change is contributing to mother nature’s crankiness and the serious weather disasters we’re seeing. Hope the bulbs work!

  6. says

    Dear Sandra,
    Thank you for this list and for including my humble article in it. I’ve been slowly reading my way through the Outstanding Articles and gaining inspiration and food for thought from doing so.

    These last two months have been very busy and satisfying ones for me. My husband’s position requires lots of travel and that means my role in our business is a front line one now. Aside form that I completed a huge contracted project just before All Hallow’s Eve. I’m proud of the two months of hard work I did and so pleased that it was so well received. Given the extra work I must do at this time of the year in our business, I began the month in a state of disappointment knowing I wouldn’t have much time to blog and comment, but three days later I chose to accept that reality and do the best I could.

    October is the month we preserve the last of the food we have produced in our gardens and prepare for the winter months ahead. Canadian Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October is linked to harvest festivals ie. celebrations of abundance which I take part in every year. My gardening work is done now and the plants I will winter over have been moved into the cold room. Though my deck is no longer colorful, there is a single remaining rose bush in bud that I’m babying along and she cheers me every day.

    This autumn has also been a transition into acceptance of my approaching senior years. I have had several medical and dental appointments and remained true to my commitment to take good care of my health. Though I’ve to become a pensioner, the time when I no longer sit in the West but will move to the North is not many years away.

    In October I gave thanks not only for the harvest and for the abundance of life sustaining relationships I have, but also for the good fortune of living where the season’s changes are so colorful and majestic.

    • says

      Dear timethief,

      I’m so happy to hear that these past two months have been so satisfying for you. I resonate with the disappointment you feel when you don’t have much time to blog or connect via comments. Yet, you’ve still posted many helpful and inspiring posts. I often feel the same way though and long for the extra time to really dig in and engage myself in deep writing.

      It seems like you were just starting your garden! The seasons seem to fly by. The way you are caring for your health is an inspiration to me, a guide that would be good for me to follow!

      Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your month. I enjoyed it tremendously. Love to you!