Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hair cutting in The Bourne Identity

Random thought of the day: I just flipped on The Bourne Identity for background noise. It was just at the scene where Jason is cutting Marie's hair to turn into a disguise. That was actually a really hot scene. I mean, think about how intimate your relationship is with your hairdresser. This is your hair. It is a part of you. And though I'm not a Matt Damon fan, he does look pretty good in this movie.

Granted, it leads to a bit of hanky-panky immediately following the hair cutting, so there may have been that slight preconceived notion. But still.....I wouldn't let just anyone actually cut my hair....

So, how am I doing on all those goals?

In my last post, I commented on how I was trying to double my efforts over at Yahoo Contributor Network (formerly Associated Content). How is that working for me at the end of the first month of 2011?

Well, I haven't submitted nearly as many articles as I had planned. Instead, I found that I have been nearly doubling my efforts elsewhere. It is the story of my life: I can always find plenty of energy and ideas for anything that I don't have to get done, and slack off on those things that require more effort. I spent the first half of the month writing a bunch of articles for Bright Hub, instead. I usually only get about 2-5 articles posted per month over there. In January, I will have 9 articles published there. I should have had 11, but got too busy. I am also not counting the Managed Guides that I do.

As for YCN, I have 9 new articles that have published as of today, and three more submitted. I have 8 more FC pieces to try to write before Tuesday at midnight. I also published 7 slideshows. That encompasses 16 of the 400 that I want to put up. My page views continue to average between 450-650 a day. As of this morning, I am at just over 432,000 page views, not counting Yahoo!, which leaves me 368,000 more to gain in the next 11 months. As of this morning, only about 15,000 of those past 400,000 are actually from 2011. It is a relatively slow, yet average month for me.

So, how am I going to boost things? I don't want to write a bunch of fluff and crap, because that isn't going to help me out at all. One of my ideas is coming up with as many lesson plans and activities as I can, to use throughout the year. I have already missed January, and am running out of time to get much for February. I need to just buckle down and do them all.

My common complaint is that if it weren't for my full-time job as a teacher, I would have time to write all of these ideas. But, if I didn't have the full-time job, I couldn't easily get the photographs, nor some of my inspiration. I also need that crazy little thing called health insurance.

Another issue I have had this month is random social life overload. I tend to enjoy being a hermit in the winter months. It's too damn cold to go out, and I get tired of driving in snow. But so many fabulous activities have kept popping up, and new people are around with whom I can hang out, so things have changed. The problem then becomes I am too tired. I also enter into a new conundrum of needing the spending money for outings, and not having the time to earn said spending money.

Ah well. It will all come together in time, I think.

Stay tuned for some random thoughts as well as monthly updates on my goals.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year's Resolutions......again has been almost 6 months since I last posted. So much for that writing a blog post once a day thing, eh? So, I'm revisiting the post where I originally laid out my resolutions for 2010, and reflecting on them here.

Building the book reviewing sites.....well, it has been almost a year since I did that, so I guess I didn't quite hit that goal. I was receiving a lot of books, but then found I didn't have a lot of extra time to read. I honestly work on writing for pay, because I need the supplemental income. I also developed a medical condition in February last year that left me somewhat exhausted, and I haven't read as much. I feel bad, because I feel like I let some people down. But I do hope to get back to reviewing and doing interviews. I love to read, and perhaps this would force me to do more of it.

As for Examiner, they changed things up so much there, that I can't tell which end is up. I have been contemplating going back there, though, to still get a simple income for easy writing. We shall see what time allows.

Querying children's books.....I just didn't do it. I have a million book ideas, and even started outlining some, but haven't yet developed enough where I can query. My brain is on constant rotation of ideas, but that makes it hard to follow through on all of them at times. Perhaps this will be the year?

Focus on Montessori....This is the one resolution that I truly carried out. Thanks to some online friends, I was inspired to start a Montessori Facebook fan page. On it, I post my own personal articles, as well as fun finds around the Internet, and Maria Montessori quotes. By doing that, I actually read The Montessori Method in its entirety for the first time in my life. Usually, I just pick out parts here and there, based on the subject matter. It has helped me to ground myself in the philosophy and reminded me why I do what I want to do. I also finally developed my own personal website, Montessori Writer. It has a lot of work to do, but it is still enjoyable. Conveniently, the same weekend that I was seriously contemplating biting the bullet and purchasing my own domain, my original Montessori blog platform was discontinued. Luckily, they sent everything to me, so I still have my posts. But now they are my own again, and I can do what I want.

I found that writing for Examiner on local Montessori was difficult, as we need to protect the privacy of our families. I kept hoping I could figure out a way to comment on philosophy and add a local twist. Again, we shall see if I return to that.

Finding a writing rhythm......I have found that my life, as uncomplicated as it supposedly is, is not conducive to a writing rhythm. Again, those health issues I was experiencing made me tired when I wanted to write. School takes up a lot more time, though I did quit the tutoring for the school year. I am tired when I get home in the evenings, and it can be difficult to actually write anything. And I have found that on a day off, or during vacation time, I am so happy to not have to work, that I can't write, despite my best intentions.

One blog post and one article a day, average.....Yeah, like I said, that didn't happen. I don't know what I was thinking there. But, I do have loftier goals, in a sense. I write regularly for several websites, and have personal goals that are either financial or otherwise goal-based. My biggest goal is to double my efforts on Associated Content, now the Yahoo! Contributor Network. At the end of 2010, I had just about 400 published pieces (articles & slideshows) on AC and a couple of partner sites. I also had over 400,000 page views. My goal for the end of 2011 is to have at least 800 published pieces (articles, slideshows, and possibly videos taken with my new Droid X?) and at least 800,000 page views (read 1 million). Many of my fellow writers have their own big goals. Check out what other YCN writers hope to accomplish this year.

Still other people claim that they do not set resolutions. I am also a fan of calling things "goals." I am always seeking to be the best person that I can be. I'm okay with not hitting those resolutions from last year, because I have new goals for this year......let's see what I have to say a year from now about all of