A Lovely Goodbye

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.
– William Faulkner

Image: She's Like The Wind

Image: She’s Like The Wind

2014.

When I reflect back on the year that has been, I am surprised by how much 2014 has meant to me. Sometimes it takes coming out the other end of a long and endless tunnel to truly understand the value of the lessons that come disguised as life experience.
At times, 2014 was frustrating, busy, creatively stunting and chaotic. At others times, it instilled a burning desire to do more, be more and feel more. It was the year that really tested me and who I wanted to become as a person.

Compared to previous years I found myself blogging less and feeling creatively depleted. I found myself overwhelmed by how much I wanted to accomplish and achieve, and in turn, lost the drive and razor-sharp focus I needed in order to execute everything to the best of my abilities. I was restless, confused and inundated with so many obligations I felt stuck.

Luckily, I was once again introduced to the outer boundary of my comfort zone – where mediocre and magic collide. It was thrilling and terrifying. I connected with the missing piece- my unfailing desire to throw myself headfirst into the unknown and know I could fly. Once I took that step, a spark ignited within.

Sometimes it takes being honest with yourself and where you are in the moment to get the creative juices and zest for life flowing. I played team sport voluntarily for the first time ever, made new friends, ran my first 10k in less than hour, conquered my fear of heights in an obstacle race with friends, read close to 100 books, became the healthiest I’ve ever been, found clarity in my vision for my business and fell back in love with the world of Dancing Peregrine. It’s almost that I needed to lose my passion to truly appreciate the joy and value that comes with it.

I credit Elise Joy’s creative podcast On Focus, and what to do when you have “too many ideas.” It really helped me whittle down all my ideas and rediscover, that not all ideas are equal or give me great joy. Once I realised this and saw it clear as day on pen and paper…the heaviness I had been feeling lifted. I had been prioritising the wrong things.

It feels liberating!

So what did I discover?

  1. I need to write. It’s a compulsion. I must finish my revision for Dancing Peregrine because it matters to me so much words cannot even explain. I will not put my writing on the back burner because this is important.
  2. Blogging. I LOVE it. I want to do more, I want to connect with fellow creative creatures and follow their journeys too. I’m in the process of moving my blog to a new domain. So keep at eye out for that change in the New Year. This transition has already given me a creative lease.
  3. Running. I don’t know how this happened, considering I actually hated it until I discovered the thrill of running outdoors. I want to make this a part of my lifestyle and do a half marathon next year. I need to do this because it will push me in a way I have never dared to physically before. Plus, I’m craving this challenge.

So that’s where I am right now in this moment.

I look forward to seeing you in my new space and sharing the crazy journey that is creating stories.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas,

Love and Light,

Anushka xx

January so far ::

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future, it is something you design for the present
– Jim Rohn

Photo Credit: Joel Robison

Photo Credit: Joel Robison

January so far has been filled to the brim with family time, sunshine, rain (Australia has such random summers in some places), new car, books, new authors, a lot of blog reading, tea drinking and fruit eating bliss.

2014 is a blank slate, filled with untouched pages. Ever since I can remember, there has always been something big happening each year and this is the first year where the path remains unwritten. Not just with my creative life, but also with life in general. It’s exciting.

The reason I haven’t blogged yet this year is because I have really been thinking about what I want this year to mean for me and what I want to achieve, experience and breathe. I want to come to the end of this year experiencing wholeness in all the major areas of my life – health, creative, love, spiritual, financial & business.

A great tip for those of you who haven’t had the chance to sit down to envision and plan for the year ahead, remember to write down everything you have achieved and accomplished in 2013 before starting. It’s so easy to be hard on yourself and feel like you aren’t doing enough, or you aren’t enough, but that simply is not true. Doing this made me realise how hard I can be on myself. 

Instead of boring you all with the goals I have set for myself and step-by-step plan of action (with room for the unexpected of course), I decided to do it differently this year and write down the lifestyle changes I want to integrate into my daily life instead.

  • Eat clean and drink 3L of water a day
  • Work on projects that give me joy on a daily basis, even for 15minutes
  • Surprise the people I care about with unexpected gestures
  • Take up yoga
  • Restrict internet/phone time
  • Look at my goals first thing in the morning and last thing at night so I don’t lose track. Where focus goes, energy follows after all.

I struggled to come up with a  ‘WORD’ for 2014,  some kind of beacon to the keep me on track throughout the year. Two years ago it was REINVENT. It was the year I said bye to the corporate job, relocated to Vancouver and went to acting school. 2013 was CREATE. It was the year I got married and got serious with my Dancing Peregrine revisions and became self-employed.  This year, the word that seems to have the right fit is NOURISH. I want to feel more connected to my life in mind, body and spirit, and something about the word NOURISH seems perfect.

How about you, do you have a word? What goals and lifestyle changes do you hope to embody in 2014?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Declutter

I’m not crazy, it’s my characters talking to me in my head

-Ksenia Anske

Photo credit: Leah Johnston

Photo credit: Leah Johnston

Life has been crazier than normal this October. I blame the ravens that have been cluttering up my mind. As well as the unnecessary tumbleweeds taking up valuable brainpower and focus.

I spent this morning releasing the contents of my brain into a journal and it felt great to channel the fullness I have been carrying around somewhere. Strangely enough, I have so much more energy and time to catch up on everything I haven’t been able to get a handle on such as:

Blogging.

Writing.

Revising.

Beta reading.

AND cleaning the house believe it or not –  and it’s only lunchtime!

There is less than three months until the year is over and I believe we can all still make some serious headway and accomplish goals we have been working towards by taking the time to reassess and remember what they are.

Top 3 goals I want to achieve by 2013 are:

  1. Complete Dancing Peregrine Revisions
  2. Complete first draft of New_NaNo_Project
  3. Consistently workout 3 times a week.

How about you? What top three goals do you have your eyes set on?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

 

5 Tips for getting over Blogger’s Block

In order to write about life, first you must live it

– Ernest Hemingway

5 Tips for getting over Bloggers Block

  1. Eat chocolate Go outside and DO something that isn’t writing related
  2. Visit the top 5 blogs you absolutely love and write down what aspects about those blogs draw them to you.
  3. Free write a list of blog topics without inhibition
  4. Dedicate a block of time to organise your blog posts for the week, it really does make a difference
  5. Above all else, be true to your writer voice and embrace the wonderment that is the journey of writing

Where do your blog ideas come from?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

PS – I’m really excited to share the blog topics I have come up with, stay tuned.

Spring Reflections & Writing Goals


The best time to set up a new discipline is when the idea is strong

– Jim Rohn

In Australia, the first glimmer of spring has arrived.  The warm breeze, the feeble rays of sunshine and the appearance of flowers waiting to bloom are signs winter is leaving us behind. It feels like only yesterday I was reminiscing about what I love about the cold, and I can’t help but feel a tiny bit sad about this change.

I’m not going to lie, I am a little bit jealous of the pumpkin spice happiness most of you will be experiencing to celebrate all things fall. Okay, very jealous. It wasn’t until I lived in Vancouver did I understand this phenomenon. When Starbucks was going pumpkin spice crazy, I was a complete snob and utterly bewildered by this craze. Who on earth would want such a horrifying combination? But during a moment of homesickness and missing my mother, I purchased my first one and fell in love. I knew if she was in Vancouver with me she’d be ordering them like crazy, because pumpkin and all things spice, are probably her two most favourite things right there – her children a close third, fourth and fifth.  Reading in the rain amongst the hustle and bustle of Starbucks with a pumpkin spiced latte in hand helped me feel closer to home and those I love.

With the change of seasons I tend to reflect on the past and remember beautiful memories I didn’t realise I missed. I  also evaluate my goals and I thought it would be fun to share them here.

1.    Complete my 2nd revision and edits for Dancing Peregrine by the end of October 2014. This will mark one year since I finished my first rewrite. I can’t believe I left a big gap between revisiting it, but life had other plans and countries to explore and I wouldn’t change any of it. It has been an amazing journey of growth and dramatic changes and I have finally learned to respect the journey instead of fighting it.

2.    Write query letter and begin researching suitable agents. I have been putting this off for too long.  I’m sure I am not alone in this.

3.    Submit Dancing Peregrine by the end of the year. That said, it needs to feel ready and not rushed. I’m also going to constantly remind myself to enjoy the process.

4.    Enter NaNoWriMo! Words cannot begin to explain how badly I want to do this. The thrill of experiencing first draft mania has not been experienced in a long time (2.5 years?). Regardless of whether Dancing Peregrine is completed or not, I will be doing this. I need a new story and a new world. Another creative spark needs to be ignited.

Even though I don’t get to experience pumpkin spiced lattes, maybe I’m feeling a little bit excited by what the rest of the year has in store for me creatively.

What are your goals for the changing of the season?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Breaking Routine

When I see beautiful places,the stories start talking…

Taking in the tea trails, Sri Lanka

Taking in the tea trails, Sri Lanka

Routine is a wonderful thing, but breaking routine is absolutely delightful.

I haven’t been working on my WIP last month and it felt surprisingly fantastic. Instead, I went travelling around beautiful and isolated parts of Sri Lanka last month and it got me thinking about the concept of breaking routine and how it related to my own writing process.

Writing if you aren’t careful can drain and leech everything you have. For a while that’s how my writing life felt to me and then I realized something during my month of uninhibited exploring – One MUST fill the creative well. Not just for the sake of your ‘art’ but for you. In my case, the act of simply sitting at my desk and working through my revision edits was just not enough to fuel me to the end.

Was I still excited about my story?

Yes.

Could I work on it?

No.

I felt like I was dying from exhaustion and my muse needed CPR. Something needed to change if I wanted to see this WIP complete.

So I broke routine.

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Such beautiful color ..

I took up photography and saw life through a different lens.

I wrote poetry and stretched my mind to see words differently.

I bonded with beautiful people despite the language barrier.

All in all, I was filling my body and soul with good things.

Falling in love with this sari a little bit

Falling in love with this sari a little bit

Travelling is a great passion of mine and every trip I learn something new about myself and the world. I was born in Sri Lanka, and despite visiting previously, this is the first time I left the country with a strong connection to my own sense of identity. For the first time in my life I saw the way a sari draped around a woman’s body absolutely beautiful! Here I was spending my youth avoiding looking ‘ethERnic’ at all cost. What was wrong with me?

You don’t need to go overseas to break routine to fill the well and nourish yourself – but you do need to be exposed to new things.

It is so easy to get caught up  in a routine that stunts growth – so if you take anything from this post I hope you find a way to break routine a little bit every day. It doesn’t matter if you work or if you study or if you are based at home – there is something you can do to shake things up a bit and experience something new.

Although the world is getting smaller, there is just so many things to see!

Just go outside your front door 🙂

How do you break routine a little bit everyday?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

My Writing Space

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My creative messy space

It may not be your day, but it can still be your year – Unknown

Just a quick post. There have been a few distraction over the last week which has made me reflect on what is important to me. I vowed to be more selfish with my time so I can achieve the goals I want to achieve and grow into the writer I hope to be.

I want my life to be filled with inspiring people and I want to look back on this year and be proud of the work I have done.

I hope all of you have a wonderful and productive start to the week!

Love and Light,

Anushka xx

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A writing related art project I’ll post about later in the week

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I love the smell of fresh flowers in my office ❤

Finding My Creature in Images

 

 

 

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Lolly Bar Love! One of the many moments I fell in love with at a close friends engagement x

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It’s the little touches that make a moment magical

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LOVE!

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Capturing a magical moment full of everything…

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I have always been drawn to fire…

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Nostalgic childhood moment..

Love and light,

Anushka xx

My Writing Space


Paper can cut deeper than a knife, because a story can gut you through and through, until you’re forced to be reborn

– Kesenia Anske

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I have been falling into a revision routine once again which feels great! I have been so absorbed in my work I didn’t even realise today was Monday! I don’t work Monday’s so that’s okay, but it does mean I forgot about my segment Finding My Creature in Images. If I get a chance I’ll post it today or tomorrow, if not…I’ll make sure next week is extra exciting!

I changed my location today because my lounge room is the only room with a heater (got to love little old houses with character). It’s been raining outside – finally – so all I wanted was to be snuggled up somewhere warm while I got lost in the dark, haunting world in my head.

It’s nice feeling like I”m making progress again, no matter how small. also, a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has been so supportive during this journey, it means a lot!

🙂

Love and light,

Anushka xx

 

 

 

A Revision Funk

Chase your dreams until you catch them…and then dream, catch, and dream again!

– Dee Marie

Part of being an artist of any kind is about letting go – soaring into heights madness or uncontained delight – and being anchored. At the moment I feel like I’m floating through space in slow motion like a fat kid chasing cake, struggling to move my mind to focus on edits. It’s not that I don’t want to, I feel like I simply can’t. My brain has turned from malleable to concrete…or cake.

Last October I hired a freelance editor to look through my newly overhauled ms and fast forward a few months later I still haven’t been able to dive into the much yearned for feedback with my usual speed. I could blame this on a serious case of procrastination or I can sit down and be honest with myself.

Yes I was recovering from jet-lag, yes the soul-sucking heatwave consuming parts of Australia sucks my creativity and hydration out the window and yes I prioritize other things like study and work on some of the days allocated to revising. But that is not the heart of my problem here.

I have broken routine.

There is no point dwelling on what is broken, the real question is how do I get back into routine? What happened to me? Then it hit me today with startling clarity…I am surfing the internet way too much for no particular reason. I am normally very strict with my time online but somewhere between coming back and now, I kind of forgot that fact and paid dearly for my lapse of judgement.

Therefore, I have decided to do what I always do when I need to do some serious brain work…slash my internet time to pieces.

My plan of attack is as follows:

–       Deactivate Facebook, I don’t actually care about the mundane every day people post about.

–       Get rid of the unlimited data on my phone

–       Invest in a calendar. I had one last year and my productivity hit the roof.

–       Revise every day – even for 15 minutes – for 30 days. It takes 30 days to form a habit. I need the feeling of sitting down and looking at my manuscript to feel natural once again.  Once I reach that point again only then I will reevaluate my schedule.

Writing this post has been very cathartic for me and I feel like now I admitted I have a problem I can try to be brave and enter the world of words again. I’m not going to lie, It’s scary being away from a project for a while. Your brain feels clumsy and unrefined. But the important thing is, I’m willing to face the page again.

How about everyone else? Any tips in getting back into the revision swing of things once you’ve been away?

Love and light,

Anushka