Half-way there … an update on monthly projects

Seeing as we’re now half-way through October, I thought it would be good to give a bit of an update on where I’m at with all the projects I have going on at the moment (it’s also a nice way to keep myself accountable).

When I look at my list of current activities, I suddenly realise why I’ve been feeling so scattered of late and why this year feels like my busiest yet. Here’s a quick look:

  • 4 simple goals (before 2011): I first told you these a few months ago, and I’m slowly crossing these goals off my list. I got my hair cut short and dyed violet a while back, and I’ve been slowly unsubscribing from all the rubbish email lists I’ve signed up for. I’m still assessing my place as an ‘online citizen’, and I’m yet to figure out a locally sourced fruit and veg shopping plan. So I’m half way there.
  • Photoswap 2010: I’m still waiting for my photoswap partner photos to arrive, … I haven’t given up hope … yet.
  • World View Project: This is a relatively new project for me, so I’ll have to fill you in progress once Gerty (one of the globetrotter cameras), arrives at my door.
  • The Shed Project: I’ve been ‘shedding’ stuff for a long time now, but so far the project has pushed me to ‘shed’ even more. It’s helped me assess what is truly important.
  • Buy Nothing New Month: This challenge has been great. While I’d already committed myself to shopping less, I’ve found the ‘Buy Nothing New’ concept has refocussed the way I spend all my money (and saved me some cash in the process too).
  • Blogtoberfest: So far, so good. Despite a few close-calls, I’m still yet to miss a blog day. I’ve found the daily blogging has loosened my creative thought processes, and introduced me to a whole range of wonderful new readers and online friends.

Then next month I’ll be taking the NaNoWriMo challenge once more (it was great last year), so I really need to sort out which novel idea I’ll attack over the month (I love a daily word target, I do). Given my writing attention will be more devoted to novel writing than blogging, things may be a little quieter here in November … but we shall have to see.

How are things in your world? What are you up to this month?


  1. Erika Lee Sears


    You really inspire me 🙂 and I am so glad that you have a clear view of your goals and you doing something about them.

    My commitments to the blog world for the last couple of months is blog every business day. Also be a better online citizen and be better about contributing.

    I can’t believe October is almost over! I really have so many art projects to finish.


    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Erika – Oh my, how lovely of you to say that I inspire you! (in fact I find the opposite to be true). I’m so much more focussed and achieve so much more when I work my way through a defined list of goals and ‘to-dos’ … otherwise I tend to dither about and not get very far at all.

      Aside from Blogtoberfest, I’ve been trying to stick to a blog post every business day too (I think it’s a nice balance between being a challenge and yet being achievable). Your thoughts about being a better online citizen certainly echo my own … it’s nice to know I’m not alone! 🙂

      I have no idea where October has been speeding off to, but it would be greatly appreciated if it would slow down just for a while. Best of luck with finalising all your art projects – nothing like a deadline to focus the creative energies! 🙂

  2. Susan

    That’s an amazing, ‘got your stuff together’ list. I’ve been ‘shedding’ for a while now as well and it’s slow-ish but sure progress which makes me happy. I didn’t know about Buy Nothing New Month but I may try that next month (except for the holiday part at the end).

    Blogtoberfest has done wonders for me. It’s given me a defined space and time to think and focus on all my troubling thoughts and questions. I’ve also tried to be better at commenting. I often don’t comment because I think sometimes the written word comes across as harsh because one doesn’t have facial expressions, body language and tone of voice to help interpret how a comment is meant. So I’ll often write and then delete a comment because I’m afraid of how it might be taken. I must blog about that one day.

    I’m counting on you to make it to October 31 with me! Otherwise I will track you down and sit outside your house and play The Stones’ Music at full bore during the wee small hours ;).

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Susan – Thanks for your kind words regarding my list of things I’m completing this month and intending to complete next month. It’s kind of scary to see how much I’ve got myself in for … but then again, I always work better and achieve more under pressure.

      Buy Nothing New Month is an interesting experiment – and it means I can still buy essentials and as much vintage as I like. Though I agree that you should give yourself a free pass to try it out on your holiday … you can’t have a holiday without shopping! 😀

      I agree with your thoughts on Blogtoberfest … I think it’s definitely required me to be a bit more disciplined about blogging, as well as getting around to a whole range of different blogs. Like yourself, in the past I used to find it more difficult to comment on blogs – that’s probably because I’m an over-thinker and over-analyser most of the time! 😉
      I know what you mean about it being difficult to convey expression, tone and body language in a comment … but I figure most of the time the recipient will get what we’re on about. I love receiving comments, so I figure the same must be true for most other people too – during Blogtoberfest I think comments are also a nice way to encourage each other to keep going and not give up! 🙂

      Gosh, rather than risk you and your loud Stones music arriving at my doorstop in the early hours, I’d better do my best to see this month through with you!! 😀

  3. jason

    this is a great list – you make me feel like a piker! more importantly, good luck on NaNoWriMo – don’t get too hung up on the word counts, tho, it’s a real danger…

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Jason – Thanks for your kind words re: my list of monthly activities … but you should definitely not feel like a piker!! All of us work on our own projects, with all sorts of deadlines and responsibilities – I just think that sometimes we don’t realise how much we set out for ourselves! 🙂

      Thanks for your best of luck wishes for NaNoWriMo … I agree that word counts can work against the creative process sometimes, and I found last year it was a bit of a balance (I certainly didn’t always meet the daily word count).

  4. Megan

    Nothing like taking stock and realise you’re doing alright after all. I think that’s what I need to do also. I would love to do the NaNoWriMo but with November being right in the middle of school reports which means lots and lots of out of school hours work, there is just no way that is at all possible. I might have to start a NaNoWriMoJa, in January!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Megan – I agree, I think it’s really beneficial to ‘take stock’ of what we have on our horizon and work out both what we need to do, and also recognise how far we’ve already come.

      I didn’t think about the bad timing of NaNoWriMo for a lot of people … it’s probably inconvenient for many given that it’s also a lead up to the madness that is the end of the year. You should definitely set yourself your very own NaNoWriMo in January next year … I’ll be here to encourage you along!! 😀

  5. Gabrielle Bryden

    I am so not that organised – if I can organise my filing system at home, that would be a good start – so that is the goal. You were coming down with something on twitter so I hope you are OK Tracey! Sickness always throws a spanner in my works (particularly sick kids).

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – Haha, well I must admit that normally I’m not that organised either … and if I knew just how much I’d committed myself to already this month, perhaps I would have thought twice about a few of these … so all I can do is take one step at a time! 🙂
      Organising filing is a great thing to sort out … I currently have things stored here, there and everywhere … I must dedicate some time to get everything back to it’s rightful place (I hate feeling like my paperwork is a mess).

      Thanks for your get well wishes – I’m still suffering from a cold at the moment (courtesy of the loving husband), but I’m hoping it will leave me in peace shortly! Sickness does take it’s toll on achieving much at all … I currently feel a bit like a zombie.

  6. Lynne

    You have been busy! Looks like some intersting things here. I’m off to take a closer look.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lynne – Yes, this month has felt extra busy … and when I look at that list I’m not too sure how I’m also finding time to live my life as well…
      I suppose it’s quite amazing what we can actually achieve if we set ourselves to it.

  7. Lisa

    The mood of the day is comparable to “Winter Time” by the Steve Miller Band. It’s a breezy ‘n’ bracing autumn day here on the Eastern Seaboard, and it feels exhilarating to get out and about in the smart cosmopolitan city.

    I wore a black velvet skirt suit that detailed the loveliest petite autumn colors. I swept my hair up into a slightly messy ponytail, which has been freshly colored a shimmering amber.

    I picked up a copy of the magazine “The World of Interiors” because of an article about Roald Dahl’s writing hut in Buckinghamshire (England). I’m very drawn to the eclecticism of the private world of artist’s houses.

    Assuredly celebratory days are on the horizon, with that lovely contrast of warm ‘n’ icy indoor/outdoor life. I think hedonism aplenty is really on the horizon! I do hope a trip to snowy and picture perfect Vermont is in the cards. Sometimes when the black trees are rustling at dusk with the brightest star shining so intensely and solemnly in the galaxy, one can feel as if you’re on a movie set. It’s a very theatrical experience. Yes, I like this experience very much.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lisa – My apologies for not responding to you sooner … especially after I so enjoyed reading your generous and beautiful comments. I filed you under ‘important business to complete when I’m less tired’ … and then of course I forgot to revisit the file … So here I am finally …

      As always it’s lovely to hear from you, and such a joy to hear that you’ve been keeping well. Though I must admit that I’m rather jealous of your delightful autumnal weather and wonderful associated fashion. At the moment the weather here is lovely – a nice balance between the warm and the cool … a mild balance let’s say! Though I am bracing myself for the hot and humid days that I just know are waiting for me on the horizon.

      ‘The World of Interiors’ sounds like a lovely magazine – and what a lovely feature to include on Roald Dahl’s writing hut … I recently watched a documentary on that … such a fascinating (and talented) man. Like yourself, I love that private world of all kinds of artists … almost like peering in the window of their creativity.

      Your words of Vermont are lovely and such an inspiration … your travels here and there are a wonderful break from the every day … take care my friend.

  8. Lisa

    I’ve added a ‘little’ additional commentary for you in regards to this post (hope you don’t mind?).

    It’s a wonderful thing that you are fully committed to such a grouping of creatively infused projects. I know you’ll accomplish all in Swiss timing.

    I’m an excellent master of shredding without the dreading. I’m very drawn to the uninterrupted fiery cathartic process. I’m certainly moving away from obsessive-compulsiveness in regards to collecting, and freeing up acres of space to give the spiritual world a nicer place to come home to.

    These days I’m much more philosophically aligned with all things that represent authentic value. I often question what something is really worth to me. Although, it’s no secret that in Lisa’s world, Quality Control Inc., has always been a little on the hard-wired side.

    Take care, Tracey.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lisa – Additional commentary from you is of course always welcome … I could never mind such a delightful note.

      Thank you for your kind words regarding the many and varied projects I seem to have tangled myself up in this month … I can see the end of the month is fast approaching, and feel confident that all will be achieved (well I’m still keeping the fingers crossed at this stage). 😉

      I love the concept you draw attention to … that ‘freeing up of space’ in a physical and mental sense, so that the things of true importance have the freedom to move in and make themselves more comfortable. Perhaps such thoughts are just a natural part of becoming more mature … quality becomes more important than quantity and with any luck we become happier still! 🙂


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