Time to Refocus

Spring has finally arrived and we are officially in full bloom! The skies are blue and clear (for the most part!), and a sweet scent—a combination of cherry blossom, mowed lawns and barbecues—dances on the breeze. The longer days, warmer temperatures, and feel-good Vitamin D inspire us—and this is where the ideas and motivation come flowing in abundance, like a stream gliding and babbling across rocks.

My Spring has brought with it the seeds of new ideas and new projects, as well as an overflowing watering can to nurture the projects already under way. The time spent away from my brand and writing during recent months (perhaps best referred to as a period of hibernation) has given me some much-needed time to reflect, regain perspective and re-instil the drive that no obstacle will prevent my progress. And so, the next two-thirds of the year will be more productive and marked with milestones.

The next few months will present the second in The Book Creatives series, as well as a second work of fiction—one that has been in the works for years. And, of course, my teaching journey will begin. Furthermore, Hayley Paige as a brand will undergo much of a shape and shift change, with an array of new colours and facets, and new stars to shine.

There is much to look forward to if we can look beyond the immediate. There is a world of potential—so much more than just a world, in fact—and we can do whatever we set our minds to if only we encourage ourselves to focus. Now is a time for refocus and for allowing inspiration to make itself known in any form it chooses.

The telescope is out and I am redirecting my gaze to the stars.

A Long Road

The end of July, when I published my last update, seems like such a long time ago. And, in so many ways, it really is. I have travelled a difficult road—one I actually never could have imagined would work its way into my realitybut, now, I find myself in February of a new year and, although the harsh twists and turns are nowhere near over, I can see a beautiful landscape waiting at the horizon.

My work has suffered, without question. Writing not only has been placed on the back-burner, but has ceased completely with the exception of one short story (a form of expression I have never before considered). My day-to-day work, notably in the editing and publishing arena, has been a struggle as an understatement; mental exhaustion has taken a huge toll on my ability to focus. Hobbies and reading have become a thing of the past when, once upon a time, they were what kept me feeling most alive. However, with that said, the days are not nearly as difficult as once they were, and I find myself better able to focus on other things—things that used to bring me happiness. Writing. Reading. Working. Setting and achieving goals. The fundamentals that underpin my personality and nature. The sun now seems to shine for longer each day.

With this renewed positivity and ambition—something I used to have in abundance!—comes the recognition that, although I am sad to have wasted time being counterproductive and doing nothing more than focusing on putting one foot in front of another, the present is all that matters, and to continue where I left off is a case of better late than never. I can’t afford to give myself a hard time for not achieving goals when life hit me out of the blue and demanded that I direct my attention to weathering the storm; there was no other option. Now, however, there is a choice.

So, onwards and upwards. Back to adopting the usual work drive and passion, back to writing, back to reading, back to pursuing more than the bog-standard. Back to me.

A Period of Indulgence

Christmastime and New Year have been and gone, passing by in a flurry of mulled wine, light dustings of snow and a mass of ribbons and decorative wrapping. This magical time for family, indulgence and decadence is over for another year, but with the return back to routine and work, commutes and responsibilities, there also are the first steps down a new, glittering pathway. It is the start of a new year; an opportunity for new beginnings and fresh projects. We are only the first few pages into what could prove to be a very exciting first chapter in this 366-day book of 2016.

In my own little world, the beginning of 2016 has marked itself with a return to copy editing and publishing, with brainstorming here and there for the sequel of Alice: Queen of Hearts, the second in The Book Creatives series (much later than originally planned!), and my most exciting fiction for the year (to be referred to as G72). I also have a number of other business-related tasks and opportunities ahead of me, all waiting to be explored and eager to move their way up my huge and ever-growing To Do list, and so I am excited to throw myself into 2016.

In amongst the hard work and the inked pages, the ticked-off tasks and the inclusion of more, however, I am determined to spend the year building more beautiful memories with my daughters, sisters and friends, and laying the stepping stones of a solid foundation for a happy, fulfilling life. I feel more driven, excited, enthusiastic and ambitious than ever before, and so I am determined this will be the most incredible period.

Already 5 days have flown, leaving 361 remaining. Every single one of these need to be decorated with glitter and flashes of pink and bursts of starlight. And if any of these fall onto published pages, I will feel all the more blessed.

Happy New Year!