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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Year 2013: A Rewind

As I did last year, I wanted to do a bit of review of my year in 2013, to celebrate, share and consider what I've learned and accomplished, with the hope of making a meaningful mark in my world.

What I share in this post reflects my life as a journal keeper, an artist, host of #JournalChat Live, as writer, as a grandma, as a refreshment specialist, as a researcher, as an author, and as a newsletter creator.

As you can see, my life is very layered, multi-dimensional and rich! For that I am grateful.

So, without further ado, (drum roll, please! ;)) my life in 2013!

I shall begin with my life as a journal keeper:
I continue to enjoy engaging with my written journal, usually recording entries in the a.m. and p.m. and others when the situation calls for it. But starting in November, I began to take more breaks in my day and record in my journal three or four times per day, which has given me an even deeper clarity and insight into what I'm experiencing, thinking about, and determining needs to be done, especially with creating positive change--always vitally important! My journal gives me space to pay close attention to my intuition, my inner wisdom and to the divine spark given to me by the Creator.

I continue to use my dominant and non-dominant hand approach to my entries, activating both sides of the brain for a more holistic, logical and creative result. My journaling exercise, using Xs for negatives and * for positives, continues to give me visual clues for where I need more balance (key word here!). I also add a summary word that tells my day succinctly; that really gets me thinking in the big picture. Just a few months ago, I started using colored markers to write my entries, and I've written so much, that I need a new set already! Also, I even did a little of backwards writing as the suggestion of a friend (Thanks, Suzanna!) on #JournalChat. It takes a lot of concentration so I don't do that every day. It has also been fun to incorporate some other ideas I've gleaned from my reading and chatting on #JournalChat this year; that's always fun!

Now to my Authentic Refreshment with Art Journaling:
In January, it will be three years that I've kept an art journal; I am truly hooked!! I love using watercolors, oil pastels, crayon, tissue paper (for texture), colored paper (for collage), and rubber stamps to create messages as well as letters cut from magazines. In the latter half of this year, I've been experimenting with image transfers, getting the hang of working with gel mediums and creating layers on the page. Some of it has been a challenge, but I'm getting better and loving the process.

I always have so much fun going through magazines to pull images, text and color to work into my collages, my paintings and my pages. I love designing and combining different techniques to create fun works of art from the heart.

Also as a fine artist in watercolor, I did my first replicating rendering, using the stipple method, of a mocking bird, my adored bird you will find on my website, who delights my heart with his song and dance. It was such a delight to paint "In Your Element" considering my love for watercolor and for the mocking bird itself. I also continue to do intuitive paintings from my imagination and heart.

As an artist, I am absolutely delighted to have my Dawn Herring Collection Art Gallery available on my website, a long held dream of mine. It contains a page of my fine art paintings as well as my mixed media and watercolor bookmarks and message cards which are available for order! I love designing empowering message cards with favorite colors as reminders of who we really are and how we can make our meaningful mark in the world!

My whole website, Refresh with Dawn Herring, has been fully refreshed this year, featuring my empowering products and services, information about #JournalChat Live and Links Edition along with journaling prompts and resources for all things journaling that I've compiled from my reading and posting as host of #JournalChat Live on Twitter. There's a place to sign up for my now monthly Refresh Journal, which contains #JournalChat information, refreshing tips, music, and so much more, and to purchase my book, The Birthday Wall: Create a Collage to Celebrate Your Child, which had its one year anniversary of publication in March. My daughter, Sarah, shared her point of view on The Birthday Wall this year.

As Host of #JournalChat Live, I reached my two year anniversary in June with the structure of a weekly chat with new topic based on the journaling resource I choose for #JournalChat Pick of the Week. I even wrote a blog post covering all the resources and topics we covered for 2013 as a big THANK YOU for those who authored them and to those who participated. One big change that occurred back on October was the switch from Thursday afternoons to Sunday afternoons to hold the live chat on Twitter. And this month, another big change is being implemented in 2014, with #JournalChat Live being held the first Sunday of each month. Plus I've changed what was Pick of the Day to Dawn's #JournalChat Favorite and what was once Pick of the Week to Dawn's #JournalChat Choice to reflect those changes to once per month. I'm excited about these changes which I explain from the heart.

#JournalChat Live continues to be a source of fun, inspiration and ideas for journal keeping enthusiasts and we've had a lot of insightful conversation and support for our journaling community. Come join us the first Sunday of each month at 4 EST/1 PST on Twitter using the #JournalChat Hashtag in your tweet!

One of my good friends, Nathan Ohren of Write4Life, who has been a special guest on #JournalChat Live as well as an active contributor to our chats, interviewed me on his #JournalTalk podcast which was fun, interesting and fun! (When you listen, bear in mind that the time and day of #JournalChat Live is now on first Sunday of each month.) One of my favorite things about Nathan's approach to his podcast and his work in the world is his sense of humor (plus his heart). He has been a true supporter of my work with the live chat as well as my life as artist and refreshment enthusiast. It was a pleasure to work with him and to chat with him on #JournalChat Live. His podcasts with journaling experts are well worth listening to; I was glad to be a part of his series.

As a Refreshment Specialist, I've engaged in some refreshment research and have started a new blog called Your Authentic Refreshment, showcasing interviews with folks who engage in authentic refreshment which is something to help you appreciate yourself for who you are, validate your emotions and feelings and nurture your soul. Also new are my Refresh Sessions which I provide to work with people privately to help them discover what will refresh them and help them gain a fresh perspective in all of life's dimensions, thus loving themselves from the inside out and living empowered lives as a result!

As a writer, I have published several guests posts this year focused on journaling and refreshment on the websites/blogs of Kathleen Pooler, Karen Horneffer-Ginter, and in Outlet Magazine. I also continue to post on my Refresh with Dawn Herring blog (that you're reading now!) about once per month in addition to the content for Refresh Journal. I also have several longer works in progress, with one I hope to share in 2014.

As a grandma, I am deighted to say that my grandboy turned two! He is such a delight, always making Grandma smile and laugh with his chatter, his personality, and his love, always looking for hugs which I gladly give. We have so much fun together building with blocks, talking to his stuffed animals, doing sock puppets, and talking on the "phone." I just love to teach him all kinds of things, tell him stories, and just be plain silly to make him laugh. And Boy Does He Laugh! :D

When I look back on all of this good stuff, it really makes me want to do a happy dance; won't you dance with me?

My 2013 has been full, rich, insightful, and creative in many aspects and I look forward to what 2014 will hold.

My desire is to encourage folks to refresh themselves daily, keep a journal to record their special story for all posterity, and to love themselves heartily from the inside out.

I hope you will join me in this wild, wonderful journey; lets keep in touch in 2014!

© 2013 by Dawn Herring





5 comments:

Susan Ekins said...

I need time management tips from you! Wow! You did a lot.

Dawn Herring said...

Susan,
Yes, I did. 2014 will be reflect what really matters to me and what I retain. Relaxing and taking breaks is important in the grand scheme of things.

Be refreshed,
Dawn

Stephen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stephen said...

I did not do very much this year, though I did manage to finish a much higher percentage of the things that I did start.

I also believe that I have finally figured out what I want to do with my life when I grow up.

Dawn Herring said...

Stephen,
I think figuring that out is one of the most important things you could have done. It's a reflection of who you really are. Kudos to you!

Be refreshed,
Dawn

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Three Steps Toward Accountability...to Yourself (as published in SFC Newsletter, Dec 08 edition)

Accountability: to give a reckoning or explanation for one’s actions, responsible.

When most people think of accountability, they often negatively associate it with answering to others, such as a spouse, a friend, a mentor, or, in most cases, a boss. As a writer, you are your own boss, which is one of the reasons that you need to be accountable to yourself. And it can be a positive experience rather than a negative one.

The first step in being accountable to yourself as a writer is setting goals for your writing and keeping track of projects you want to finish. Incurring a deadline for yourself can help
motivate you in this area. This step can also include daily writing goals. Some authors plan how many words or pages per day they will write.
I’ve set goals for myself as a writer by making them reachable and attainable. This year I have set a goal to write at least one scene for my novel per week and at least one other piece,
whether it be memoir or essay, per week. That can mean just making notes, writing a first draft, or revising a draft.
As long as your goals keep you moving forward and you’re making progress, then you know you’re headed in the right direction.

Once you have your goals set, the next step in accountability to yourself is writing down what you accomplish each day. You can use a daily calendar just for writing or keep track of your
daily accomplishments on your computer. I designed a custom monthly writing calendar. It helps me track what I write daily, whether or not I’ve met my goal for the week, and it has
space for ideas for future writing pieces. I also have a spot to keep track of books I’m reading for that month. I use abbreviations to keep the daily writing easier and to save space. As I review each completed month, I can go back to see what I’ve accomplished and keep track of when I wrote each piece.
Whether you use something pre-made or customize something for yourself, use whatever works for you and helps you stay accountable to yourself.

A third, and perhaps most important, aspect in accountability in your writing is taking care of yourself as a writer. Than can mean giving yourself space and not being hard on yourself if
you don’t reach your goals each day or each week.
Flexibility and refreshment are paramount to your health as a writer. It also frees up your creativity and can actually help you produce more quality writing in the long run.
I enjoy writing in my journal, reading fiction or memoir, and watching a good movie with my family. Taking a walk, listening to music, talking with your family members, and just taking time to sit and enjoy life are all ways you can be good to
yourself—and ultimately accountable—as a writer.

Learn to celebrate your accomplishments and your uniqueness as a writer. That’s one of the best ways to be accountable—to yourself!