15 & 30

Somehow the 15th became the marker for the significance of the number 30.

I finished the draft of my book on July 13–just as I had promised myself. And I made another pledge to start again with the new one on August 15th. The first is by no means done. It still needs a lot of work. My first two readers have finished reading through it (including my mom who cried). I picked it up last night when my mom told me she finished, and I read the last three chapters, and I have to admit that it made me cry, too. (Coincidentally, I remember the first time I really thought I could write. I was 15 and we had to write a short story that made my teacher cry. I thought to myself that perhaps I could actually do something with my words at that moment.)

All of that is an aside, though, from the real reason for this post.

15. I did start on Sunday as I promised myself. I’m changing strategy this time to prevent some of the issues that I had with the first one. It will be one month of pre-writing leading up to writing the draft.

30. I’m using Karen Wiesner’s First Draft in 30 Days to do the pre-writing. Her definition of “draft” is actually all of the outlining and research. It’s presented in such an organized way that I decided it would be a good place to start. And, already, there is depth to the characters that I did not know existed in my head. That made me extremely excited for the process all over again! And after two days, I’m already well over 2,000 words into this “draft.”

30. When I was younger, I had the idea that I was going to retire at 35. After years of working in jobs that ensured that would not happen (but definitely not regretting the jobs), I did a little re-evaluation. I want to semi-retire every ten years. So, the new goal is that I will not work for my 30th year of life. Seriously. I want to travel while I can climb trees and scale rocks. What does this mean for me now? I have about two years to get out of debt and to save enough money to make it feasible to not work. Part of the plan is to work myself as hard as possible for the next four and a half months to eliminate the debt. Then, I’m going to regroup and figure out the saving part. It really made me realize that no experience is without merit because the last year of my life definitely showed me the least I can survive on.

That made me think I’m probably one of the few people alive who is excited to turn 30!