“Be a writer not a waiter.”

hope is an anchor for the soul

Have you read my essay over at Mamalode? I’d love if you did –> The Moments Between the Waves

Hooray! It’s the last day of March! I don’t think that I’ve been happier to see the end of a month. Well, maybe February but that was because I thought that the Polar Vortex was behind us. I didn’t realize that we were in for another full month of cold, grey, winter weather.

I’m convinced that once the calendar turns to April tomorrow, that the weather will be warm and sunny. Power of positive thinking, right?

It’s crazy that the first quarter of the year is over. My friend Melissa reminded me that it was time to do a quarterly check in on my goals for the year.

2014 word for the year

You may remember that I didn’t set specific goals for the year. Instead, I chose a word for the year – something that would help focus my thoughts, actions and intentions during the year. My word for 2014 is DO. Instead of getting caught up in planning every step along the way towards my goals and being paralyzed by the planning, I knew that I just had to start DO-ing.

The first few months of the year were crazy. I felt like I was running three different lines of businesses, two of which were just starting up (freelance writing and teaching yoga). I felt like I never had enough time to devote to any one thing or to do it entirely well.

But there was a flurry of activity which kept me moving forward.

So far this year, my writing has been published in the Huffington Post, espnW.com, Daily Burn, the Athleta Chi Blog and Mamalode and has been syndicated on BlogHer. I was named as one of Zulily’s 10 favorite fitness bloggers and I have been featured in articles on Shape.com and EverydayFamily.com.

GOTR Athleta

I’ve started teaching yoga and have had some fun opportunities, like teaching a class to the Girls On the Run Solemates, coaches and volunteers at the Athleta Flatiron store (thanks Annie!).

But, I haven’t been teaching as much as I would like. Honestly? I haven’t had as much time to devote to it. With my schedule and workload being what it is, something had to give.

brene brown daring greatly

Of course, there have been a lot of lessons along the way.

1. “Be a writer not a waiter.”Carol Tice 

You have to act in order to be in the game. There’s no way that I’m going to get freelance writing gigs if I don’t pitch. I might have great ideas for a story but unless I pitch those ideas, they will languish in my head.

2. But you also have to focus. 

At the beginning of the year, I basically tried to pitch any and every market. I tried to pitch every topic. I tried to pitch every format – print publications, online publications, blogs, etc. Same thing with teaching yoga – trying to reach out to lots of yoga studios.

It kind of felt like I was throwing spaghetti at the ceiling and just hoping that something would stick. The problem with this approach was that it was exhausting. Now, I’m working on a couple of areas where I’m getting traction and focusing there for now.

3. Relationships matter.

They really do. You never know where or when opportunity will present itself. The opportunities that have come my way are all a result of relationships that I have and have cultivated over a period of time, sometimes a year or more.

4. Daily action. 

Daily action breeds habits. I made a commitment to do at least one thing each day that will move me towards my goals – write, pitch, practice yoga – along with going to bed by midnight and drinking 60 oz of water (habits that I NEED to establish).

The actions can be small or big but the bottom line is that I have to act in some way. I’ve found that having these daily goals has helped me to stay focused. I even have an app on my phone to remind me of these things.

5. Persevere.

One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is to keep going. There’s a lot of rejection involved with freelancing. There are a lot of pitches that go into the ether and never get a response. You do have to be persistent and follow-up with people but don’t get too attached to any one idea or thing. You have to be able to let that roll off your back and keep going.

 

I’m hoping that the momentum will continue forward. Let’s see what the next quarter has in store, yes?

Did you set goals for 2014? How has your first quarter been?

2014 Goals posts:

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Comments

  1. says

    You have done so many amazing things and I’m just in awe! I truly hope you’re taking time to just relish in what you’ve accomplished in such a short time this year. I’m going to take your advice on focusing to heart. As freelance writing can definitely be difficult but, if you stick to it, something will eventually stick!! Thanks Christine.
    Allie recently posted..The Rundown: Being ChasedMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you Allie. It’s funny to look back on it because I was so stuck in the weeds for a while (still kind of am). It nice to have some perspective. Freelancing is no joke! It takes a lot of persistence and perseverance which I think you have a lot of :-)
      Christine Yu recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Good VibesMy Profile

    • says

      Yes! I know that I need to make more time for yoga. It’s such an interesting act trying to balance (or find some semblance of balance) with all these things without going crazy! I kind of wish I was 10 years younger instead of embarking on my yoga career now.
      Christine Yu recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Good VibesMy Profile

  2. says

    Your writing accolades are fantastic and well-deserved. Love the reflections here. I think the spaghetti approach may be a necessary first step until you figure out what works for you and what you want to do. If you waited until you figured that out, you might not ever get to do-ing.
    Coco recently posted..Sharp Objects Book ReviewMy Profile

  3. says

    I jumped on the “do” bandwagon recently by adopting a similar goal for 2014. My word is “act.” I spend a lot of time thinking about what I will do next, instead of acting. Cheers to getting in the arena!
    Carrie recently posted..Practicing PracticeMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Carrie! Yes, I found that I would sit and make lists of all the things that I would need to do or research it to death but then would be paralyzed and not know how to start. Focusing on Do (Act) has really helped me to get out of my head and worry less that everything is going to line up perfectly.
      Christine Yu recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Good VibesMy Profile

  4. says

    My first quarter was about acceptance, and this next quarter is about growth in that acceptance. I love your spaghetti theory. When I started doing work for other companies I thought I should pitch to every company that I use, no matter how little I used them. But because I decided to stick to being me opportunities have come to me that I would’ve never expected.

    You are DOING a ton of great things this year and it has been amazing to follow your journey.
    Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly’s recently posted..Weekly Updates: 03/24/14 – 03/30/14My Profile

  5. says

    Oh this makes me so happy for you!! You really are taking “Do” to heart. I definitely think relationships matter. I have 2 clients because of a blog friendship. You just never know who might end up being there to help you and who you might be able to also help in return.

  6. says

    I’d say your 2014 is off to a stellar start! I love your tips on pitching – that is something I really need to start doing. I can tell I’m the one holding myself back…eek. We will have to do that yoga night again – it was such a big hit!

  7. says

    AHHH do, i love it!! I also love your openness about freelancing. I am finally forcing myself this year to also put it out there and feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. Sometimes it works and lots of times it doesn’t…hopefully I just keep getting better! Congrats on the amazing success you’ve had lately with your words!
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted..12 Tips to run through allergy seasonMy Profile

    • says

      I definitely feel like I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time, like I’m fumbling around. I do think that it gets better once we start to find our way a little more. Can I tell you how much I love seeing all the things that you are doing?? It inspires and motivates me.
      Christine Yu recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Good VibesMy Profile

  8. says

    Sounds like you have made some amazing progress! Don’t beat yourself up. I have some new writing goals as well – but it is hard to squeeze them in since I already have a full-time job and 3 kids. I need to be kind to myself, but I do have my days when I get frustrated. Congrats on your first quarter! :)
    Kerry recently posted..Her Juggle: Christina FowlerMy Profile

  9. says

    I’m really ready for April here. And it will get warm and sunny, maybe even close to it this week!
    I think I needed to hear about being a writer and not a waiter. I currently pitch..um..nowhere.
    It’s time to change that. I usually fall into things out of luck.
    Tamara recently posted..Science Fiction Double Feature.My Profile

    • says

      Yes! That’s normally what happens to me – fall into things out of luck. I was just talking to my husband about it too about how I’m not doing nearly half of the things I should be doing to market myself and find new opportunities. It’s overwhelming to think about sometimes, but thinking about one small step helps. And yay for April!
      Christine Yu recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Good VibesMy Profile

  10. says

    Love the quote “throwing spaghetti against the ceiling”!
    Lately, I’m finding myself in a similar space; lots of irons in the fire, waiting to see which ones light up.
    My plan of action? To spend some time with an online business coach to help me refine my focus!

  11. says

    Seriously great start to the year! I am trying to DO but still feel very overwhelmed with raising the four littles. I am at that point where I don’t want to look back thinking I missed out on spending time with them while they are so young, but then there are days I just crave finding something that I’ve accomplished. Still working on it.
    Melanie @ Nutritious Eats recently posted..Roasted Salmon with LeeksMy Profile

  12. says

    You’ve been doing such amazing things already, Christine!
    Great lessons, I totally relate to persevere and get focused. Both require baby steps, but once you’re there, you’re there!
    Alison recently posted..Plans SchplansMy Profile

  13. says

    I needed to read this today! First of all, I am SO happy for you! What an amazing year already! You should be very proud of yourself. It’s no wonder that things are happening. You are focused! I want this year to be my year that I find something that makes me feel like I can call myself a writer. I always feel like I’m on the fence, afraid to submit my writing. I could pretend I don’t know what to do to get started, but the truth is, I’m afraid of rejection. Ugh! I felt good to say that. You’re an inspiration, my friend! XO
    Adrienne Bolton recently posted..$50 YogaOutlet.com Gift Card GiveawayMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you Adrienne so much for your support. I do cringe at calling myself a writer and I feel like I have to preface it in some way. Once I got over the rejection bit and accepted the fact that I would get rejected many times over, it’s been easier to submit things.
      Christine Yu recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Good VibesMy Profile

  14. says

    Do is the perfect word for 2014! I’m going to steal that idea, it’s so relevant to my life right now. Thank you! I’ve decided to stop sitting and start doing and the results have been wonderful. It’s amazing g how much we can accomplish if we set our minds to something.
    Jenny recently posted..The Magical Ice MachineMy Profile

  15. says

    How timely is this post? Last week I wrote about looking at Spring as New Year 2.0 and dusting off the new year goals and moving forward. I think the first quarter is the toughest! My first quarter has been pretty good. Lots of things to do but making steady progress. Like you, my thought is to do at least on thing every day toward my goal. I feel like progress is progress. Whether it’s one step or ten – it’s moving forward!
    Camesha recently posted..Wanna Feel Good? Start Here…My Profile

  16. says

    Some great lessons in that post!! Your year is off to a great start, and hope it continues. My goals for 2014 are to get through each day, spend as much time as I can with my daughter, and try to let time take care of everything else. My running is my salvation and most of my actual goals revolve around that.
    Robin recently posted..Around the Bay #5My Profile

  17. says

    I thought I commented on this earlier but in my whirlwind, I see that I didn’t.

    I love how you’re refining your goals to allow yourself to be more successful but still with the same end point in mind.

    I think you’re doing great with your writing. It makes me smile to see your name with all of these great articles. I’m looking forward to one day being your yoga student.

    Perhaps we need to make a pact so we both drink more water and get to sleep earlier?!
    Melissa Burton recently posted..A Ragnar Relay PlaylistMy Profile

  18. says

    It’s so true that we can only achieve our goals by doing. So many of us are waiting, for better skills, more time, inspiration. But dreaming is nothing, without the action. I’ve found the power of daily (mini) habits works best (for me it’s the challenge of making art every day, in whatever form it takes). Set out your intentions and the rest will follow.
    Joanna recently posted..Taking Control By Letting GoMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creating a life you love - what that means, what that looks like. I recently had an opportunity to talk about this with my friend Kindal aka Taylor for her podcast about this topic. Having had my head down and so focused on just getting through the day, I really appreciated the opportunity to stop and reflect on how I’ve started to move towards doing work that is meaningful to me. […]

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