Creature of habit

Estée Janssens

As we grow older and (somewhat) wiser, we soon realize that one of our most precious commodities is time.

I have always had trouble with achieving life balance. I work full-time, am a single mother and always have a list of my personal projects on the go. I habitually overextend myself and want to be the perfect mother, the ideal employee and the present friend. In order to achieve some semblance of this (despite not always being perfect, ideal or present), I have turned to time management and routine as the means of accomplishing more and achieving a better balance.

I began doing this a little over two years ago as my daughter had become a young adult and I realized that I had a lot more free time and did absolutely nothing constructive with it. I agreeably joined others’ plans, gave my all at work during the week and lived according to the rhythm of my daughter’s routine.

I felt like I didn’t have an agency of my own within my own life. I didn’t really make any decisions about my time. I drifted and got things done without really thinking about it. I watched an interesting Youtube video where an author I admire was speaking and discussing designing one’s life. It really made me think about my own aspirations, what I enjoyed and what was a chore.

On Sundays, I began to list what I wanted my weeks to look like. I included self-care (such as time to simply read). As time went on, I bought a planner and began to really block out time to accomplish what I want to do. Over a few months, I realized that I was at the best moment in my life to begin writing again which up to that point, I had decided I would do when I would retire.

I still struggle with maintaining my writing routine as life happens. Unpredictable things come up and we all have moments where we need to simply take care of ourselves and rest however, planning my time is still my go to when I feel like I have suddenly started standing still and am no longer accomplishing what I wish to accomplish.

It’s back to the drawing board over and over. I switch my routine all of the time but I stay focused and I stay on track, chipping away at what I wish to accomplish little by little.

Intellectual Property Theft

Intellectual Property Theft Jokers

We live in a world where we can access each other’s ideas, information and research extremely easily.

We are blessed as so many people share their knowledge with one another in the hopes that they may perhaps save you time, show you a different way to do something more effectively, share their passions, etc. Just this week, I bought a disc bound planner in order to create my own binder system for my writing process and I benefited from tutorials on how to create your own dividers and covers, what size to buy for letter sized sheets, etc. I was very grateful that it simplified the process for me.

Three years ago, I decided to try self-publishing and I had brainstormed several concepts until I finally found the one which just seemed to sit right with me. The name of my company meant something to me on a personal level but it was also catchy on a professional level. I had a timeline of the different ideas I had and I was enthusiastic to start the process. For personal reasons, I had to wait to wait to register the company because I was a bit overwhelmed with other things going on in my life but I told myself one step at a time.

I happened on several articles on the net which basically said that even if you had not yet registered your company, you could start branding your content, etc. because nobody would bother to steal the branding or name of an unknown brand. It made perfect sense to me at the time. There would be no reason for anyone to take my ideas as I was just building it up slowly. I was a nobody really. I didn’t have anything to worry about. My good friend Ceta told me this was my first mistake. Thinking I was nobody.

I had been active with my branding for a few months when one day, I wanted to quickly search for my site in Google rather than via WordPress and I googled it. Interestingly, I found another site with the same name although a different .com address. The name of their company was unavailable as a .com as I had purchased it the year before and I will continue renewing it until it no longer irritates me.

At the beginning, I thought that it was just a coincidence. I went on the website for additional information. I am situated in Quebec and the newly founded publishing house was situated in Ontario. I was taken aback when I saw it was registered in March of 2021 and even more shocked when I saw the names of the owners and realized one was following me. I obviously blocked him as I was so upset and felt ridiculous for having given the whole situation the benefit of the doubt.

All I have to say to the group of four men in question is if you aren’t creative or original enough to come up with your own concepts, you are going to have a really hard time creating interesting content for your publishing house.

I am not really writing this to bash them. I am writing this so anyone in my position can benefit from my experience. Even if you think you are “nobody”, you are – as my friend Ceta would remind you “somebody”.

Be careful with your ideas and concepts and don’t start branding before your company is registered. Learn from my experience and my mistake.

I will undoubtedly make many more mistakes in this process but I am a steadfast believer that “if you want to grow, you need to get over any fear you have of making mistakes” (John Maxwell).

Camp Nanowrimo 2021 – “O”

I have been working on a trilogy for a little more than two years now.

Due to mistakes I have made while writing this trilogy, the last instalment has been a bit of a frustrating journey. It is alright though as I will definitely not make the same mistakes twice. I will undoubtedly make many new ones.

For this reason when the time for Camp Nanowrimo rolled around, I decided to enjoy the newfound freedom of Summer with a capital S and the release of COVID restrictions. After two years of being inside, I just wanted to enjoy myself.

I decided to start a new story (temporarily called “O”) which I will post on Wattpad (for the first time ever) on August 1st.

This new story has taken the form of a twisted fairy tale, loosely plotted to allow the bizarre last two years of my (our) life to take on a life of its own.

It is exactly the breath of fresh air I needed. Written in a neighbourhood cafe illuminated by colourful lanterns on Parc Avenue surrounded by all the drama of inner city downtown life & also written all tucked up in bed, with the patio door open to let in the night’s cool breeze, “O” is the perfect summer project.