Miles on the Road Less Traveled

And the WINNER is... Nicolle!!

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Some people make goals for the year.

I did that. I wanted to save 20% of my writing earnings in an envelope to prepare for a full time writing career. It is marked GO-PRO and currently has $1,390 in it! I also made a goal to drink more water… and have been less successful at that.

Some people pick a word to represent the direction they want to go for the year.

I did that too, thanks to the prompting of the leader of my writing group. My word is connections, and in another blog post, on another Writing Wednesday, I will explain the way I am living that out, literally one day at a time.

Some people make SMART goals, create charts to track progress, resolve to do A,B and/or C, get accountability partners, and the list rolls on and on. This year I did something a little different. I picked a theme song.

This isn’t something totally new for me. When I was in high school and on the gymnastics team, we would pick a song to play during the warm up for Floor Exercise. For two minutes we would tumble and leap and dance and stretch and get ready to compete. Each year a new song would be chosen to play during this time, to pump us up. The year I was a Junior we listened to “I’m in a Hurry” by Alabama. It must have worked because we hurried ourselves all the way to a second place finish at the state meet that year. Every time I hear this song, I still think of my teammates, and that season, and all of our hours together in the gym.

My former co-workers and I also used to pick a song that signified our school year… something to help us make sense of the crazy days we lived in public middle school education. One year Billy Currington was our man, and his song “God is Great, Beer is Good and People Are Crazy” seemed to sum up our year perfectly.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when this song singled itself out. I didn’t think, “Hey, I need a song, a motivating force, to remind me what I’m doing in this big crazy journey of authorprenuership.” I didn’t think, “I need something that will pick me up, fire me up and push me onward”. But the song found me and it stuck.

Take a listen.

I could wax on and off about the meaning of the lyrics and the ways they connect to my goals and dreams, my emotions and my work… but I think they are pretty obvious. No moody, read-between-the-lines-to-interpret-my-soul lyrics for this girl. (At least, not this time.)

It’s all out there. Plain and simple. I want to be a full-time writer and writing coach, and as crazy as that might seem to some people, I don’t really care. I am giving it my all and working by butt off to get there. And this song is my cheerleader.

On an even more basic level, this big dream of mine has taken me, quite literally on the road. Since January 1st I have participated, facilitated, taught or presented at 13 author events (and have 4 more scheduled for June). In the past 5 months I have driven 2, 124 miles to be where my work takes me.

Here’s what that looks like.

Each trip, each location, each event, each presentation, each business card I handed out, connection I made, each and every mile on the road this year has brought me closer to my overall destination. So far the road of 2017 has brought me pretty far. I’m excited to see where it leads to next.

1: Rainy day road trip to Ontario, WI for Brookwood Family Literacy Night, 2: Along the shores of Lake Winnebago after an event for the Wisconsin Geocaching Association in Fond Du Lac, WI, 3: Author badge at WEMTA (Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association) Conference, 4: Hitting the road to Chippewa Falls, WI for a Gifted and Talented Workshop in my fabulous heart shaped aviators. 5: Driving past the paper mills that produce my favorite consumer product on the east side of the state, 6: The earliest time I ever stopped at the Kwik Trip near by home (5:25am) before hitting the road for Eau Claire, WI. 7: All fueld up with my life blood (Diet Pepsi - not sure where I was traveling here… to be honest, I wouldn’t even have to be traveling to take this picture), 8: Placard outside of the Charmant Hotel in La Crosse, WI for my reading/speaking event about Champion Chocolatier, 9: Untitled Town website (where I spoke for Green Bay’s first annual book and author festival), 10: Showcasing the new ride (I am super proud of this picture because I now make enough money as a writer to make the monthly payments on this vehicle. It feels good that my passion project can contribute to my family financially), 11: Windmills on the way to the east side of the state (for those of you who know me, you know these gargantuan pieces of machinery freak me out. I had to document the occasion.)