Bringing You Up To Speed

Good morning everyone! It has been wayy too long since my last post, almost two months now. A lot has developed over this summer, and now that I have figured out a semi-coherent game plan for the next couple of months, I am eager to get started in pursuing my goals.

On my last post, I mentioned that I was going to be running the Marine Corps Marathon. Unfortunately this goal has been put on hold for the moment. In an earlier post I discussed “The Balancing Act,” as I attempted to juggle my social life, my professional life, and my personal health. Well it proved to be slightly more challenging that I would have anticipated, and I may have been a little over eager in my athletics pursuits over the summer. Between going out with friends on the weekends, catching up on my writing during the weekdays, and working the 9 – 5 grind, it quickly became more and more difficult to manage all of those factors and so I had to make some personal decisions on what was best for me.

But not too worry, I’ve still been keeping active as much as I can. Now that my summer internship is over, I have some more free time to pursue my dreams and goals which include writing my book on the cross-country bike trip, keeping up with this blog as I work through the obstacles and challenges that come with such an endeavor, and continuing to hit the road with my dad on our bikes. In fact, in a little over a week Ralph and I will be taking on our first century ride since we reached the East Coast over three months ago.

It’s amazing how quickly time can slip away when you are busy doing other things. This summer I quickly fell into a routine, as I got ready for work, made my commute, and came home exhausted after a long day at the office. It was an exciting, educational, and occasionally frustrating experience as I struggled to find a balance between work and play, but I am grateful for the experience because it taught me so much about the value of our decisions and the fleeting nature of time. When you fall into the 9 – 5 schedule, suddenly you find yourself occupied with work and work related activities with your co-workers and you find your other goals quickly falling by the wayside.

“I don’t have time,” I would tell myself, or “I put in a honest day’s work, now it’s time to relax.” These are just excuses we tell ourselves, those who really want to achieve their dreams are forced to make those hard choices every day. You have to ask yourself during those moments of uncertainty, do I want to sleep, or do I want to go out there and take the harder route in life? Sometimes those questions are easier to answer on those good days, but more often than they aren’t. But, if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it.

So after talking with my folks about what my next step was going to be in this post-ride world I now live in, we came to the conclusion that the experiences I went through and the lessons I learned along the way are worthy of a book. After talking with a professional author/journalist/writing coach/publicist, we outlined a basic idea for what the book should contain and how we were going to go about completing it on a schedule that will be both efficient and comprehensive. At the end of next week I am hoping to have a rough draft of the prologue and the first two chapters written out for her review, and from there we will move on to the next challenge.

A few of the most difficult things I’ve come to realize about writing a full-length book is 1) getting started and 2) keeping focused on the task at hand. With these two challenges laid out before me, I started to do a little research on how to best keep motivated and consistent with my writing. I began to approach my writing in a very different manner than I would usually, instead of just writing blindly with no real focus, I’ve begun laying out a basic foundation for what I am going to support my story on.

In terms of staying on task and keeping motivated, I’ve reached out to another blogger/childhood friend of mine to be my “writing buddy.” Essentially this means that he is going to be the guy who reminds me I should be writing, I will be submitting my writing to him on a weekly basis if he agrees to assist me and in this way I will be held accountable for my progress by both himself and me.   

It is an exciting development to say the least, and I am looking forward to these next few weeks as we say goodbye to the endless sunshine and warm breezes of summer, and look towards apple picking and leaf piles of the fall. Until next time, be sure to leave it on the road.

Danielle Rivenbark