Building With Trust – Writing Resolutions Blog Hop


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I have been writing since I was seven years old, and telling stories in my own mind as far back as I can remember, way back in my early toddlerhood.

For many years, the majority of what I wrote was contained by the walls of a growing stack of spiral-bound notebooks, stored in the warehouse of a cupboard.

Eventually, I began a blog, and added to it on occasion. Still, I did nothing at all to publicize it…this was in the days before Facebook. I had a seldom-used LiveJournal page, and a MySpace page I don’t think I updated even half a dozen times.

I was using other walls and warehouses for my words…

Until 2009.

A lot changed that year, from the way we parent to the way I see the world, to how I approach and share my writing.

I revived my Blogger blog, The Unfettered Life, which I had not posted to in six years, and shifted its focus to documenting our first steps into the worlds of unschooling and partnership parenting.

Later that year, I participated in the National Novel Writing Month November Challenge (NaNoWriMo) for the first time. I made a commitment to myself that I would not disrupt the rhythms and flows of our daily lives. The children were 8 and 5 that year – I finished the challenge, but barely, with about two-thirds of the novel Blood and Breath completed.

I participated in my first blog hop that December. I’d joined facebook the year before, and began to link my posts there, which, six years after starting the blog, finally gave me a readership.

I attempted NaNo again in 2011, finishing more quickly, and with more words, as well. A second mostly finished novel, Chameleon’s Dish, joined Blood and Breath.

Realizing that these challenges – loosely structured, but with lots of room for individualism – suited me ideally, I was considering more blog hops when a friend mentioned A Round of Words in 80 Days.

Ancient (pre-children) copies of the original Trueborn…..waiting for a re-imagining!

I signed up for my first round a year ago – a year that saw:

  • Chameleon’s Dish seen through to completed rough draft status

  • Two more novels well begun through NaNo and the all-new Camp NaNo

  • Two poems and an essay published for pay

  • Enough poems to make a book

  • Over two hundred posts in my writer blog

  • Expanding into flash fiction, book reviews, social media, and marketing

  • Many new writing friends,connections, and resources

In short, last year, I went from being someone who writes things no one sees – to simply being a writer.

I am someone who writes to share, now, and I am claiming my passion, my talent, and my life for myself…

So this year is about trust.

I am going to trust in myself, in the ebbs and flows of energy and creativity, in the life that I live, and in myself, as a writer, and otherwise.

I will use trust to build the writing life I want to be living.

I will use trust to go ever more deeply into myself, to delve my truths, and to share them.

I will trust.

More specifically, I do have a few goals for the year, and I will be striving to meet these with ROW80 and other tools, wielded as needed:

The clutter of creativity… a very mild form! =)


  • Participate in June and August Camp NaNoWriMo, and November NaNoWriMo, for three more WIP novels.

  • Complete rough drafts of Sima Garo Provides, To Be Or Not To Be, and Blood and Breath.

  • Separate Chameleon’s Dish into two WIP drafts – one for fanfic elements, and the other for Tisiira’s original storyline. Take notes for first round revisions; quick copy editing run.

  • Create and submit flash fiction and expository writing.


  • Complete at least one post weekly for shanjeniah, Trueborn Jottings, and The Unfettered Life.

  • Create blogrolls for shanjeniah and Trueborn Jottings.

  • Edit sidebars, pages, and posts in shanjeniah, Trueborn Jottings, and The Unfettered Life.

  • Continue connecting via Facebook, Twitter, and ROW80.

  • Expand my social networking to more fully incorporate Pinterest, She Writes, Story Dam, and LinkedIn.

  • Enter blog hops and challenges, to share, and to connect.

  • Read and review works by writers in my networks.


  • Complete and publish my poetry WIP, Queen of My Infinite Spaces.

  • Continue exploring my own experiences, wounds, healing, and perspectives.

  • Reclaim my virtual and real-life spaces where they have become cluttered or outdated.

  • Continue with my 2012 fitness goals, and stretch myself into new challenges.

Warehoused words, yearning to be freed!

Read my ROW80 2013 Round One Goals

That may seem like a lot, but those who know me will know that I thrive on a smorgasbord of goals and possibilities. And I am trusting in myself that these are the goals I most want to meet, and those which I will strive for with the greatest energy and focus.

These goals go deeper than a professional focus. These are meaningful to me on a far more personal level – they are about living my life with intention, and, now that the children, at 11 and 8, are both quite independent and capable of meeting many needs they used to rely upon  me to fill, it is a step toward the shift that must occur for all of us as they mature toward the point where they are ready to fully manage their own lives, and my focus is no longer so much on being their mom and facilitating their learning.

These goals will carry me forward, trustingly, toward the next phase of my life, just appearing on the horizon…

Read other writing resolutions here – it’s a BLOG HOP!


    • Annabelle –

      I really like these goals…they flow together well, and give me motivation without stress.

      I hope you love the adventure of considering you own goals and striving to meet them!

    • Nancy –

      I finally got around to your blog, and loved your resolutions post. A move of that magnitude is no modest undertaking, even without writing. I think you sell yourself short.

      As it turns out, I have rewritten my goals as a result of a class I am taking. They are still ambitious, as I thrive on challenges that stretch me and shake me up, but now, they move me toward a clearer vision o my future as a writer, and a person. And they honor all the things I hold most dear…

      May we both achieve more than we dreamed, this year! =D

    • Eden –

      A few years ago, it would have been almost impossible.

      But in learning to trust the children, a funny thing happened – I started to trust myself, too…

      I’m still learning, and deepening, but, more and more, I see this as an attainable aspiration.

      Already, it’s moving through me in interesting ways…I am eager to see what this year of trust will bring!

      And thank you.

      P.S. I trust you. And I’ve had lots of time to see that it’s not misplaced trust. You are magnificent, and I LOVE when you own that! =D

      • I think you said it best when you noted that you started learning to trust yourself when you started trusting others, namely your children. There is something powerful in trusting against the norms of society, in realizing that the masses do not hold all authority or knowledge in a situation. And in making that step… that leap, you were showing trust in yourself in a way you had not realized yet.

        Here we’re finding similar paths, though different. We’re all learning most what works for us as a family and how we all best work. It’s not perfection, but it is good and happy and generally peaceful. And it’s all the netter because, though you inspired us, we have found our own way.

        • Sys-

          It took me a long time (a really, really long time, actually!), to realize that no two families can walk the same path. And we all travel a continuum…

          Where you are, the path your family is on, is more peaceful and respectful to all of you than it once was. That’s a good thing. Looked at a few years from now, it may be the very beginning of a journey up ahead, in the fog….

          Where we are is not where we were, a few years ago. It’s not where we plan to end up, either…we, too, continue to grow, learn, and adapt..

          Children change….what works today might be useless to everyone next week…

          I no longer feel a need to direct your path in any way. You guys have got this…

          I do think you are right about trusting outside the norms…it does shift so many things.

  1. Shan Jeniah —

    “I am going to trust in myself, in the ebbs and flows of energy and creativity, in the life that I live, and in myself, as a writer, and otherwise.”

    Well said and so important. I haven’t come across A Round of Words in 80 days before (a nice take on the Jules Verne novel, BTW!) — will have to check it out.

    Hope 2103 brings you lots of good things, both writerly and non-writerly!

    • Neve –

      Sorry it took so long to respond to your kind words.

      It’s been a long journey, and an interesting one, learning to trust in my own energies, and the flow of life.

      ROW80 is a wonderful tool, and a supportive community of people who understand the passion to write, and that life doesn’t always make finding time for that passion easy.

      May your 2013 be breathtaking! =D

  2. Hi Shan,

    These are very specific goals, what a great job knowing exactly what you want to do and where you need to go! I wish I was half as organized as you are. Thank you for sharing all the links, I will have to check out the Round of Words. I never heard of it before.

    I am a Nano veteran and love hearing other people’s success stories with the program. I love it so much and highly recommend the experience to anyone I meet! Best of luck in your 2013 Nano adventures!

    I’d love it if you’d like to check out my blog in the blog hop:

    Happy New Year!

    • Danyelle –

      I am so sorry that I am only now getting to respond to you!

      Obviously, I am only about half organized, but I am now making a concerted effort to respond to the backlog of comments on a regular Monday/Thursday schedule.

      I hope you will check out ROW80 – it is not only a great and adaptable challenge, but the community is filled with people who want to support and encourage one another.

      Setting the goals each round, and reporting to the group twice weekly, gives me lots of chances to evaluate my goals, both the short and long term.

      Visiting other participants’ blogs has led to some wonderful friendships, and many ideas I would not have likely found, myself….

      I love NaNo. I am planning on doing all three, this year! =D

  3. Shanjenha– Thank you for this introspective post. I have found it encouraging and I have learned some new things. Thank you! Building a community of writers/readers is a big goal of mine, currently, as I write and live in southern Brazil. I am quite isolated from others that love books! But it is a good place to be writing in solitude.

    Please visit my blog:

    I wish you the best this New Year and to trust…

    Happy New Year!

    Stephanie Renee dos Santos

    • Stephanie –

      I am so sorry that I did not get to this sooner. I imagine Brazil is a lovely, rich place to write.

      I will stop by your blog within the next few days…just now, I have a few things I have to get off my plate.

      I hope your 2013 has been and continues to be prolific and lovely!

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