TBU#33 Our Words of the Year… 6 months in

Episode 33 August 08, 2023 00:35:39
TBU#33 Our Words of the Year… 6 months in
Two Booked Up
TBU#33 Our Words of the Year… 6 months in

Aug 08 2023 | 00:35:39


Hosted By

Rowena Mabbott Shelley Tonkin Smith

Show Notes

In this episode, Shelley and Rowena reflect on their words for the year. The bookworms are revisiting the idea they shared in their most popular episode, Episode 21: "February is the new January — our guiding words." With over half the year behind them, they're checking in on their progress.

Shelley shares how her word "momentum" has supported her to make a particularly important decision in her business. And Rowena's phrase for the year, "curate and cultivate" has resulted in her writing a novel — much to her (happy) surprise!

If you've ever wondered how a "word of the year" actually works — then there's plenty for you in this episode. Shelley and Rowena will share more on how their words/phrases have helped them with intention-setting and a light focus to the year.

Links Mentioned

Two Booked Up Episode 21 - February is the New January

Procrastination Pro - Signup for the VIP waitlist and get the first lesson FREE!

Podcast Jumpstart  - Get the 75-minute video workshop (plus bonus checklists and spreadsheets) about how to start a podcast. R197 / ±A$17 / ±US$11

Rowena’s Author Opt-In - Signup to hear more about her new novel, Avoiding The Friend Zone, coming soon!

The Two Booked Up 23 for 2023 Reading Challenge

Have you signed up for the Two Booked Up 23 for 2023 Reading Challenge? This is a playful way you can build a reading habit and bring some intention to your reading life. We’ll be talking about the books we’ve each been reading for the Challenge in our next episode.

Sign up for your PDF Checklist for the Two Booked Up 23 for 2023 Reading Challenge here

When you download the PDF, we’ll add you to our Two Booked Up Email list so that we can continue the fun together (but you can unsubscribe anytime).

Connect with us:

Find us online at twobookedup.com and keep in touch with Two Booked Up via email by signing up for the Two Booked Up Bookclub.

Connect with Rowena @rowenamabbott on IG and at rowenamabbott.com. You can also get Rowena’s FREE e-book, The A - Z of Career and Life Confidence here.

Connect with Shelley @shelleysmithcreative on IG and @ShelleyTSmith on Twitter. Her copywriting business is at shelleysmithcreative.com and her writing and other musings are at shelleytonkinsmith.com.


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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Rowena: Hello friends. Thank you for joining Shelley and me on Two Booked Up today. I'm Rowena Mabbott, and today we're reflecting on our words for the year. [00:00:13] Shelley: Yes. We'll be sharing how our words, or in Rowena's case, her phrase for the year, have been supporting us or not over the first half of 2023. We'll reflect on how our words have influenced our decision making in both our business and our personal lives. [00:00:33] Rowena: And sharing the successes and maybe some surprises that have come with having a guiding word or phrase of the year. So without further ado, let's get started. [00:00:44] Shelley: This is the Two Booked Up Podcast, where we talk about books. [00:00:54] Rowena: The books that are challenging us to live more intentional lives [00:00:57] Shelley: The books that are equipping us on our business and professional journeys. [00:01:01] Rowena: and the books that delight and bring us joy. [00:01:05] Shelley: So if you want to live life with more intention, and if you want to be doing work that brings you joy, then come and join the bookish conversation with me, Shelley Tonkin Smith. [00:01:15] Rowena: And me Rowena Mabbott here on Two Booked Up. [00:01:18] Shelley: So Rowena, in our last episode, we wrapped up the books that we featured in season two of Two Booked Up, and now we are revisiting the idea we shared in our most popular episode, which was episode 21 of this. Season two, which was entitled, February is The New January, and that idea was our guiding words for the year. [00:01:49] Rowena: Yes, Shelly, that episode has been our most popular episode of season two. And so now with it being about halfway through the year, it felt timely to check in and share how our words of the year are supporting us. So now a quick reminder because it's been a little while since that episode. So what is a word of the year? So it's a guiding word, so it's a word that perhaps gives you a little bit of a flavor or a feel for the year, and it can help be quite intentional. So you intentionally choose it and it can give you a sense of intention about your. Your year. So why do we set one? Because it gives you focus or a little bit of intention, as I said, but it can also be a creative spin on goals. So some people, for example, and we share more about this in episode 21, a word or a phrase in my case, can support us, like intention setting. So intentions are a more guiding approach, whereas goals are often more specific. And so a guiding word or a phrase for the year is a guiding intention for the year. So Shelly, perhaps you can remind us of your guiding word for the year and share briefly why you chose it. [00:03:02] Shelley: Yeah, so my guiding word is momentum, and I chose it because I was aiming for movements and incremental progress. I was aiming for an experimental approach and like gaining momentum as I moved through the year. I also was really aiming for collaboration over perfection. This idea of I don't have to have all the answers and I don't have to be perfect and I can bring other people into my thinking. I don't have to have it all figured out. And then I also started getting micro words into momentum. Because we were reading 4,000 weeks, this word of moments and living in the moments was also very key for me. And the first part of momentum is mom. And so I just felt that that brought in my role as mom to my boys. And, uh, I'll, as I'll share later, I became a puppy mom. Just in the last month really. So I gained momentum in that regard. So yeah, Rowena, that's, my word of the year. Now, I know you have a guiding phrase for the year. Share with us what that guiding phrase is. [00:04:09] Rowena: So, yes, I love your word momentum, and I actually have used it a few times in the last week myself because it's such a great word. But I have a phrase which is curate and cultivate. Now it's a tongue twister, so don't say it 10 times fast, but it is curate and cultivate. And so the idea is that both curation and cultivation are about being selective or perhaps as we've been talking about in this season, intentional. And so this phrase was really to remind me to be very selective about what I choose to do, um, in my business and in my life. So I, when I looked at the two words, curate is being selective and deliberate, but cultivate means to improve, to grow, to nurture, and to develop. And so that's why I chose those words because I felt like that those were a good balance. [00:05:00] Shelley: So You're not trying to like, aim for everything. You getting that Essentialism kind of focus of the curation side of things and there then you pour in energy in and cultivation into those, aspects of your life that you've chosen. [00:05:13] Rowena: Exactly. And I love how you've referenced Essentialism. 'cause it's very much along those lines of choosing, well, it's kind of a theme that we've talked about a few times in our various books about choosing what matters and then focusing on that. So Shelly, big picture. What has been the impact for you with your word of the Year in a big picture sense. [00:05:33] Shelley: Big picture for me. I have found that I use my word momentum as a lens through which to make all my decisions. Um, so I will go, okay, do I have, you know, I've got this decision, and it can be a big or small decision, but if I find myself a little bit confused or wondering what to do, I, I ask myself, okay, does this fit in with the idea of momentum? Does this add or subtract from my feeling of momentum that I'm aiming for? And if it doesn't, like maybe how can I change this decision or reframe it in a way that it can align with this idea of gaining momentum or maybe as I discovered this, this year, um, maybe, uh, reigning in the momentum just a little bit when things are feeling a little out of control. So I was sort of aiming for this gaining of momentum. Really, in some places of my life, the momentum was out of control, like I was hurtling in down a hill. And so I've had to maybe draw on a little bit of your curation and be quite intentional about managing the momentum and sort of harnessing it and, and taking control myself, so, In addition to momentum, I also found things coming up of me needing to be strong, me needing to be a leader in my own life and take control of my own life, make choices for myself. And I kind of, if I, you know, use the idea of this wheel running down a hill, uh, just this. Blind momentum is, is the wheel running down the hill? But if you kind of add axles to that wheel, you kind of just harness it, take a bit of control over it. Um, and in that way you can kind of control the momentum and really get a whole lot more out of it. So that's been just like a very big picture, interesting way of, of thinking about my year. [00:07:32] Rowena: Shelly, I love that. And I'm, I, what I'm hearing is it's this idea about this intentional control of momentum, but I, what I'm visualizing, rather than your axles, I'm just imagining riding a bicycle and you're like kind of riding the brakes on the bike on as you're descending the hill. So you, you know, you're squeezing the brakes hard and you're going just slow down, slow down, slow down. But I also love that the momentum. By you stepping into your leadership in your own life, that's still momentum because you're moving forward. You're just moving forward in a specific direction rather than in a general kind of, oh my gosh, I'm going a bit outta control down the hill and I don't know which direction I'm going. So it's really that steering piece that I love that you've brought into that. So for me, Big picture. The curate and cultivate has influenced me very widely. And like you, Shelly, I have used it as a lens for decision making. So oftentimes I've thought, well, does this activity, does this task, does this, anything, fill in the blank, um, align with what I want from that phrase. So what's that phrase really mean? What's the feeling I want to have behind it? Because as a coach, we often talk, I often talk with my clients about what's the feeling behind that, because it's how you wanna feel that you connect to that, and that then helps you keep motivated. So for me, the curate and cultivate phrase, the feeling behind that is that sense of excitement about cultivating, but knowing that what I'm cultivating is stuff that's really aligned to what I care about. And so that lens for decision making has been useful, but I have also been quite practical and even at times I've used it as a mantra. So I think my July blog post I share about how, The curate and cultivate has been a little bit of a kind of daily reminder. Um, and even at times I've had it as a habit or a task or a to-do list item, so it reminds me to take certain actions and then it can also inspire, different habits or behaviors, just that simple phrase. So from a big picture perspective, it's been very influential. [00:09:33] Shelley: That is so cool. And I love that you've also used it as a mantra because it's something that then sticks with you and stays with you. You know, it's one of the kind of drawbacks of goal setting sometimes. People always say, oh, just. Set my goals, but then I forget about them. And I love the simplicity of the guiding phrase because you can recite it back to yourself, remind yourself of it, and then I think that can be really powerful in, in changing your behavior, changing your habits. It also feels, again, to me as a rebel, it feels very. Soft but yet very powerful. So I, I really love that. So I think that's, that's really cool. Ro. So I wanna circle back to the decision making aspects of that. And, let's say, have a look first at our businesses. Can you give us a, an example Rowena of how your guiding phrase has influenced decision making in your business? [00:10:26] Rowena: Sure. So, yeah, the phrase for me has helped me get very clear about what I want to work on and cultivate new relationships and new creative projects and outlets. So curate in my business means not just curating what I do for myself. That's obviously a big part of it, but it also includes the products, the offers, and the services that I provide to clients. So it's really putting it, that decision making lens and saying, is this aligned with where I wanna go and where I wanna, how I wanna feel, and using that curate lens to then kind of pass things through. Um, and so within my business as well, I now send out a curated list of articles each month to my mailing list. Um, and based on the feedback that I get, it's a really valuable resource. So I source interesting articles from around the web, around confidence or clarity and intentionality. And occasionally I throw in a fun article and I share them with my audience. So in this way, my efforts at curation assist my clients to cultivate a knowledgeable mindset. So I quite liked that little link there, which then it kind of aligned with my phrase. Um, so what about you, Shelly? Tell me what, how has your word of the year influenced your business? [00:11:38] Shelley: Yeah, so momentum for me was very much of like following where things were sort of clicking and where opportunities in a way were finding me. So one of the offers that I did in my business was the one day work party, and this is a service package where I will. Commit a full day to a particular client's project. So for eight hours or it's actually six hours 'cause we have breaks in between and whatnot. Um, I focus on one specific project and people have loved that. I've had so much interest in that. It was just something that I sort of threw out there and it's really taken on a momentum of its own without me having to push it too much but then, I've had quite a significant change over the last couple of months in that I've taken on a head of content role with one of my clients. So I've been doing copywriting and blog post writing for them, and this is not a full-time role, but it's a lot more comprehensive than what I was doing. And as I was deciding whether to go for this opportunity, I used this word momentum as a guide because I felt I wanted to keep going with my own business. I didn't wanna take on an employee role. And I had to say no to a lot of, other client opportunities. I've had to procrastinate some of my projects. So I had to make a lot of trade offs. I had to do that to free up time to commit to this new role. But this is also where it Workstyle, one of the books that we have read in season two has helped me because I think this becoming a blurred line between what's an employee, what's a freelancer, what's a contractor? There's just your work style. So in that way, I started going, all right, I can adapt this to me and my individual circumstances. And really my clients respects my work style, talking of work style. They are very output driven and I'm also really excited about the content that I'm gonna be writing. It's all about growing and scaling a startup, and then how their growth experiments are working or not working for them. And of course, regular listeners will know that I love this idea of experimenting. And. Overall, the opportunity seemed very aligned, um, even though I knew I would have to make those trade offs. So yes. So we mentioned essentialism. Thank you Greg McKeon for warning me about those trade offs that I would have to make. But yeah, ultimately the word momentum. I was, I was finding momentum on this project. And then also it felt like living in the moment. Um, it feels like at this time in my life, and I've chatted to you, Rowena about this, uh, that this is an opportunity that has almost found me. And so I'm following the momentum of it, and, and I'm seizing it. So that's how Momentum helped me to guide that decision . [00:14:32] Rowena: Beautiful. I love that. And that using that just one word could help you get so much clarity about what, to be honest, is a fairly major decision. So I think you've downplayed a little bit, but I suspect that our listeners can hear that as an entrepreneur choosing to then pick up more hours working for just one organization is quite a shift, and there's a lot of other responsibilities that you hold, so I think that we can all appreciate that how powerful having your momentum word has been for you in helping you use that as a lens to see this particular opportunity through. So yeah, that's [00:15:10] Shelley: absolutely. And, and I'll just, I'll just say that I've had to, one of the trade offs that I've had to make is a procrastination pro. I, I, I kind of in a way feel like. Like, I'm practicing what I preach, but I'm having to procrastinate that that project put it on hold as I take on this new role. Um, I did feel like I lost a bit of momentum on that project and I kind of fell into the perfectionism trap. So I think that's where I was identifying. Hold on a minute. Yeah. Uh, I'm [00:15:38] Rowena: We've all been there. [00:15:39] Shelley: been so supportive. So also, yes. To give a shout out to all the listeners if there's projects that you have that you're just feeling like you're losing momentum or you've fallen into pro procrastination or perfectionist trap. Yeah. As you [00:15:52] Rowena: No, you are not alone. We've all been there. [00:15:55] Shelley: absolutely. But you know what I've decided, I've intentionally decided to procrastinate for a while and I'm trusting that it's time will come if it's meant for me. But Ro, I'd like to turn our attention now to our personal lives. How's curate and cultivates influenced your decision making in your personal life? [00:16:16] Rowena: So. In my personal life it has been incredibly powerful. My phrase, curate and cultivate because basically like my business, it means I'm far more aware of how I spend my time and with whom. So last year I had a phrase, simple and light and everything had to go through the lens of does this feel simple? Does it help me feel light? Um, and that was actually a hangover from after the pandemic I think I needed, and having a long period of lockdown. So that kind of worked. Whereas this year, the curate and cultivate means I'm really getting very focused or intentional. So what I've been doing is prioritizing time with my family and my close friends. And I'm just gonna share some really practical examples because this is personal life stuff, and I'm sure that our listeners are similarly busy with lots of bits and pieces in their life. So one of the things I've done is having a weekly date with my husband. Now, actually, to be fair, this was his suggestion. So he said to me way back at the end of April, I think we should have a Saturday date every week until cricket starts again. So those of you who've listened for a long time know my boys play cricket, and that takes all of the weekend. Once it's cricket season, so right now in the off season, I get to have a day with my husband every Saturday. So that's beautiful. That's a, it's so good. So much better than cricket, and so it's cultivating my relationship with him, which is great because we've been together more than 20 years. So it's kind of nice to have that quality time together. I also sing in a choir, so every week I then, Curate my diary in order to cultivate my singing practice. So as part of my work style is to always make sure I've got time to go to choir practice. I also walk with a neighbor. Every week we go for a walk with our dogs and we have a big old chat and it's, you know, a lovely form of friendship but we are also getting out, we're exercising, we are walking the dog, so we're ticking a lot of boxes. And then monthly I've been working really hard to make sure I do an in-person, catch up with a friend, so making sure I actually go and see someone. So we go for a walk or we go and get coffee or we go for lunch, or we go and do something new, like visit an art gallery or something like that. And so these things are all in my personal life and they're cultivating those relationships with people I care about. I've also been cultivating a certain mindset. Now Shelley, I have been trying to get out of my comfort zone, which. Has been quite challenging at times. Honestly, some of the things I've been doing is I've set myself goals because, you know, I'm an upholder and I am a life coach, so I do like to have a few goals. So I've been hiking every month, so each month I've chosen to do a hike. Some of them have been more successful than others, but my aim is to do. 10 hikes this year. So putting myself outta my comfort zone. And I've also just started to relearn how to ride a bike. So before we started recording, I shared with Shelly that about a week ago I received a bicycle gift from my parents. So it's a birthday gift and I have had to start relearning it. So it's been more than 30 years since I last rode a bike properly. And so I need to kind of relearn how to do that. So it's kind of, it is outta my comfort zone plus curating and cultivating. I have been prioritizing doing things that I absolutely love, which I've definitely shared with you guys about that because part of that is reading, and I've shared in our couple of different episodes about two reading challenges that I'm doing. A fiction one to read 52 books from a particular list, plus of course our 23 for 2023 non-fiction reading challenge. Finally, I have curated how much time I spend doing things that are consuming other people's content. So I'm still listening to books. I'm still reading books, but I'm just skipping some of the social media stuff and maybe not watching quite as much Netflix in the evenings. So what I've done by doing that is I've identified some of the things that I love to do. Which is part of the Cultivate. And one of the things I wanted to cultivate is a new writing practice and not just articles and blog posts and those sorts of things, but creative writing. So that's a new area that I'm cultivating, and I've been writing every day for about three months now. So every day I write a minimum of 500 words. Some of them are great, some of them are pretty ordinary, but it doesn't matter because it's the practice. It's a riding practice. You just keep practicing until you get better. And like riding a bike, right? You have to practice it until you don't fall off anymore. so yeah, and I'm taking a super fun approach to it all. So. I think one of the things that we've talked about multiple times throughout these podcasts, back in season one as well, Shelly did a whole episode about play and the importance of play. I am taking a Playful approach to this cultivation, so it makes it really fun. I know that just like my clients and my kids, I'm far more inclined to keep going with a new habit or a practice if it feels enjoyable. So that would be my little take home message is that if you are thinking about trying something new, make sure it seal feels fun because you're far more likely to keep doing it then. All right. So Shelley, how about you? 'cause I know that your momentum word has definitely influenced you in the, your personal life. [00:21:19] Shelley: Yeah, it definitely has. Um, you know, my work and personal life are so intertwined, but I can share how Momentum has, influenced my decision making on three fronts. I think it, first of all, in homeschooling. I feel like we've really gotten into a really nice rhythm and maintained our momentum so nicely, which is always just so wonderful to feel. Uh, you, you spoke about like the feelings that you're targeting with your clients as well. Like it really does feel great. And then I've then identified, okay, where are we losing a bit of momentum? And that's actually guided my decision to invest in one case, in a specialized program. Because I've felt, okay, wait a minute. I can really see we are losing momentum here and this is worth the investments. So that was like a big decision, but made with this guiding word. And then secondly, with all these changes that I've mentioned in my business, I've also felt the need to invest in my personal and professional development because, Like I said in the beginning, momentum without support is that out of control feeling. And so I feel like adding a bit of support in terms of, uh, like chatting to you, Rowena, we have our monthly meetups. But getting assistance from people who have done the work that I'm going to do. I'm having a, an ask me anything call with someone who, this is what she does so, That, that, that's been two areas there. But I think that word within the word momentum, which is mom, I became a dog mom in the last month or so, and wow. This little Labrador pup of ours has changed our lives drastically. If I reflect on the edition of Titan, his name is Titan, uh, to our family through the lens of momentum. Well, I can come up with lots of analogies, but very literally, he has boundless energy until he doesn't and then he crashes done. So his momentum has got to be managed. And I'm not saying we weren't prepared. You told me I'm not gonna get any sleep and, um, you've, you've encouraged me along the way by sharing your puppy stories and that it does get better. That's been very, that's been the encouraging part, but I've got the sense of. You only know when you're in it. And, and that's okay Sometimes, you know, and I think this, uh, you've, you've gotta live in the moment. Take each day at a time. So there's our moment, my moment, word in momentum. And have this attitude of incrementally improving each day. Um, so we are feeling like at the moment we can do this. And yeah, I feel like that actually could be a metaphor for life. That if we just focus on the now, do the best we can do, and then do the same thing tomorrow and tomorrow, like your writing habits and so on, it's all very 4,000 weeks to, also seeking out help from experts who can guide you on the improvement journey. Uh, that's, that's all. You can do. That's, that's the way to success. Um, and [00:24:27] Rowena: that Can I just say we have got very profound listeners, like this was too Booked up, but we are just talking about the meaning of life now. [00:24:34] Shelley: Wait, [00:24:34] Rowena: We've got, we've, we've just, we've just, Shelly's just nailed that. So, guru Shelley, I think there's something else you've gotta talk about here as well, about your doggie. [00:24:44] Shelley: Yes. Well, the other thing with being a dog parent is that you've gotta be strong and you've got to be consistent, and you've got to be clear. All, all challenges for me, Ro, but I feel like I've grown, as I said at the top of the episode as well, I've grown in strength and confidence in my wider life, as I've had to be a strong leader for this dog. I, I think that's one of the things that you only know when you're in it. I've got to lead this dog, and if I don't do that, he's gonna lead all of us and that ain't gonna work. So yeah, I think like all of this personal stuff, as I say, intertwines with business and, and this guiding word of momentum is just wrapped it up in a beautiful bow. [00:25:26] Rowena: So Shelley, you have shared a lot around what's happening in your life and your word of the year and how it has influenced so massively your work and your business, but also in your home life. But I'd love to, for you to share with us what's next. So how does Momentum apply for the next stage of your life in these next few months? [00:25:48] Shelley: Yeah. So, um, I have shared a lot, haven't I? Uh, but number [00:25:52] Rowena: Well, just 'cause it's been so influential, [00:25:53] Shelley: I know it. [00:25:54] Rowena: So influential. [00:25:56] Shelley: But really the first thing for me now is to build up momentum with this new head of content role I've taken on. I wanna really just focus most of my energy on the work front, on that role and all of my momentum on that. And then number two is to build up some new routines for the puppy and to just give us as a family in our day-to-day life, especially at this midyear point of school to make a few tweaks to our homeschooling routines and set up this routine with with our puppy. I'm already seeing how a routine is really important, not just for kids, but for dogs. And then I would say number three is to maintain momentum in my own business, Shelley Smith Creative. But I do see it as keeping things on a simmer rather than a boil. And so I'll still be like doing things like offering the one day work party, but I'm only gonna do one a month. It's gonna be a very exclusive offer. And, I'm also really excited to say that if there are any budding podcasters out there, if you've been listening to two books up and like, oh, this podcasting thing sounds fun, um, you can go ahead and buy my new workshop called Podcast Jumpstart, a workshop on podcasting that I did with my friend Carla Tenzer, host of the Free To Be Curious podcast. And yeah, it's about a 75 minute workshop that you can go and learn all the things that you need to get started with podcasting in a sustainable and eyes open kind of way. [00:27:27] Rowena: That sounds awesome because yes, podcasting is super fun. So where can people find more information and purchase that workshop, Shelley? [00:27:35] Shelley: Cool. So, it is at pod start p o d s t a r t.carrd.co. And that's c a r r d.co. I'll leave a link to that difficult spelling, uh, in the show notes. And. It's currently 197 rand and that equates to about $16 40 in Australian dollars or $11 US dollars. So you'll, you'll kind of pay in Rands, but then it'll just do a currency conversion. So It's, a very [00:28:04] Rowena: it's in Australia, it's like three coffees. It's really a very bargain basement price. [00:28:09] Shelley: There we go. So if you are even curious about podcasting, I think it'll be very beneficial because we run the gabit of all the things you must do. Um, all the nice to haves, and we do spill the beans on a few mistakes We've made, purchases that we've made that you can avoid. So by signing up, you can. Really save a lot of money and a lot of time and sweat and tears. So you'll get that 75 minute workshop. And then there's a whole bunch of bonuses that we've thrown in like a podcast starting checklist, a tech rundown with options for tech and tools. We've got a transcript of the workshop and Carla has done a finances tracker. She was a chartered accountant in her past life, so she has developed a nice finances tracker so that she can make sure that your podcast is sustainable. [00:28:59] Rowena: That sounds amazing and so comprehensive and what for such a great price. [00:29:03] Shelley: there we go. Thank you. Yeah, I'm so excited about that. And, and that's gonna be part of, of maintaining the, the momentum in Shelly Smith Creative as I kind of shift my focus day to day on my new role. Now Ro, you mentioned this writing habit of yours. So, now what is next for you with your phrase of the year? [00:29:23] Rowena: Ah, well, Shelly, I am cultivating my creation muscles. I have been busy writing with creative writing, so I've been doing my 500 minimum, 500 words minimum every day. But what I've been working on is a novel, so it's called. This is a big announcement because I've not shared this anywhere else. Um, at this point, at the time of recording, it's called Avoiding the Friend Zone. And so the first draft is complete, and now I'm starting the editing process, which is a bit of an experience in itself. [00:29:58] Shelley: This is [00:29:58] Rowena: it's, I'm learning so much. [00:30:00] Shelley: Oh, wow. And, and everybody you heard at your first avoid in the friend zone. [00:30:05] Rowena: well, it might, it might. By the time this goes to air, I might have shared it in a newsletter, so we'll see. But it's, yeah, I will have, it's big, it's a big, big thing for me. It's very exciting. So I can share a little bit more about it. It's a love story set in Sydney where I live, but it's set around the start of this century, which means. My boys tell me it makes it historical fiction, but it's so cheeky. It's 'cause it's before they were born. So they're like, oh, that's history. I'm like, Hmm, yes. Well, but the year 2000 doesn't feel that long ago to me, but perhaps that's showing my age anyway. It's more than a romance, although there is plenty of that as well. But the story also addresses the love we have for our families. So includes parents, um, grandparents. There's a few grandparents in the story. Even the sibling love, like looking after a sibling. And of course, Sort of these, my main characters are 20 somethings. So there's a lot of platonic love experienced in friendships as well. So it's been great fun to write and as I said, I'm at the editing stage, but what I would love to say and share with our listeners, Shelly, is if it sounds interesting to you and you think you might like to read it and it sounds like something you'd enjoy reading, please join my new author mailing list. So it's still on my website, but it's a separate little author, mailing list. I won't be sending emails very often, but I'd love it if you were, if you thought you might like to read a book that sounds a bit like that. The address is rowenamabbott.com/opt-in. So O P T - I N. And I'll, we'll put that in the show notes 'cause I will share more with people who are interested, including things like, little snippets of the book, maybe the book cover, what's happening in terms of where I'm at, when it's gonna be published, all that kind of fun stuff. So yeah, it's really exciting. Yeah. Yes. [00:31:51] Shelley: cool. I'm so excited for you, Rowena. And you know, I don't think you had the intention of writing the novel at the beginning of the year, but I [00:31:59] Rowena: I did not, I had, I did want to write a book. One of my things this year was to write a book. And to that point, I'd thought that it would probably be a nonfiction book, because that's what we talk about, and that's what I've been doing in my business. But when I sat down, what came out of me was this novel. So I thought, oh, well, clearly we should, and then I, that's when I used the word momentum, Shelly, because. I was in, I had momentum. I was just going, it was flowing outta me, so I just went, that's what I'm doing then. And so I just went with it. [00:32:28] Shelley: follow yeah, follow that energy. Um, and I've been so impressed with how you've written this book with such consistency, um, but also I've seen the joy that you've brought to writing it. And, for an upholder. I think you've done so well in that you haven't attached too much expectation to it. You've just let it be what it's going to be. You've brought this joy into writing it and I'm sure that's gonna come through in the pages, and it had to be a love story that you were going to write. Ro. I think your top strength is love. Is it not? [00:32:57] Rowena: correct. Yes. [00:32:58] Shelley: there, we, you see, you're bringing everything all together. It's all coming together. So everyone go to rowenamabbott.com/opt-in if that sounds exciting to you, and sign up for those updates. I'm very excited to be one of your beta readers. Ro. [00:33:14] Rowena: Yes, I'm going to be sending it to you, and then I'm be like, no, don't worry about the dog. Just read my book. So now, Shelly, as we close off today and talking about books, I'd like to remind everybody to play along with our 23 for 2023 reading challenge. We are still doing it. You can download your free copy of the 2023 Reading Challenge checklist at two Booked up.com where you can also find the show notes, a transcript of this episode, and of course the page to sign up and receive your free reading challenge checklist. Then please let us know what you're reading. You can find me at Rowena Mabbott on Instagram. And if you'd like to learn more about how I can support you as a career and life confidence coach, download my free book, the ADA Z of Career and Life Confidence, or read any of my articles. Head to my online home at RowenaMabbott.com. And where can listeners find you, Shelly? [00:34:07] Shelley: So you can connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm going over to LinkedIn now and doing all my socials there. So I'm Shelley Tonkin Smith on LinkedIn. And when you connect with me, just tell me that you're a Two Booked Up listener and you can also sign up for my newsletter at ShelleyTonkinSmith.Com. And if you'd like to learn more about my copywriting services, that's at ShelleySmithCreative.com. And all that remains to be said is Thank you for listening to two Booked Up today. Rowena and I will return with our final episode for season two in three weeks time, and it's quite an auspicious one because we've been at this podcasting thing together for a whole year now, and so we thought it would be fun to do a two Booked up anniversary episode with our reflections on one year of collaborative podcasting. [00:34:58] Rowena: So if you've been thinking of starting a podcast or doing a joint venture with a biz buddy, I really think there'll be a lot of value for you. In that episode. Until then, keep on reading. You've been listening to Two. Booked Up with me, Rowena Mabbott. [00:35:19] Shelley: And me, Shelley Tonkin Smith. Please subscribe or follow to Booked up in your podcast player, and if you've enjoyed this episode, we'd love it if you'd leave a positive review.

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