Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.


Changes: How do you know when to make them?

Changes are things everyone has strong feelings about – generally negative. People fear change, they detest it and they would like nothing more than to never have to deal with change in their life. As nice as it may be to think change will never be necessary, it’s highly impractical and more often than not, impossible.

I’m not talking about major, life-changing changes. Sure, you can make a huge decision that’ll impact your life. It could improve your life in the long run. In that aspect, change is a risk and it’s up to us to decide if it’s worth it. No one can make the decision for us. It’s up to us, after carefully weighing the pros and cons, to decide what we’ll do.

At the same time, smaller, lesser significant changes also exist.

More exercising? Maybe you’ll go from 30 to 45 minutes per day?

Professional wrestler Shannon Moore at the TNA...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia) Show that change who’s boss!

Fewer snacks/more fruit? Perhaps you’ll swap that cookie at lunch for an orange, or an apple?

More writing? 1,500 words instead of 1,000?

These changes are small and seem insignificant, and yet these are the changes that impact our lives the most. Small changes are the ones that stick around. If you move to another city or country, sure, it’s a big decision that will have an impact on your life, but at the same time, that huge impact is only temporary. Eventually you’ll settle into your new home and what will be left then?

The small changes that you work on every day.

In the end, what’s important is that you learn to make changes when they’re needed. Learn to put yourself first. An example is book one of The Hunted Trilogy. I’ve extended my self-set deadline from August 31st to September 30th. Why? It’s simple. In July, I wrote a lot less than I intended to. Now, I won’t claim that none of that was just sheer laziness – some of it was. However, I was also sick for a week which did not help the situation.

Regardless of the reason, that brings me to August. During August, I would have had to write as estimated 55,000 words to finish Werewolf’s Lair. Doable? Sure. However, I have other things that also need my attention. Exercise, family, friends, job hunting, and, not to forget, lots of reading and just general relaxing. The short version is that I didn’t want to overwork myself, so I gave myself an extra month.

This will split the workload and make me a lot happier throughout these two months, and not as drained when I finish.

Long story short, make your decision and base it on being productive, but also what’s best for you. In the end, you’re the one who dictates your life and only you know exactly what you can handle.

Base your decisions on that information.

What’s your opinion when it comes to changes? Do you have any experience with small or big changes you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!



How Change Makes a Difference

Change is one of those words that a lot of people dread hearing and despise. For many, being told to change equals criticism, and not everyone can handle that well. That’s another topic altogether.

My upcoming change; one of the biggest ones I've ever made. I'm going home.

Change is both good and bad, can improve or destroy parts of your life. It’s no different in the things you do. Imagine an insignificant change: Imagine that you choose to get out of bed an hour earlier every day. What do you gain from this?

  • More time. Do you never have enough time to read, write, or just relax? Maybe all you need is that extra hour.
  • Less stress. Lots to do, but not enough time to do it? An extra hour a day keeps the stress away! Spread out your workload.
  • A different perspective. If you can lower your stress level and have more time to yourself, that can change your view on things. Maybe life isn’t so bad after all.
  • Life. This ties into a different perspective; you can take the time to look around, to live your way and just do things you want to.

This is only a small look into how a change can influence your life in a positive way. Of course, there are always cons to go with the pros. Perhaps you get too little sleep from waking up an hour earlier every day? Things like this can be counteracted. Find what works best for you. Alternate your schedule. Early one day, late the next. Take the time to experiment and figure out the best way for you to live your life and do the things you want to do.

A lot of writers work best in the morning. They wake up early, specifically so they can write! Some even write before they drink coffee. I sometimes call myself a rarity; so many authors live on coffee and yet, I despise the stuff!

The point is that different things work for different people. Change is a necessity and sometimes a double-edged sword. Each change brings good and bad with it and in the end, it’s a matter of fighting back and seeing if the good outweigh the bad.

This post is not just for writers – it’s for everyone. Every aspect of life can change, for better or for worse. Sometimes, the risk seems too large. Sometimes, a change will change things forever and that’s something that people have to live with.

Those are the hardest changes. Ones that alter life completely, especially when the difference ends up as a negative one. Friendships and relationships are fragile and the slightest thing will change them, sometimes for worse.

The only way to move on is to realize that while that one change hurt, there is a way to make it better. You have that chance and it’s up to you to make the change.

What are some of the hardest changes you’ve had to make?


Change: Is It Necessary?

This is something I know a lot of people wonder and the answer is something neither here nor there. It all depends on the change itself and the person the change influences. For example, an artist could choose to change their sleeping patterns to free up more time for creating. An author could do the same on their writing. Maybe someone intends to change their career path, or maybe something as simple as changing what they have for breakfast.

Change comes in the smallest forms.

I made a change recently. While I don’t wish to delve deeper into the change itself, it hurt. Sometimes change is a necessary evil that will harm you on your way through the process of making the change. Even if that is the case, it is something is necessary; it is often for the best, even if it does not seem so at first.

Moving on, more changing are coming. I’m aware that I need to change my writing habits, or else I will never finish a novel. Because of this, I plan to write a lot this summer to compensate – especially as I’ll be away for four weeks this fall. I must take the time to focus on my goals and what I want to do; it is necessary. A necessary evil in some ways.

Change always is.

I don’t want to drag this post out longer than it needs to, so I’ll leave you with a last piece of advice. If you feel there is something you need to change, no matter how small it seems; don’t be afraid to do so. In the end, the change will be worth it and even if it isn’t, nine times out of ten, it’s just as easy to switch back to the old way.

Have you ever changed something major in your life before? If so, did it work out well for you, or not? If you haven’t; are there things you’d like to change?