Off The Floor

Life as an author: day one.


I’ve always been a pretty dedicated girl. When I set my mind to something, I do it. Now…the ultimate challenge–writing 300 pages in four months. Everyone has their “creative hour” and mine is first thing in the morning. Always has been, always will be. When I used to churn out 30 page manuscripts for workshops in college, I’d wake up at the crack of dawn to write when it was still dark and quiet outside and this is no different…..I just have to get a routine down. So today, got up at 6 a.m., made some tea and dived completely in head first.

Later, had breakfast at my DESK just like a grown-up!! 😉


This is the same combo from the other day—1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water, 1/2 scoop protein, 2 tsp maca, 1 banana and almond butter. Writer’s fuel!

Resolution: less time on google reader, g-chat, facebook and twitter…..more time on Word. To help that get accomplished, I physically have started to pull the plug on my internet connection while I’m writing (as in, take out my Verizon card). That way I’m not even tempted!


Bout to head to the gym in a little bit here…..Happy December 1st! What were you doing a year ago today??! Life is CRAZY! 🙂

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  • Abby
    December 1, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Count your blessings sister, as even though you’ve had a major heartbreak (or two) this year, you are doing exactly what I would love to be doing! It is tempting when you work at home to do a little “extra curricular” computer activity, so I do the same thing when I’m freelancing. Unplug. Untempting!

    A year ago I was pretty much doing the same thing–writing and editing two magazines and putting out fires left and right (not literally, although that would be quite exciting.) What has changed is that I was introduced to this blog world–what did I do before overnight oats and Greek yogurt! The horror! Hopefully next year at this time I can be in a healthier place, doing something I have a passion for, rather than just a paycheck.

    Congrats on your year!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    December 1, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I bet it feels great to eat at a desk. 🙂 A year ago, I was just married. It has gone so fast!

  • Jil
    December 1, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Ahh yay for starting the book! So exciting! A year ago today…oh man, I don’t even know. Probably preparing for my birthday! haha

  • katherine
    December 1, 2009 at 7:47 am

    I have to pull my internet connection too, when I have to really focus! Makes me wish I could do my work outside my office sometimes. Ah well.

    Have a great workout!

  • Kristie Lynn
    December 1, 2009 at 7:48 am

    I used to have to do that when I need to get work done. I would disable my wireless so it was like it wasn’t even there… but that’s when Spider Solitaire would start tempting me! 😉

  • Carolyn
    December 1, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Congrats and good luck!!

  • brandi
    December 1, 2009 at 7:50 am

    yay for a desk! I always feel so much more productive sitting at one, too 🙂

  • Laura
    December 1, 2009 at 7:55 am

    I don’t even think I’d have the discipline to be able to unplug. I’d have to hire someone to walk into my house and pull the cord for me 🙂

    I’m new to your blog (it was recommended by someone), and I look forward to reading.

    A year ago today at this exact moment, I was in my classroom, prepping for the day, waiting for students to come in. (I am no longer a teacher. I didn’t go back this year. Good decision for me.)

  • Megan (The Runner's Kitchen)
    December 1, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Sometimes I go for a long walk or run to brainstorm what I want to write about. Then I set up in a coffee shop (an old-school one that doesn’t have an internet connection!) and type away. Ocassionally, I’ll even write an outline with paper and pen. Shocking, I know 🙂

    Love the big green bowl!

  • Leah @ L4L
    December 1, 2009 at 7:56 am

    I have to literally unplug as well to actually accomplish anything! I know if I turn my computer on in the morning, I’ll be late to work. So I just don’t turn it on. And when I have homework to work on, I turn my wireless off or put my laptop in another room!

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner
    December 1, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I am a morning person as well, good luck with the writing!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat
    December 1, 2009 at 8:00 am

    I need to learn how to pull the plug myself! I definitely “waste” a lot of time on those sites 😉

  • Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries
    December 1, 2009 at 8:01 am

    There’s something so “writer” about waking up and doing your thing first thing in the morning. I remember a poet coming to speak to my class once and saying that everything he’s ever gotten published has been the product of an early morning writing session. Keep at it, chica!

  • Meagan
    December 1, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Happy December 1st to you too!! (I think I was inchem lab at this time last year…)

    I have had to use “parental controls” to block websites from myself so I can actually get work done. haha It only works half the time! My creative time is midmorning and late at night, never first in the morning or mid-day… blahhh!

  • eatmovelove
    December 1, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Ah – I guess that means less time reading us?? and our comments?? 😉 haha.
    I love the simplicity of your desk and space – isn’t it funny how the little things make a difference?? we don’t need fancy houses or cars to make up happy! …… just carbs, oatmeal, books and wine 🙂

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    December 1, 2009 at 8:05 am

    So cool! You are a real writer now, my dear =)

    I have to shut my computer down when I’m trying to study for my Finance classes…Facebook is NOT going to help me figure out how to value securities… 😉

    Enjoy your day!

  • Jen (Running With Cake)
    December 1, 2009 at 8:06 am

    How exciting for you to be off the floor and formally working on your book. My “creative hour” is actually late afternoon between 3-6 PM. Although I do remember quite vividly staying up to the wee hours of the AM finishing papers in college – if my professors only knew!

  • Alison
    December 1, 2009 at 8:11 am

    have a great day of writing!

  • legalstyle
    December 1, 2009 at 8:13 am

    i’ve been doing the same thing this morning! coffee + studying. and i love your trick to stay off the internet; I do the same thing. I just disable my airport connection.

    have a wonderful day of writing! can you imagine anything better?

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    December 1, 2009 at 8:13 am

    A year ago, I was 4 months pregnant w/ Marin! I can’t believe a year ago she was growing in my belly… sniff sniff…

    Eating breakfast at your desk is very grown up 🙂

    Write away 🙂

  • Christie @ Honoring Health
    December 1, 2009 at 8:13 am

    I’m with you on the procrastination thing. I need to stay off of all those things more myself!

    My creative hour is also the morning time. I am way more task oriented in the afternoons. Good luck with the writing, your book is going to be great!

  • Megan (BitesoftheApple)
    December 1, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Good luck writing!! I always found turning off the internet was super helpful. But I have the WORST attention span so I always have to write for 30 minutes then take a 5 minute break…hehe…

  • Chutney
    December 1, 2009 at 8:14 am

    I hope the path from writer to author is fun, exciting, and filled with minimal writer’s block! 😉
    Congrats on your desk — you deserve a good place to set your oats (though I loved that you were doing breakfast in bed each morning).

  • Ameena
    December 1, 2009 at 8:20 am

    It is so hard to resist the addiction of facebook, etc. but its so worth it in the long run!

  • megan
    December 1, 2009 at 8:21 am

    way to dive right in! I have no doubt you’ll be disciplined and dedicated and get it done well 🙂

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    December 1, 2009 at 8:22 am

    A year ago today I was working in Cleveland and very bored with life!! Now I’m a big city girl in DC :O). A year can certainly change a lot!!

    CONGRATS on signing your book deal Jenna!

  • Paige
    December 1, 2009 at 8:24 am

    I looked back at my blog to see what I was doing on this exact day last year…I was baking No Pudge brownies. Like you, I have been reflecting about how my life has changed in the past year. By all appearances, I am the same…but after facing some pretty MAJOR setbacks and pitfalls, I realize that I have become a much stronger person. I have also learned that things are not always as they appear, and that you must be diligent to keep all aspects of life balanced and in order. Sorry to be so deep, but your post really started me thinking…. 🙂

  • Mama Pea
    December 1, 2009 at 8:25 am

    That is a great idea to unplug the internet. I should try that. And unplugging the refrigerator and duct taping the kids’ mouths shut.

  • Lizzie
    December 1, 2009 at 8:27 am

    A year ago this week, my husband and I bought our first apartment. It might have been the first grown up thing we’ve ever done . . and we’re 33!! Well, apart from the getting married part. Still got a lot of growing up to do! 🙂

    You have had an amazing year Jenna and deserve every bit of this book success!

  • Heather
    December 1, 2009 at 8:33 am

    I’m totally a morning person too. When I was in college I loved taking the early morning (7am) classes. It was like my brain could just soak everything in. I miss that!

  • Casey
    December 1, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Fun! Good luck with your creative writing.

    A year ago today I was home sick with the flu over Thanksgiving vacation. It was NOT fun.

  • Still Life in South America
    December 1, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I am with you 100%, Jenna. I have to unplug from the Internet while I grade papers and develop course work or else I find 1,001 things to surf the Web for.

    Good luck with your writing goals! The most important thing is getting the words down–no matter the small editorial glitches in the rough draft. 😀

  • chrissy
    December 1, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Too cute. I’m so excited to follow your book writing adventure – maybe even more than your other adventures! My dream is to have a book deal of my own one day. 🙂
    Oh, and I’m also a morning writer. I love waking up and typing while everyone else is still asleep. Best of luck with your new schedule! I know it’s going to be great!

  • Hillary @ Nutrition Nut on the Run
    December 1, 2009 at 9:21 am

    I can’t wait to buy the book!

  • happyshoes
    December 1, 2009 at 9:21 am

    I am a total night owl so my best work (on the corner) usually happens after 9pm. Kidding. 😀

  • Erin
    December 1, 2009 at 9:24 am

    A year ago I was decorating my tiny Seoul apartment for Christmas. How fast time flies!

  • Paige (Running Around Normal)
    December 1, 2009 at 9:26 am

    LOL I love the title of this post. My creative hour has always been in the morning too. I never pulled all nighters as a college student. It was pointless for me. That’s a great idea to unplug your wireless card. Social media is great, but can be such a distraction.

  • Madison
    December 1, 2009 at 9:31 am

    SO happy for you Jenna!!! I too have a hard time getting things done because of sites like Facebook (great idea about taking the internet away, literally, btw haha). A year ago today, I was with my ex boyfriend, seems like yesterday too, so sad! First New Years in 6 years alone this year….=\

  • Janna
    December 1, 2009 at 9:33 am

    You’re a fabulous writer. 300 pages will be nuthin for ya 🙂

    My creative hour is totally the opposite of yours. LAATE at night. I don’t know why but, the wee hours of the night are when I get inspiration and motivation. Kind of inconvenient. But what can ya do.

    Also, I love the coffee mug on the computer. I do that too! Once, my friend saw me do it and freaked out “OMG, You’re going to spill all over your computer!!!!”. Haha. Whatever, I still do it.

  • Ashley
    December 1, 2009 at 9:37 am

    A year ago I was making mistakes at my new job (still learning) and falling head over heels with my SO!

    Good for you getting OFF line! You’re a stronger woman then me!

  • Jillian
    December 1, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Hey Jenna:)
    I love reading your blog…so witty, fun, and love your photos. I am a good friend of Heather’s (HEAB), so I found you through her. I just got a Rebel XTI and am looking to buy a Canon 50mm lens…I saw recently that you posted that’s what you used too! Where did you get yours? Any rec’s on where I should look to find one to buy? And advice would be great…thanks! Happy day to you!

  • GirlonRaw
    December 1, 2009 at 9:50 am

    What a great idea!!!! I should sooo unplug the internet myself as well. Congrats on the book contract. Good luck 🙂

  • Mom
    December 1, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Tea cup balanced on your computer????

  • Sabrina (RhodeyGirl Tests)
    December 1, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Pulling out the internet card. Genius.

  • Sabrina (RhodeyGirl Tests)
    December 1, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I totally forgot about your job baking all day until going back to that post. It seems like SO long ago!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance)
    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 am

    nice tactic on keeping distractions at bay! Good luck, girl — you’ll do great! 🙂

  • MMiller
    December 1, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I can’t wait for your book to come out! I so enjoy reading your blog every day! I constantly check for updates! You are an excellent writer! I really enjoy your adventures! You can do anything!

    Are you liking the Maca powder? I’ve been thinking of trying it myself! Once I get my VitaMix and start using it! I just joined an organic food Co-op!

  • Jenna
    December 1, 2009 at 10:31 am

    that is what i do when i need to get writing…unplus the internet cord! haha.

  • Sarah (Oc2Seattle)
    December 1, 2009 at 10:32 am

    300 pages in 4 months? You go girl! A year ago today I was getting ready to take off on a one month trip to India and Paris – wish I was doing that now 😉

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale
    December 1, 2009 at 10:38 am

    My life hasn’t changed too dramatically since a year ago… which is good, because the next year is going to be a doozy! We’re buying our first house, traveling to Italy (among other places), and maybe by the end of the year trying to start a family!

  • Laura Georgina
    December 1, 2009 at 10:58 am

    What a difference a year makes–to think that last year you would have been covered in flour right about now!

    It doesn’t seem like much has changed for me since last year at first glance (same place, same job) but…A year ago I would have never imagined I’d learn to swim (and looove it), or that I’d start running again, much less run two 5ks (and looove them), or that I would have signed up to dress up and take part in Trinidad Carnival! I also thought I wanted to stay in my current line of work, though it didn’t make me happy, and now I know I’d rather risk trying something new than be miserable or dissatisfied with what I do.

    Oh yeah, and I was missing out on bloggy goodness last year–what did I do with my time before that??

  • Julie @savvyeats
    December 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    While sitting on the floor is fun, long writing sessions are probably more comfortable at a desk 🙂

  • Caroline
    December 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I love looking back to where I was a year ago, it’s crazy how much things change!
    Good luck with your writing!

  • Nicole
    December 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    I bet it feels great to get started on the book! You can do it! My sister just finished writing a book- she wrote all 400 pages (over 100,000 words) in a MONTH!! It’s amazing. I was in shock when I heard.

    Congratulations, again!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    December 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I really am so happy for you 🙂 I am sure your book will be awesome! I know what you mean about being better at work in the morning – I am EXACTLY the same! 🙂

  • Karla
    December 1, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Banning the internet for a while always helps me get work done! Good luck!

  • Kristin
    December 1, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Check out ‘Self Control’ for Mac. It’s a LIFESAVER during finals. Just be careful if you do download it – totally not reversible!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    December 1, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I like to also set a timer for work so that I know I have 45 minutes to work and then a 5 minute break. I get freaked out if I can’t take breaks or I take too many. But I love that you physically remove the internet. I should try that more often when working on sermons.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    December 1, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Love the pix! I have a thing about a small, neat desk with my laptop and always, a cup of tea. I did the same thing as you in the UCLA Writing program–intent on getting finishing the 3-year program in 18 months with a 4.0+ and a completed novel, got up at 6AM and started and just worked like crazy to a schedule that also included time for exercise and fun.

    Last December: I’d just arrived here in Carmel from San Francisco via a two-week visit in Shell Beach with a friend–and in response to my brother’s tragic death and wanting to get away. A year of tears, over 3,000 miles walked on the beach, transformation, and finally a measure of peace and back to my intentions for novel.

    From UCLA’s Coach Wooden I’ve just taken my best clue for dealing with a devastating loss: After his wife died 3/21/84 he started writing her a letter on the 21st of every month since then, and he keeps these together. I started writing a letter the 23rd of each month to my brother and put these in a hinged box that is covered with a painting of the sea [that we both love so much]. It really helps. I now can move forward knowing that on the 23rd, I can write out all that am thinking/feeling and ‘continue’ the relationship.

  • Kristin (Kristin's Nibbles)
    December 1, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    The funny thing is, this is what I was doing last year:

    Which is EXACTLY what I did this year!
    Got back from Canada and now I am home again, trying to get back on track!

    Good luck with the writing!!


  • Kristine
    December 1, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    hmm one year ago today? I was doing exactly the same thing! Stressing out about school!!! Do you have a mac?

  • maria
    December 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Maybe that is what I should do when I need to make my lesson plans. I have a tendency to get way too distracted!

  • Danielle
    December 1, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Yea for writing (and eating!) on a desk. I do have to admit that I missed seeing your lovely floor though 🙂

  • Megan @ Healthy Hoggin
    December 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    I totally know what you mean about needing to “unplug” from the temptation of the internet! I work from home as well, and it can be very easy for the mind to wander!!

    A year ago from today, I don’t think I had ever read a single food blog! What a new world has been opened up to me! Other than that, I probably spent a lot less time on the internet than I do now… 😉

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn
    December 1, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Wow Jenna- Such AWESOME news and fantastic lead into the new year. Question: Am I the only one left who doesn’t know what this book is about??

  • Jamie
    December 1, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    That’s so cool that you can just look back at your blog and it really is a document of where you have been in your life! I think a year ago I was just getting back from Thanksgiving in London visiting my brother. I had JUST found out that the start date for my job was pushed back 4 months and I was freaking out. I think this December 1st beats last year. You are right… life is crazy 🙂

  • Katy @ These Beautiful Feet
    December 1, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Yay! So excited for you, Jenna! Congratulations on “breaking fround” on your book! 🙂 It’s so hard to give up bad internet habits.. especially google reader!! Good luck, praying for you on this new adventure!!

  • Whole Body Love
    December 1, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    One year ago today, I was super excited to learn that I would be able to attend my top choice university as a full-time student. I was also preparing for my daughter very first Christmas 😉

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    December 2, 2009 at 8:14 am

    A year ago today, I was living with a family of five on Park Avenue. Now, I’m on my own in a fabulous studio apartment. Basically, in one year I became a self-sufficient grown-up. Oh, time, you’re pretty amazing.

    Maybe a certain “MacSpeech dictate” will help you with those 300 pages when it arrives. 😉