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Tag: Tuesday Motivation

Tuesday Motivation: Is This Your Year to Write Your First Book?

Happy Tuesday, friends—and Happy October 1st! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and a great start to your week.

We’re officially in my favorite month of the year. Fall is in full swing, both of my kids are having birthdays, and there is also Halloween! Seriously, the best season of them all.

The other tremendous news for all writers out there is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which begins one month from today.

NaNoWriMo originated as a challenge for fiction writers to complete one novel in the month of November, but I’ve seen non-fiction writers use it as an opportunity to work on non-fiction projects, as well, and poets converting it to a daily poem challenge. It’s a great platform for everyone!

So the question I have for you is this—Are you ready to write your first book? Is this your year?

Technically, any year, any month, any day could be your time. You just have to make the decision to sit down and start (and eventually, finish!).

But I want to challenge you to make NOW your time.

Just like having children, starting an exercise routine, or moving to a new place, there is never a “good time” to do it. If you look hard enough, there will always be obstacles standing in the way of your success. But if you look hard enough in the other direction, you’ll be able to find the time, energy, and inspiration you need to start working on your book.

Just imagine: You start working on this new, scary project in November, and by the end of the month or the beginning of the New Year, you have a draft in your hands. Think of that. You composed an entire book, and now it’s time to revise it and decide how you want to put it out into the world.

I want you to experience that great feeling of accomplishment now, not next year or ten years from now.

I am a testament to this. I’ve drafted out several books, but they didn’t turned out to be books that I wanted to share with the world. Maybe my feelings about them will change with time, and I’ll go back, significantly revise them, and then seek out a publisher. But the feelings I have about the two books I’m working on right now? These are going to be my first and second novels that the world gets to see. I’ve decided that, and I’m fighting for them. I’m finishing at least one of them during NaNoWriMo, and I’m aiming to finish both of them by the entrance of the New Year.

I want you to fight for your work, too!

I hope that you’ll join me for this NaNoWriMo, whether you use the NaNo platform or work in Google Docs or wherever else you work best.

So much so—I have a few opportunities to share with you.

First of all, I’ve enjoyed the experiences I’ve had as a writing coach, and I’m always open to working with new writers. You could have a few books under your belt like I do, and this is the first one that you’re taking seriously. You could be brand new to this, and you’re not entirely sure what all this “novel-writing business” entails. You could even be a seasoned author who likes a second pair of eyes on their work. I’ve worked with all these different author “character types,” and I’ve loved working with them all.

That’s the first opportunity. If you’re worried about approaching your first novel, staying on-task, being able to fit all this writing into your schedule, fully fleshing out a plot, etc., I’m here for you.

I’m also giving out a few writing resources, closer to the end of the month, as part of my celebration of Halloween. There are going to be three resources, and there’s going to be a “trick-or-treat” option.

I don’t want to give away all the fun yet, but these resources are going to help you plan for your novel, even last-minute, so that you have a sense of what you’ll be writing about going into the month of November. There will be useful information contained in these resources, as well as writing prompts and outlining models that will carry through the Fall to the final lines of your novel draft.

I’m so excited for this month! I’ll be sharing stories of birthdays and apple-picking and poetry reading, for sure. I hope to hear from some of you about working together this NaNoWriMo, too—and I can’t wait to share these resources with you when they go live.

Happy Fall, everyone! Happy October 1st!

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Tuesday Motivation: How Can We Keep a “Manifest Mindset” in the World of Freelance?

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and a good jumpstart on Monday for the new week!

I’ve been asked why I save my Motivation posts for Tuesdays—however few and far-between they’ve been—and my answer is pretty simple. I’ve always seen Monday as the sort of “getting into the groove” day: deciding exactly what you want to do with your week, catching up on what you left behind on Friday, confronting problems that may have introduced themselves over the weekend. Monday is really about progress. It’s about repair and rhythm.

Tuesday, for me, is where it’s at: I make a point of doing something on Tuesday mornings that really gives me that motivation and jumpstart I need to make the rest of my week successful. And every week, that looks a little different. Sometimes, all I need is a cup of coffee or a nice walk; other weeks, I need to watch my favorite movie or listen to a podcast to get my mind in the right place.

But by Tuesday afternoon, I feel good, because I’ve checked a few items off of my to-do list for the week, and I know I’m heading in the right direction. So I like to check in with my writing family and friends in the afternoon on Tuesdays, to see if you’re heading in the direction you need for the week.

So, where are you? Are you happy with what you’ve accomplished so far this week?

If not, what can you do with the rest of your Tuesday to reset your week?

I’ve discussed with many writers the struggles they’re facing in their work, and one of the leading issues I’m seeing is the belief that there isn’t enough work to go around. And this belief doesn’t appear to be exclusive: I’ve spoken to freelance writers and creative writers who feel this way.

Which brings me to the manifest mindset, or manifestation.

(Give me a chance to explain; I promise not to get all “woo woo” on you by suggesting you put your thoughts out into the universe and wait.)

I haven’t really bought into the idea that, if we put an idea out into the universe and wait patiently, that the sum of our thoughts will eventually appear to us. That suggests complacency to me, and becoming complacent is the last thing I want.

Rather, what I think can be true is that there are opportunities for everyone, if they’re prepared to work hard for them.

Statistically, there are more than enough jobs for freelance writers; it’s just a matter of finding work in your niche and pricing bracket to suit you. Also, in the next ten years, freelance or remote positions are expected to become the primary mode of employment, as more and more businesses move from the tradition brick-and-mortar to nomad-style. (AKA: Going freelance now is actually preparing you for the new employment horizon of the future.)

I’m not suggesting it will be easy. But I am saying it’s possible for you if this is a lifestyle you want.

Know what you have to offer. Know which niche you’re most passionate and knowledgeable about. Then look for other freelancers who feel the same way, as well as businesses and organizations in those niches who could need a writer like you, and start talking. You don’t need to always be selling yourself. You don’t always need to point out what you’re good at. You just need to introduce yourself and get to know these businesses as more than businesses: they are a collection of people with personal needs.

I think real manifestation is about connecting, not waiting. Sometimes that means connecting to new people, and sometimes that means connecting yourself to something else: more knowledge, a new skill, a leader in your industry’s business model. This work leads to opportunities, which can lead to the goals that you set for yourself.

The only door you need to close is the door that says, “That person said ‘no’ to you, which means you’re going to receive a ‘no’ from everyone forever.” When you receive a ‘no,’ there was a reason behind it that will lead you on to the next opportunity. We’re all human, we’re learning, and we’ll do better next time. That’s true for you, too.

I hope everyone reading this will find a way to connect themselves to something new this week: a new person, a new skill, etc. Open yourself up to those opportunities, and think about how they could carry you one step closer to the goals you have.

Those goals may not be as far away as you think.

If you have questions, I’m always happy to discuss. Feel free to connect with me this week, and we can discuss coaching and collaboration.

Best of Luck, and Happy Tuesday!

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Tuesday Motivation: What Are You Working on This Week? Let’s Make It Happen!

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and Monday. Today, I wanted to share with you what I intend to work on this week, and to talk to you about overcoming boundaries. I don’t know about you, but when I’m working under a tight deadline, or have a few too many projects going at once, I have a tendency to make it worse by procrastinating, cleaning, or writing other pieces with a looser (or no) deadline.

This week, the larger theme of my work is establishing myself, and also writing some things off my chest (some people talk to their barber; I write!). What this technically looks like: Writing several pieces about motherhood and mental wellness (each with a different focus), further studying the art of copywriting, pitching and writing a few pieces on current hot topics in entertainment, and submitting poems / collections to various contests and reading periods.

Now, this is a lot, honestly, so how am I going to make it happen? What am I going to do to ensure that I don’t put something off, miss a deadline, or clean my entire house instead of write a piece, or go on an embarrassingly-long Facebook-or-Netflix-binge?

To be honest, my day has taken sort of a slow start. Well, in all honesty, my week has gotten off to a slow start (I mean, I used to do Motivational posts on Monday, not Tuesday!). But, actualy, I like the idea of this Tuesday check-in. Even if Monday ends up being a throw-away day, or a “blah” day, you can still take charge of the rest of your week by re-focusing and fully committing on Tuesday!

All tangents aside, my week has gotten off to a slow start. One of the charms of having a three-month-old in the house (I’m so sad I can’t call my son a newborn anymore! the time is moving too quickly!) is teething. I was talking to my husband last night about how I felt like I had a routine down with my toddler and newborn, but now that my newborn is three months old and cutting multiple teeth early, I feel like I’m less put-together than when he was first born. Which, I know isn’t true, but I’m certainly scrambling to make heads or tails of my schedule again!

Instead of continuing to give the power over to exhaustion and indirection, though, I’m taking some steps this week to make sure all of these tasks happen (and don’t worry, this blog post was on my list of things to write!).

Keep these ideas in mind for you, too. You can approach them in a different order than I’ve written below, and I’m sure you can adapt the finer details to how you work best, as well as what you’re working on.

Keep Your Schedule to Paper; Leave the Rest to Chance Your Computer Screen

I don’t know about you, but it’s so easy for me to become distracted when I’m working with a screen. Even while writing on my blog right now, I’m tempted to wander over to Facebook or check my email. I know there are all kinds of media-blocking apps and time management trackers—some of which I plan to try out and review in the coming months—but I honestly find it easier to begin by handwriting / brainstorming / webbing / listing my ideas, prior to tying and re-entering the world of the interwebs.

This also applies to my schedule. I carry with me a lovely Passion Planner, where I outline everything: work, homeschool, family, life—one week at a time. Again, this keeps me away from a screen and temptation, and is easy enough to edit when things change. Without the use of an electronic planner, I’m faced with one less reason to use and mindlessly peruse my phone.

Review Your Schedule and Decide When You’re Willing to Work

No matter what type of work you’re doing, you have to set clear boundaries. When are you willing to work? What type of work will you do? What compensation do you want or need? Knowing the answers to these questions will provide you a more productive work situation, and I believe the schedule is the most important. Look at all the time frames you’d be willing to work, and compare them to when you actually work.

Change Up Your Routine

Performing the above comparative work (when you work vs. when you’d be willing to work) may open your eyes to how you could vary your schedule. Physical Trainers highly recommend varied schedules and combinations when working out, for your body to perform optimally, and your work schedule is no different. By moving your writing time from the morning to midday, or spreadsheet creation from the evening to breakfast time, you may find an awareness and better mindset in the new time that you had lost to too much regularity or even prior poor scheduling decisions.

Know What Kind of Energy Fuels You Best

Finally, know what’s fueling you, and decide whether or not it’s best. Artists and writers are always talking about coffee and tea, and I am no exception. But when I am honest with myself, I know that copious amounts of water, and writing after a yoga session or walk in the morning, and writing again in the afternoon-evening after a high-intensity workout or dance routine, is my body and mind’s true love language for success, good writing, and productivity.

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