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I have a special gift. My creative brain is a master at dreaming up excuses NOT to write. Something about an underdeveloped outline sends my thoughts drifting. My intentions on meeting those daily writing goals are good. I just space off every once in a while.
Time wasters and distractions are the devil. These seemingly harmless saboteurs keep you from meeting your small goals. Miss those small goals and ultimately risk failing to achieve your dream. Avoid these saboteurs at all costs! Well – until you’ve finished your work anyway. Everybody needs some down time to relax.
Common Time Wasters:
- Visual Enticements – Netflix, Hulu and You Tube
- Mental Wastelands – Reality TV, FB, Twitter and other social media sites
- Emotional Swamps – Gossip, office and other politics, participating in drama when you should be writing
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See those little devil horns and pitch forks? Ignoring them is hard, but necessary. Here are a few steps to help you stay focused. Full Disclosure: I’m not always successful at ignoring my own little devils. We all have moments of laziness or lack of commitment. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail. Try again tomorrow. Do better.
- Plan daily goals
- Set a time each day to work
- Make a commitment to honor the promises you make to yourself
- TURN OFF THE TV and STAY OFF THE INTERNET while you are supposed to be working
Thoughts are like water buckets waiting to be filled. One bucket holds positive thoughts we use to inspire our dreams and give us confidence. The other bucket contains negative thoughts from the droning self-doubts we whisper to ourselves each day.
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Each thought, act or wish puts a little water into a bucket. As the positive bucket spills over, it washes us with creative energy. We accomplish our goals and feel good about the work we’ve done.
If the negative bucket fills first, we are drenched in dirty, putrid fluid. The stain upon our self-confidence is nearly impossible to clean away. It can take years to overcome just one splash from this bucket.
As we head into the new year, think about the words you whisper to yourself. Are they kind and encouraging? Or are you dragging the smelly bucket of negative thoughts into the new year?
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From me and mine to you and yours
Happy New Year,
@pamela_d_mcadams – Stock.Adobe.Com
If your life is anything like mine, everybody is hounding you to “get something done for me” before the holiday break. Then there is the unfinished gift shopping. Stress, stress, stress and more stress.
“Hold it! Enough. Celebrate the holidays rather than dread them.”
Peppermint – Elixir of the Gods
You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Peppermint has amazing healing properties. It’s an anti-inflammatory, invigorates and can help with digestion. I use peppermint oil along with lemon oil to refresh my house in winter.
While oils are well and good, nothing gives you that peppermint pep like actually digesting peppermint. For a mood boost, try:
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Candy Canes and other Hard Candies
Peppermint Brownies (I use peppermint extract. If you like using peppermint oil, please make sure it is the edible kind!)
Not everyone is into Mint. Here are some other options to help you kindle that holiday cheer:
Our old friend – Baileys
Fruit Cake (Not my thing)
Pick your holiday cheer. Savor it and forget the stressful stuff. Focus instead on the good things in your life. These are the things you’ll carry into the new year.
Only A Few Days Left To Enter!
@Brett – Stock.Adobe.Com
I love this time of year. Negativity takes a back seat. Everyone is a little brighter and lighter (in the heart anyway). The Joy of the Season changes attitudes like magic. We’re nicer to one another. Kindness and generosity rule the day. I keep this happy hypothesis by limiting my time at the malls between Nov 23 and Jan 5th.
Embracing the JOY is the opportunity to renew our spirits and shake off difficulties from the past year. It gives us new (and hopefully positive) perspective on our lives and the world about us.
How can you use this December Joy to fuel your creative energy?
Wear your new positive perspective like a pair of
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See a creative project you’ve been working on with a new hue.
OR use your magic glasses to begin something completely new.
Holiday Blog Tour! Dec 8th – 17th
You did it! The creative project you been sweating blood over is done. Now you can finally move on to the next fun project. Hang on a second. Aren’t you forgetting something important? It’s time to celebrate your win!
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Why Is Celebrating Achievement of a Goal Important?
Encouragement – Rewarding and praising children or pets is a great way to encourage them to keep up the good work. It helps them to want to do better next time. Are we any different? I know rewarding myself after I’ve finished a book makes me want to start the next one.
Self-Confidence – Tell me recognition of an accomplishment doesn’t make you feel ten feet tall! If you can finish one creative project, then you can do another. And so, you take the first giant step toward achieving your long-term goals.
Reputation – Each achievement builds your credibility. The more creative projects you successfully complete, the more clients and customers will have confidence in your product (and you).
Take some time to celebrate what you’ve accomplished. Go on a special trip. Buy the item you’ve been eyeing for your collection. Treat yourself to lunch. Whatever you do, make certain it’s a positive experience.
Barnes and Noble
Colorado Residents: Tattered Cover
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Plodding through my current WIP for the umpteenth time, I ran across a passage about my main character’s family motto. Endurance. My character leans on this family axiom in a particularly troubling and dangerous time. His ability to endure through the most trying and painful experiences helps him to survive.
It got me thinking about editing.
Hear me out. Imagine going through the same manuscript again and again. I think I’m on either edit effort number five or six. I’ve lost track. It’s exhausting. I just want to hand the dang thing off to the next person. BUT – when you’re an Indie Publisher, there really is no “next person.” You must endure and do the work before sending it out. Line editors cost money. Most Indies don’t have a big wad of cash to blow. We must be certain the quality of our books is worth the expense. If your editor comes back with a “this isn’t ready” then you’ve just wasted hundreds of dollars.
“Find the one thing you value most and hold onto it with your very soul. How much would you endure to keep this treasure near your heart?” – excerpt from The Obsidian Gates
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What keeps me going? Passion. I love my stories and I love sharing them with my readers. Now you know my dearest treasure. My passion helps me to endure.
You’ve completed your novel and have self-edited until you can’t stomach looking at the words anymore. Time to send it out into the world, right? WRONG!
This is the perfect time to lovingly put your book in a safe place with a time lock. Why? I know how you’re feeling right now. You want this book gone and off your hands. Haven’t you suffered enough over its pages?
“The blush is off the rose,” “You’ve lost that loving feeling,” “If you like Piña Coladas…” I hate that song.
@mario beauregard – Stock.Adobe.Com
Let me talk you down. Impatience is the killer of quality. In your mindset right now, you don’t know for certain whether the book is ready or if you’re just being impatient. Giving your brain a chance to rest is key. You can come back in a month or so and look at your work objectively.
@Marek – Stock.Adobe.Com
What to do while you’re waiting. Hmm. You are a writer and writers write. Start a new book or a short story. You’ve got an entire month to finish an outline or first draft. Have a bit of fun by letting your creative brain engage in something new.