GMC For the Writer – Conflict

February 25, 2008 at 11:57 am | Posted in goals, Jessica, motivation, writing | 3 Comments
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I have conflict in my life. And it’s not the what we-as-writers-strive-for kind of conflict that results in juicy sexual tension between life’s players. It’s the kind of conflict that gets in the way of meeting goals and staying motivated. Life happens, and I find that, despite my best goal setting intentions, I’m easily distracted when it does. And I admit that I at times play a part in creating my own conflict.

What I’m talking about is the clash of my very own active personal archetypes.

Carl Jung coined the term, archetype, theorizing that humans have an inherited, pervasive idea, image, or symbol that forms part of the collective unconsciousness. [OED, p. 611] These repeated patterns of behavior have spurred numerous publications on the topic, and for the purposes of this article, I consulted the book, Sacred Contracts, by Caroline Myss.

In this book, the author introduces the idea that we each possess a unique combination of archetypes, of which four are universal. She places her discussion within a larger, spiritual context, but I have chosen to keep this article at its most base level, focusing on what Ms. Myss declares to be the four constant and universal archetypes: Child, Victim, Prostitute, and Saboteur.

Despite the negative connotations of their names, these archetypes embody neutral patterns of behavior. Together, they represent the issues, fears, and vulnerabilities that affect our actions and reactions. [Myss, p. 111]

Child

The Child needs to be nurtured and cared for. As writers, we often work in solitary conditions, with a drive and dedication that comes from within. Speaking for myself, my inner child causes constant distraction. The child in me is a creative one, but seldom wants to sit down and write. The child wants to watch a movie, or play outside, or take a nap. But the more I’ve given in to this child, the more off track I’ve gotten with my goals. To get to my end goal, I know that I need to work to find a better balance between the creativity of my child archetype and my want to play.

Victim

“The primary objective of the Victim archetype is to develop self-esteem and personal power.” [Myss, p.118] We have chosen a line of work that does little to foster either self-esteem or personal power. How many rejections can one person endure? Yet we continue to write and submit, write and submit. Not because we’re masochists, but because we have the burning desire to tell stories. Because the voices in our heads will not stop until we breathe air into them . . . and then new voices replace the old ones and we start the process all over again. With so many contingencies in this business the publishing process can often seem beyond the writer’s control, but there are things we can do as writers to chip away at the powerless feeling. We can keep writing, practicing, and learning in preparation for when one of those submissions goes from rejected to requested.

Prostitute

There is an opportunity cost to writing – when we sit down to write, we forego the opportunity to do something else. Friends, family, work, housework, fun, inner child . . . all vie for spots on our already full dance cards. Writing is one more thing to fit in to our often busy schedules. As a group comprised mainly of women, we still battle a subset of demands not incurred by our male counterparts, and have traditionally been the sex to negotiate away our time, power, and resources. These circumstances are what I think of when I think about the Prostitute archetype: giving away the best of ourselves at bargain basement prices and reserving very little to meet our own needs. When faced with so many demands on our time, it can often be easier to do for others than it is to make the selfish decision. The Prostitute archetype helps us learn that it’s okay to say no to outside influences.

Saboteur

The Saboteur “cause[s] you to resist opportunities . . . out of fear of inviting change into your life.” [Myss, p. 122-123] A friend once said to me that she had a fear of succeeding. It wasn’t until I started writing that I found understanding in what she meant by that statement. As I think about this business I realize that there is an inherent pressure on writers to make each book better and more successful than the last one. I sit down to write and at times ask myself, ‘Do I have it in me to do this?’ The Saboteur can easily sabotage creative opportunities and cause you to abort your dreams. [Myss, p.112] Yes, there is a reality to this business but at the root of the high concept, the marketing plan, and the media packet, is the necessity to tell stories.

There are plenty of people out there who will read your story and give you their honest critique about your work – constructive or harmful. Write the best story that you can and share it with the world; don’t you be the one to stand in the way of your success.

Our art imitates life . . . just as our characters have goals, motivations, and conflicts, so do we as writers and as people. And we all possess different facets to our personalities that cause us to act and react in certain ways. Understanding the “why” of those actions and reactions can help us stay true to ourselves and better handle the curves thrown our way when life happens.

Keep writing!

-Jessica

Sources cited in this post:

Cowden, Tami. What Are the Sixteen Master Archetypes? 2003-2005. [Retrieved May 16, 2005]. http://www.tamicowden.com/archetypes.htm

Dixon, Debra. Goal, Motivation, & Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction. Memphis, TN: Gryphon Books for Writers, 1996.

Myss, Caroline. Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. New York, NY: Harmony Books, 2001.

Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition. Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press: 1989.

[This article re-reprinted with permission]

Managing Your Time – For Writers

January 16, 2008 at 11:44 am | Posted in Bria, career, goals, time management, writing | 3 Comments

Last week we discussed priorities and how they effect your time and how you manage it. If you haven’t done the 10 min exercise yet, do it HERE.

This week I’d like to talk about Svelting Your Time. Just like you’re body, you want to put good things in to your time – that’s how you enjoy life the most and accomplish what you want. BUT, just like you’re body, we often put things in our time without thought and it leads to the equivalent of a jigglin’ tummy.

OK, take out your priority sheet.

Often the Important List and the Time List don’t line up is because of things beyond our control. For example, no matter how far down the list your job may be, often because of the mandatory hours, it’s number one on the Time List.

Looking at your Time List, circle any priority that is not lining up where you want it to be AND that is movable.

Great! Now let’s look at some ways to get things where we want them.

The first thing I suggest is to print or write up a nice, clean copy of your Time List and put it somewhere you’ll see it early in the day EVERY day.

Mine is typically on a colored index card with an inspirational quote at the bottom. I stick it in the place where my RPM’s are on my dashboard. I can see it when I’m sitting at a light or stopped to talk on the phone. When I get in the car, the flash of color is a reminder to live life by MY priorities, not someone else’s.

Let me ask you a questions: What isn’t on your list?

Is clean house on your list? Well, for most people the answer is no, and yet we spend hours a week cleaning our homes. I am in NO WAY suggesting you live in a pit, but just learning to consolidate your home chores is a great way to gain time:

• Do you sit and talk on the phone, or are you getting mindless things like dusting done
• Does everyone in the house have chores or (at the opposite end of the spectrum) are you the person running behind people picking up after them
• Do you clean as you go
• Do you put something down and have to put it away later or do things go directly to their homes
• How many times do you move unopened mail
• Have you put yourself on the Federal “Do Not Call” list: 1-888-382-1222
• Do you carpool, or are you always the person who drives
• Have you learned how to say know
• If TV isn’t on your list, how many hours do you watch it

Ah, Television. We use the phrase “Time Killer” for a reason. Once that time is gone, it’s never coming back. Let me challenge you to turn the TV off for 3 months – I took this challenge 5 years ago and it changed my life.

Now, I hear you all screaming – What? Give up TV cold turkey? What about Lost? I give myself 1 hour a week unless there’s something special on (special being something I can only see then and never again OR is informative and useful to my writing, life, or career.)

A trick I learned is to unplug my TV. Every time I want to sit and veg, I have to crawl behind the corner consol to plug it back in (that’s where all the dust is living I found out) – Most times it just isn’t worth it.

OK, so you gained a couple mins here and there. But, human nature has us filling it in with more useless time fillers. Don’t let your evil twin steal the time you worked so hard to gain.

Next week I’m going to talk about getting organized to have Time be your companion not your competitor.

Gain a few mins, carry your notebook, and Go Write,
-bria

I’m ready to get up now…

January 11, 2008 at 9:00 am | Posted in goals, life, Meg, resolutions, writer's block | 2 Comments

It’s official. I think the words have left me. I’ve been staring at the blank computer screen for five straight minutes trying to think of my opening line for this New Year’s writer’s resolutions blog. Now five minutes is not the black hole of time, but when your mind is empty and you’re a writer, (and you haven’t been writing for months) those precious three hundred seconds can feel like you’re trapped in space without oxygen.

This moment of frozen panic lead me to thinking about the beautiful email Jessica wrote last night in response to my quiet cry in the darkness…a tiny question hidden at the end of an irrelevant email…what if I never write again? Her response was perfect. She never allowed me to accept that I will NEVER write again, but gave me some avenues to pursue in my investigation of ‘why’ I’m not writing. And the one that stuck with me is her comment about having an inner three-year-old that stomps her feet, pouts and gives up. And having a real live three-year-old in my daily experience, I must admit there are some similarities to the standard tantrum and my recent behavior.

When I completed my last manuscript, I was so proud of it. I actually had a high concept plot (or what I think might be one), characters I wanted to have coffee with, some romance, some drama, even a conflict or two. I felt it was the best writing I had ever done. I let other people read it and got some great feedback and suggestions of areas needing work. Then I sent it out. And the rejections poured in and my heart sank. I started revisions and hated them. Every new word or chapter felt wrong so I stopped. And NaNo started and I struggled. Tremendously. So I threw myself on the floor, kicked my feet and screamed.

Okay, not really on that last part, but that is what I wanted to do. I admit I did pout, and I did growl a few suppressed primal screams. And I definitely whined (just read any blog in the last three months- hell reread this blog!). Therefore, summing it all up- I had an adulterized tantrum. And what happens to a whiny, tantrumming child? She goes in time out.

So here I am, still sitting in time out, literally facing the corner of the room (ironically that’s how my computer is set up). And I’m ready to get up. I want to. So I apologize to my creative process for forcing you into NaNo. It wasn’t the right outlet and did more harm than good. And I’m sorry, my sensitive soul, for rushing you into the world when you weren’t strong enough to deal with the rejections. The story needed polish and I shouldn’t have sent it out to agents when it wasn’t ready. And to my inner negativity, I need to put a leash on you and not let you roam free. Turn to the dark side again, I will not.

For 2008, I will follow my personal promise made last week. In my writing, I will remember that life is too short. I will write when I want to and how I want to. If the story is not working for me, I will find a new one. I will not waste my time and talent on something that weighs me down or does not excite me. I will write without thought of what others will think or how they will react. I will write in hopes of one day getting published, but not to get published. I will write for me.

-Meg

Vow To My Passions

January 9, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Bria, career, goal setting, goals, life, writing | 7 Comments
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It’s a new year and I must admit I’ve never loved New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, this year, I’m taking vows. Not holy ones, but one’s to my writing. I challenge everyone to make some vows to their own passions.

I, Bria Quinlan, do solemnly swear to treat my writing as a career and not just a mistress-hobby. I will behave professionally when representing my writing and myself and I will work at it as though I am already being paid.

I will do something every day to further my writing craft, whether it be writing, editing, polishing, learning, thinking or researching.

I understand that, just like any other career, vacations are necessary, and – just like any other career – should be planned for and scheduled ahead of time.

To further my writing as a career and a passion, I will continue to learn by reading authors I respect, craft books and attending classes and conferences.

While I respect the input of others and understand that most people give their input in an attempt to be helpful, not destructive, I will learn when to bend and when to remain faithful to my own words.

This year I vow I will transfer my knowledge of management and time and space organizational skills into a workshop for artists so that others can learn the skills so readily available in the business world.

And finally, my beloved writing, I promise you I will send you off with a faithfully penned query letter to at least ten agents by our anniversary, April 19th, so that you may grow to your greatest potential.

These things I swear.
2008 – a year of promise. What are yours?
-bria

Make life great in 2008!

January 4, 2008 at 9:37 am | Posted in goals, inspiration, life, Meg | 3 Comments

New Year’s Eve has always been my favorite holiday. I love that moment at midnight when past, present and future collide for one split second. You can feel the hopeful prayers resonate that ‘this is the year!’ For what? It doesn’t matter…what matters is the clean slate to reach for whatever goal or dream you have. To start over fresh and be the person you want to be…

In my last blog, I briefly mentioned my annual December trip through the calendar and how I lament the troubling times and relive the thrilling ones. In addition, I spend some time figuring out what went wrong- what areas of my life are draining me, what can I improve on, why am I not reaching my goals, etc. These days can lead me into a case of the blahs, but they are a necessary part of the process. That way, I can emerge on January 1 with a clear sense of how I want to live my next 365 days.

For example, in 2007, I chose the word ‘simplify’ as my theme. I decluttered my house (most of it- I think clutter reproduces while you’re sleeping) and held a yard sale. I got rid of anything in my life that drained me. Same with people- only surrounded myself with those who encouraged or inspired (yes you, Heartlettes!). In 2006, I decided to ‘follow my dreams.’ I attended my first writer’s conference and shared my writing with others. A successful year.

So it’s day four of 2008 and what is my theme for the year? I have the idea down pat, but it’s the succinct wording that eludes me. What I do have are three inspiring messages that will guide me at every turn:

On my fridge is a magnet that reads:
Risk- more than others think is safe,
Care- more than others think is wise
Dream- more than others think is practical,
Expect- more than others think is possible.

–Cadet Maxim (not sure if that’s the writer or the magnet maker LOL)

On my neck are charms from an Irish proverb:
Dance as if no one is watching,
Sing as if no one is listening,
And Live each day as if it were your last.

In my heart is a song by Martina McBride:
Anyway
You can spend your whole life buildin’
Somethin’ from nothin’
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway
God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good
When I pray it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway
This world’s gone crazy and it’s hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway
You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love ’em anyway
You can pour your soul out singin’
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah sing it anyway
I sing
I dream
I love anyway

Those words will remind me to not worry so much about what other people are thinking. To reach for my dreams without regard for the chance of success. To take chances, work harder and never give up, even if I never make it. Because in the end, I’d rather say that I tried, than admit I didn’t.

So perhaps my short phrase for 2008 is: “Life’s too short.”

How will you live your life in 2008?

-Meg

The Order Of Things – Time Management

January 2, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Bria, career, goal setting, goals, life, management, time management, writing | 4 Comments
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In my non-writing life I do a lot of Management Training (as well as personal and professional growth development and classes) so with the new year upon us, I thought I’d bring a little of that knowledge to this corner of the world.

This is an exercise usually done on the spot – It should take you no more than 12 minutes. To get the most out of it, don’t think too much, just go with what feels right. If you don’t have time to do this now, come back or print it out, but don’t read ahead.

What you need: Pen and Paper – turn the paper horizontal and make 3 columns of 10 rows.

STEP ONE:  In the first column write down the ten most important things in your life right now. Don’t worry about the order, but do try to make them clear. For example:

“Friends” is not a very clear category. What’s a friend versus an acquaintance? Do you mean a close group or a couple of people? Maybe the most important are only your closest two friends even though you love all your friends.

Some other categories I’ve seen: husband, children, faith, learning, exercise, health, writing, work . . . you get the picture –

Your list can have as few as you want, but now more than 10. Play with the list till your comfortable – – – erase / cross-out and rewrite until you’re comfortable with your list.

Once you’ve COMPLETED Step One, move on to Step Two.

STEP TWO:  Now take the list you came up with and put them in order of importance – the top one being most important.

Once you’ve COMPELTED Step Two, move on to Step Three.

STEP THREE: Using the same list, put it in order from what takes up the MOST TIME WEEKLY to the LEAST TIME.

You’ll notice right away that while work may not be near the top of your “Important” list, it may top your “Time” list. This is normal, work is general a set number of hours and that’s part of life, but let’s look at the rest of your list.

What type of trend do you see? If you’re prioritizing your personal life well, the Important list and the Time list will look pretty similar. If they don’t it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions.

What if one of the top things on your Important list is at the bottom of your Time list? This might be where it belongs, but are you sure?

Let’s think about writing as our example – I did this exercise with some writers, not long ago, most of which were moms AND worked outside the home. Right there most of their time belongs to other things. Some of them managed to still have Writing as one of their top 4 on the Time list – I know you won’t be surprised to hear that this group constituted most of the published authors.

As a group, we shared tips and brainstormed other ways to move Writing (and other Important categories) higher on the Time list:

  • Writing at games/rehearsals/practices
  • Speaking into a digital recorder on your way to pick-up kids
  • Keep a notebook in your bag – think your story through while shopping. Write down your notes while standing in line
  • Give up Television – Or cut back. When everyone else is involved in your favorite sitcom, that’s 30 minutes of time to write
  • Keep a notebook by your bed. One author said the five minutes before she gets up in the morning is often the most productive – her body has quit needing the alarm to wake her now that she’s excited about her morning routine
  • Have an accountability partner – how many days in a row can you have an email/phone conversation where you say “I wrote nothing” before you start finding 5 minute chinks of time

One of the first things people ask me when I sit down to teach or discuss time management with them is how I fit in so much more than them. The answer is: “I don’t.” That’s the honest truth. But I have started fitting in more of the right things.

The thing most people don’t understand about Time Management is this, it’s often Priority Management.

To a successful manager, this becomes second nature at work, but she’ll often leave the skill at the office door. If you aren’t clear what your priorities are, then you aren’t sure what to spend time on, then you aren’t sure how to balance that time.

I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m sure everyone reading this is saying, “Yeah, but you don’t know what my day is like.”

You’re right. I don’t. But the honest truth is every person can say that. Life is too short to grudge your way through. If you want to enjoy this one chance we have, know what you want out of life and put it on your list.

I do this exercise myself every 6 months – after the first 2 years, I was pleased to see that prioritizing my life had become more of a habit than a chore. I’m doing more of what I love and less of what I tolerate.

Oh, and book one is done.

In two weeks the Heartlettes will be blogging about Time Management. We’d love to hear your own personal tips.

And then, get organized and Go Write!
-bria 

Give As Good As You Get

December 31, 2007 at 10:47 am | Posted in career, goals, Jessica, motivation, writing | Leave a comment

While my Christmas was as hectic as I expected, it was much more emotionally peaceful than I imagined it could be. That, in and of itself, is one of the best Christmas presents I could have asked for. But if I dream big and dare to throw those big wishes out into the world, there are just two more things that my heart yearns to find under the tree . . .

An agent and a book contract.

So with this, the last post of 2007, I find myself straddling the line where the tail end of the old year falls on one side and the promise of the New Year awaits on the other. I got to thinking . . . if I toiled away on the groundwork in the old year, what am I prepared to give in the New Year to take the steps that will bring me closer to that desire?

Certainly, I need to find a way to produce the strings of words that will complete the projects I hope to sell. Ideally, I will have a product (preferably more than one!) worth selling. Realistically, I know I have some demands on my time that I will need to plan around to achieve any of my goals. Selfishly, I don’t want to sit down and write as much as I want to have already sat down and written. Grr . . .

Theoretically, if what I want is to get a contract, perhaps it will help if I give a contract. Karmic boomerangs and all that . . .

Julia Cameron, in her amazing book, The Artist’s Way, created a contract that she includes at both the beginning and end of the twelve-week course she lays out in the book. These contracts symbolize the participant’s commitment to the program contained in the pages in between.It is in the spirit of giving and commitment that I share the first of these contracts here (Cameron, p23):

    I, [FILL IN NAME], understand that I am undertaking an intensive, guided encounter with my own creativity. I commit myself to the twelve-week duration of the course. I, [FILL IN NAME], commit to weekly reading, daily morning pages, a weekly artist date, and the fulfillment of each week’s tasks. 

    I, [FILL IN NAME], further understand that this course will raise issues and emotions for me to deal with. I, [FILL IN NAME], commit myself to excellent self-care – adequate sleep, diet, exercise, and pampering – for the duration of the course.

    SIGNED

    DATED

Now, outside the context of The Artist’s Way, some of these references may not make sense, but I would challenge and encourage you to substitute those pieces with something relevant to you. So instead of ‘morning pages’ perhaps it’s your 2,000 words or 2 pages or 1 sentence per day you want to commit to. Or instead of the ‘twelve week course’ you have a four-month window in which to write your book. If you can boil your goals and your needs down to their smallest parts, there’s no reason why any one of us can’t take the steps to achieve what we set out to accomplish in the New Year.

Ready?

-Jessica

PS – I wish you a happy and safe New Year’s celebration – may 2008 be full of joy, prosperity, and success for you all!

Chocolate or The Whip?

October 10, 2007 at 10:31 am | Posted in Bria, goals, motivation, rewards, writing | 2 Comments

I am incredibly self-competitive. The thing that motivates me is usually an internal factor — even when it’s an external factor.For example, I don’t mind losing to someone who is genuinely better than I am.

In college one of my close study-buddies was a poet. We’ve all heard how bad my poetry skills are, so when dear old JB would get his beautiful A in a poetry seminar, I’d still revel in my B+ (I mean, I was bad, this B+ had to be a pity grade). . . But heaven forbid he beat me out in Shakespeare or a straight writing class. Not because I needed to compete with him, but because I needed to compete with myself and he was my measuring tool.

Even the sports I enjoy the most aren’t team sports — running, hiking, tennis, track. . .the idea that letting myself down or pushing myself further than a team can is a driving factor in all of these.

Maybe that’s why my temperament is a fine fit for writing.I set my goals as far out there a I think is slightly reasonable — and then I run at them.

To me, a goal is like a commitment I made to myself. I would never let down someone I cared about if I made a commitment to them, so why would it be ok to let myself down.

So, my rewards are dangling carrots, they’re special treats. Instead of say, “If I do . . . . by. . . I can have . . .” I’m more prone to saying, “Wow! Well done Bria. That book you wanted? Go get it, you did superb on your latest goal.”

Of course, the reverse is true as well. When I don’t make a goal, if I look at it and can see I missed it because of something controllable, I give my self a stern talking to.

Everyone’s reward is different, but whatever it is, it’s at the end of your path, not the path you feel you should be on because it works for so and so.

Writing is such a solitary endeavor, no matter how many writing buddies you have. Knowing your temperament and what drives you to succeed is crucial. If it’s competing with someone else, competing with yourself, making someone proud, proving to someone you can, hitting an external deadline. . . whatever it is that drives you, search for it, and then harnesses it.

Of course, CHOCOLATE works too. I’d love to hear how you reward yourself.

Go Write
-bria 

Where the Heck is my BLOG?

August 2, 2007 at 4:06 pm | Posted in Bria, career, goal setting, goals, writing | Leave a comment

Wednesday. Wednesday is my day to blog. I look forward to it each week. The running of ideas and the reading of my fellow Heartlettes’ posts as well as the hoping and thinking of something that someone (ANYONE!!!) might comment on. 

And so yesterday I posted. Today I returned to check out our site and the only thing I can say is “WHERE THE HECK IS MY BLOG?” 

Unfortunately, I didn’t save this blog on Delia O’Dell (my lovely writing partner / laptop) so, there won’t be a re-post going on. But it got me thinking, I’m am ridiculously self-competitive. I love to run myself against goals or personal bests. I knew my fellow Heartlettes wouldn’t have a problem when they knew the reason (yeah, someone explain it to me if you can) why my post wasn’t up on Wednesday, but it bothered my sense of meeting timeframes and goals – the feel of letting them down as well as myself. 

Knowing this about myself has been one of the driving forces in my accomplishments. In my other life, I coach people around their careers and developing that though their strengths and desires. One thing I always stress is not only know why you’re driven, but how you’re driven.  

If you like to run against numbers, then setting up measurable goals ahead of time is imperative. If you compete against others, then having a worthy (and hopefully willing) compatriot in that is great. 

As a writer, I’m excited by the self-competition. Creating my goals, running against them, meeting them or being motivated to recoup them keeps me moving forward when I would otherwise stall out. And it has the added value of not creating a muck within my writing relationships. 

I would hate it if I was moved by desires such as “I’ll be the first Heartlette published” or some such other nonsense. My girls are a support and a banner to follow, pushing me forward in my low times.  My goals are a force that pushes me from behind up those big hills. How lucky am I to have such great energies surrounding my dreams. 

Good luck with your dreams and Go Write!

-bria

Decisions In Action

July 5, 2007 at 10:13 am | Posted in Bria, career, goals, writing | Leave a comment

I will not be the one to take me out of the game.” – Jessica Heartlette 

Jessica’s post (and Jessica herself) motivated me greatly this week.  The drive to move forward and to consciously make a decision not to be your own greatest obstacle is something most people need to be reminded of occasionally.  And I’m no exception. 

Stealing an analogy from a fellow Romance Diva’s blog –I’m on a writing diet!  

So, just like a diet, I have a goal:  To publish. 

What is my timeframe: I gave myself 3 years straight out. Everything is about writing until April 2010 and then I’ll revisit my ‘diet’. 

What ‘junk’ am I giving up: TV – is a big time-sucker for me that I generally don’t get any big payoff from. Books – yes, books. Last year I averaged 1.2 books a day (I was unemployed for part of it) and some of them were good, but a lot of them were just time fillers.  People – Not the inner circle people. The time-sucker, why do I hangout with this person who is toxic/bitchy/mean/boring/needy/etc. people. Lastly, the ‘yes syndrome’ – Just because someone asks me to do something, doesn’t mean I have to volunteer to do it.  

And, as always, you can check out some of my ‘healthy diet’ at the resources link – I update it every week with new, good for you writing food.

What exercise am I getting: You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again – I’m a goals girl. They drive me and tracking my progress (thus, the goals page) keeps me motivated. But without actively setting aside time to write or edit everyday, all the thinking about writing, all the giving up time-suckers, all the telling people you’re writing means nothing. 

But the most amazing thing is the freedom this decision has given me.  I’ve explained the plan to the people in my life, and although some of them are grumbly-grumbly about writing coming in the Top 3 Things To Do Today category, they’ve all eased into supportiveness.  

Join me on my diet – Go Write!

-bria

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