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Happy 2015!! Sneak up on those goals!

So it’s a brand new year all ready. Are you prepared?

First I always find it pays to look at the last year – while trying very hard to look at things in a positive manner, focusing on what was achieved and accomplished rather than just what wasn’t accomplished. 🙂

Then comes the new year, and for me, since I have rather mixed feelings about January and February (mostly like a post-holiday hang-over and that these are the long, dark months of winter). So, I’ve been “sneaking up” on my goals for the year. Since I know many people have rather mixed feelings about year-long goals and and setting resolutions, I thought I’d share how you, too, can sneak up on your goals. 🙂

Christmas and the holidays can be very stressful and full of excitement. And while it’s wonderful, exciting, and more glittery than any other time of the year, there’s also the inevitable let-down when all the pretty lights go out and we’re left in the dark of January and February. It can be easier to look at the negative in that kind of environment. If you’re not pleased with your progress (you know, since you’re looking at the negative), it can be really hard to see the bright possibility of a new year. Dark questions arise. What’s the point of writing (or whatever it is that you’re doing)? Why am I doing this anyway? Why shouldn’t I just quit and try something else?

Here’s the trick of the sneaking up: don’t treat the questions as rhetorical. Answer them. Yep, you heard me. Those questions that start to get you down? Answer them, with honesty and an open heart. Free-writing or a journal entry that no one else ever has to see is a great start (and it’s what worked for me.)

Yes, at first you may start out in the kind of tone better for a grumpy ogre. But keep writing. Keep opening yourself to the possibilities.

Why do I do this? Because I’m a writer, and that’s what I do. It isn’t all about the marketing, the sales, or becoming a bestseller. It’s about writing, creating a story, and hopefully sharing that story with readers. I continue to press onward in part because I’m more stubborn than is probably healthy, and because I want to send a positive example for my young daughter. What’s the point of writing what I write? Because I believe in it, and because I write the stories that I want to read – even if not everyone is going to love them (the subjectivity of the business), and even if it’s not what everyone else writes. Why shouldn’t I give up and try something else? Because I’m a writer, and it’s too much a part of me to just stop (besides, I did mention that more stubborn than healthy part, right?) 😉

As you find your truths by answering these questions, the goals often arise from them. Has one action not resulted in what you want? Well, maybe it’s time to switch tactics. Does something scare you? Maybe you should consider doing it anyway.

And in the end, while I have a few more specific goals, I also have some broader ideas that I want to bring into my life in 2015. I want to live bravely, pushing my own boundaries. I want to build in more fun into my life, for the sake of stress-relief and because hey, fun is good! 😉 And I want to act, reaching for my dreams instead of just dreaming about them.

Wishing you power, bravery, and fun in your 2015, along with whatever you work toward. All the best, thanks for reading, and I look forward to chatting throughout the year. 🙂

The Journey to Publication, Writing

Exorcising Emotional Burrs

So maybe it’s just me, but have you ever encountered something like a vexing email, something on the news, something in a blog post that just rubbed you the wrong way? And after it starts to bother you, and work on you, did you for some reason keep it around?

I write this since I recently read a blog post that really rubbed me the wrong way. It felt discouraging, a bit arrogant, and frankly made me feel lousy most of the day. And the silliest bit – aside from letting something else influence how I felt when that’s up to me – was that I didn’t immediately just read and then delete it from my email account. So next time I opened the account, there was this item, off to irritate me all over again.

Now certainly it could be that my skin is feeling a bit thin, or maybe I was looking for something to be irritated about. But actually, I suspect the post bothered me not in its fallacy or attitude, but because I saw some part of it that confirmed a truth I didn’t want to believe, that it stated something I couldn’t believe because it would, in small part, murder hope.

Thus of course, my reaction was less to the post, and more to my own reaction, this confirmation of the bogey-man. (And frankly, I’d much rather some days he just stayed hidden in the shadows and left me alone, thanks.)

So why then keep something that inspired those negative feelings?

Maybe because I still needed to think about it. Maybe I needed to assess for myself my beliefs on the topic, and decide if I believed it or not. And, because maybe I wanted to poke at the wound and hope that with enough salt, the pain would be numbed and couldn’t hurt me anymore.

Now it’s your turn: have you ever received something that annoyed you and for some reason kept it? How do you react to such encounters with the burr that gets beneath your skin?

Thanks for reading, and have a great week. 🙂