If you are anything like me, you are a self-improvement junkie. You love reading self-help articles, trying out every single app that promises improved productivity, and then you find your head stuffed with so much information and don't really know what you've accomplished on the journey. If anything.
Not only do I do all of this because I strive to be the very best version of myself BUT I also want to help YOU thrive in your life, writing, and business. I want you to be crushing goals and taking names.
Maybe I don't have it all figured out but in this past year I've jumped and gone miles from where I was at the end of 2016. Here's what I've learned.
Read, Read, Read
As Stephen King put it, “You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do so. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” If you don't know what makes a story great, how do you intend to write a good story? You should read as much as you write - books inside your genre and books outside of your genre as well.
Simplification is the secret sauce! Seriously, you don't need a desk full of a million loose papers or a phone stocked with 50 apps you don't use. I saw a significant jump in my productivity when I began clearing my life, home, and work of the unnecessary. Here's how you can do the same:
Set Daily Affirmations
There are lots of ways you could do this. You could write them down on flash cards, print them out on pretty paper and hang on your vision board, create a Trello board dedicated to your goals and affirmations, or do what I do - write them out in your journal. And, yes I'm totally serious! Creating affirmations and reading them/saying them aloud has done AMAZING things for me and my life and writing. The universe wants to help you, you just have to tell it what you want. Here are a few examples of affirmations I like to use:
You may be thinking that this sounds silly, but just try it. Proclaim what you want to the universe over and over, change them with time if you need to, and see what amazing things happen.
Don't Edit While You Write
This was such a hard one for me to get the hang of. It is extremely hard for me to write a first draft without wanting to go back every two seconds and re-work what I just wrote. So, I totally get it. But, guess what? That is the opposite of best practice when it comes to getting that first draft completed. Your mindset needs to be in a completely different state when you are writing than when you are editing and it's a productivity killer when you flip between the two so frequently.
When I get that itch to edit something or go back, I make a point to remind myself that the first draft is all about FINDING your story. Write down anything and everything. Every scene and every thought. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be done. Then, after you type that last sentence and take a nice break from the manuscript, it's time to go back through and revise and rework things if necessary.
What are your goals? Why are you even writing in the first place? Friend, when times get tough or you feel that spark of creativity and passion dulling, knowing WHY you are doing what you are doing is so important in keeping up the momentum.
If you don't know where you are going, how do you expect to ever actually get there? I encourage you to take some time to figure out your why and craft your legacy as a creative writer.
When times start to get tough, it can be easy to decide to give up completely. Knowing this information can help you bring you back to center, re-align, and continue on the path to goal crushing.
This is one of my FAVORITE things to talk about so I could go on and on here. But for the sake of keeping this post in a good readable length, I'll share five of my favorite tips with you.
I LOVE being able to look back and see what I've accomplished. When you can actually SEE the work you've done, you are much more motivated to keep doing what needs done. One of my favorite and most used apps on my phone (and computer) is called Toggl. Each time I sit down to do a writing session, I click the timer button and track exactly how much time I'm writing. I do the same when I'm outlining or writing blog posts or creating products. This way, I can see exactly how much time I've spent doing what and where I'm spending the most of my energy.
I also encourage you to track your web analytics and your social media growth. Where is your traffic coming from and how can you make sure you show up there and provide the best content possible for those people? Do your analytics correlate with how profitable you were? Hint, hint - usually, that answer is yes.
Sure, it can take some work to find exactly what works for you. But, once you find your groove, there is nothing that can stop you. Use what works. Create a plan of action and execute it like the BOOK BOSS you are.
Yes, life happens. Dogs need walking, families need feeding, houses need cleaning. But, that's exactly why a plan is so important to have, should something super crazy happen and attempt to throw you off track.
Being organized and productive IS possible. Getting stuff done IS possible. Now, who's ready to have the BEST writing year ever?
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