You might have noticed that I didn’t write any posts this week. This is true–I had a ridiculously busy week, and I spent very little time at home. I’m even three days behind on email. But, foreseeing that I would be extremely busy this week–lately I’ve had little time to write during the week–I wrote some posts last week that I planned to publish on Monday and Wednesday.
One of them stayed in my system, ready to go but not scheduled. The other didn’t even make it into the system.
I’d like to remain optimistic and say that WordPress simply failed to register it when I scheduled the post, but it’s more realistic that I forgot to schedule it. To be honest, I’ve spent so little time at my computer this week that I didn’t notice the failure of my post to go live until just now.
Let me start by saying that I’m deeply sorry guys. I have been extremely busy this week and last week, but that isn’t an excuse. I made most of those plans myself. The only thing I have no control over is the hours I spend at school–which should leave me enough time to post regularly and work on my other projects. The rest of the time I’m visiting friends or going to events which I don’t have to say yes to.
This week is a prime example of why I need more discipline in my life and I need to follow a schedule. I’m an adult now and I need to move out by the end of this year. It’s hard, and it means cutting back my social life even more than I already have, and that’s a painful decision. But I have to do it.
I also have to cut back on my commitments. I’m committed to too many things right now. There are so many projects I want to start, so many things I want to do. But I can’t do them all at once, and right now my focus needs to be on my career. I need to start asking myself the hard questions about everything I do: what does this do for my career in the long run? In the short term? Will this project make me money? Will it help me support myself by the time this year is over? And I need to focus on the projects that will help me become self-sufficient by the end of the year.
What does this mean for Dianna’s Writing Den? I’m not sure yet. For now I am going to stick with my current posting schedule and cull my social visits. But there might soon come a time when I cut back my blog posts to two per week, because so far, this blog isn’t my best money maker. I love running this blog, I love the connections I’ve made and the community I’ve created, but I can’t let blogging come at the detriment to my other writing projects.
So here’s the plan. For the next month I’m going to continue with my regular posting schedule and cut back on my social visits, and I’m going to see if this gives me enough time to do the work required to lay a foundation for my career. This time next month–March 15th, also a Friday–I am going to assess my progress and make a final decision on my blogging schedule. If I find that blogging is doing me more harm than good by eating up all my time for other projects, I will cut back on the number of posts I write each week. If I find that blogging isn’t damaging my time for other work, I’ll continue with this schedule.
All I know today is that it’s time to create a big change in my life. I hope you’ll stick with me on this journey and I want you to know that no matter what, I won’t abandon this blog completely. I love it too much and I’m too committed to you guys. I just need to make sure that my commitment to helping you become better writers doesn’t damage my own writing career.
Thank you for reading and being part of the community I’ve worked so hard to create.
Have you committed yourself to too many projects? Do you need to renew your commitment to your writing career? And how would you feel if I cut back from three to two posts per week?
Sometimes, life throws a curve ball at you. Sometimes it hurts the head, sometimes it hurts the brain, and sometimes it hurts the soul. On occasion, it hurts all three. When life is feeling particularly nasty, two or three of these curve balls are lobbed at you, and you’re expected somehow to figure everything out.
I’ve had a couple of those curve balls to deal with this week. Some strange confessions from some very old friends have rocked my world, and I’m still recovering. My mind doesn’t slow down at times like these and sleeping becomes difficult. I’m putting pieces of a new world together in my mind because the old one is apparently broken. And it’s uncomfortable. It’s a painful sensation.
In a way it’s a mixed blessing. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Change is usually both for bad and good: it hurts, but it leads to a better place. Focus on the future that you want. Be willing to revise the details, but know the things your soul wants most.
Today’s prompt is based off of the week I’ve had:
Write a scene in which a very dear friend makes a surprising confession–of love, of mental illness, of a crime they’ve committed–and show your character’s reaction to it, both on the inside and the outside. Then write another scene of them processing it by themselves. Focus on how they process it: how quickly they process it, if they get angry at the person for keeping the secret for so long, if it haunts them for days or months.
Please post the first sentence of your response.
When working to achieve your goals, it’s good to remember that how you think about your goals is as important as the goals themselves. I’m not just talking about Breaking Down Big Goals, I’m talking about optimism versus pessimism in a sense. Not optimism towards the world-I still have a very bleak worldview-but optimism towards yourself. I’m talking about focusing on positive reinforcement instead of negative reinforcement.
Thinking ‘I Can’ and ‘I Will’ instead of ‘I Can’t’ and ‘I won’t’
Everybody’s told you to make sure that your goals are concrete and achievable. What they haven’t told you is how much your thinking can damage your progress.
I’ll use a very personal example. Until recently, I’ve always had relationship problems. I never gave any of my relationships longer than six months life expectancy. I expected that I would be a bad girlfriend; I expected that nobody would be able to deal with me.
At the end of the summer, I had a mental breakdown. I screwed up the best relationship of my life, and it could have been forever. Thankfully it wasn’t. But before I could re-commit to the relationship, I had to change the way I thought. Instead of ‘this isn’t going to work’ I had to think ‘this will work’. I had to think ‘this will last a long time’ instead of ‘this will only last a few months’. I had to think ‘I can be a good girlfriend, I will be a good girlfriend’ instead of ‘I’m a bad girlfriend, I will always be a bad girlfriend’. Most of all I had to learn to think about how I could get through the problems in my mind, the problems in my communication with my boyfriend, rather than thinking they were unbeatable and that they would destroy us. I did make all of these mental changes, and I’m back to that commitment, quite happily still in the best relationship I’ve ever had.
Your writing goals-and your life goals-can be just as easily broken down as your relationships, if not more so. All it takes is thinking ‘I can’t accomplish this’ or ‘life won’t give me the time I need’ or ‘I won’t do this.’ You have to think ‘I can accomplish this’ and ‘I will make time for this’ and ‘I will do this’. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s something you have to do.
When you’re feeling down and life is getting in the way, think about what you have already accomplished. If you managed to do that when letting life push you around, imagine what you can do if you forcibly make time to reach your goals. If you’re feeling down about your writing, then write something anyway, and focus on how good it feels to have written, not how hard it is to write.
Replace every Negative thought with a Positive thought
Every time a nasty thought about yourself and your goals, challenge it with a positive thought. Don’t think that you’re the most amazing person ever instead of the worst person ever; do think that you are a good person rather than a bad person. Every time ‘I can’t do this’ pops into your head, tell yourself ‘yes I can, if I try’. Every time you think ‘I’m too lazy to do this’ or ‘I’m not disciplined enough for this’ tell yourself ‘I can do this’ and ‘I am disciplined enough’. If something is really blocking you from reaching your goals, think about how to get over, around, under, or through that obstacle.
I am devoting myself to a new way of thinking. I will not say that I am lazy or undisciplined. I will say that it is hard for me to keep any strict routine, and I will think of ways to be productive without a strict routine so that I don’t get myself down about not being in routine. I will not say that blogging three times a week is too much work for me. I will say that I can do it, but I need to make the time for blogging. I will not believe that it is too hard to finish rewriting a novella while working on the mythology of another world. I will believe instead that with proper focus and making time I can certainly finish both the mythology and the novella in a couple of months.
Did you complete high school? Odds are, if you managed that-or if you’re still in school and managing to pass-you can do a lot of other great things, too. If you completed high school, you have the discipline to write a book, even if not very quickly. If you completed high school, you can probably blog three times a week; it’s no different from doing three one-page assignments in a week. You might say that they gave you six hours a day to do it in-but if you made time for your homework, you can make time for your passion.
So next time you look at your list of goals and think ‘I’m never going to manage that in a year’, think instead ‘I can do this and probably more this year’. It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. (Except maybe breathing and sleeping… Possibly eating.)
What negative thoughts are holding you back? How will you challenge this?