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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

As the song goes – some days are diamonds, some days are stones. (Well I hope that’s how it goes. I’ve only just convinced my daughter that the words to another song are ‘Deep Water’ rather than the ‘Pete Waller’ she was singing.)

Yesterday was a stones kinda day.

But today is better. Why? I think it’s all about your mental approach and having a system to deal with these things and get yourself back on course.

For me, one of the first things I try to do is get my mind thinking in a way that’s helpful to me. I picked up one of the many, many inspirational books on my shelf and looked for help. The first page asked, ‘Where will you be five years from today?’ (It happens to be the name of the book too.) It was all I needed. That one line gave me my problem and my cure.

Problem – I’m not exactly where I want to be.

Cure – Make a plan to get there.

The other thing was that it reminded me that I had made a plan, I had been sticking to it, and I am slowly getting there.

Where I want to be is published in fiction. Where I am, is writing stuff for other people to make money. (A good substitute, because I do like eating and paying my bills.)

My plan is to give myself two years to continue this way, keep finishing all my half-done projects and put them out there. I’m not starting another new thing until they’re done. Everything new gets jotted down and stuck into the ideas file.

It didn’t turn my day into a diamond, but it made it possible for me to keep on going rather than getting stuck in a rut.

So next time your day is stones, inspire yourself. You know what to do. You’ve done it before. You will do it again.

And finally, here’s another piece of inspiration from the 5 book – Give yourself permission to aim high in work and life. Take time to dream and plan.

 

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Start. Do anything. Do something. Act.

If you can do one small thing today, you are one step closer to your goal.

Do you have a goal?

Perhaps today is the day you work out what your goal is. Because that is enough to take you one step ahead and how to make progress. (Well don’t just sit there. Get a piece of paper and do it now.)

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What happens when you put yourself out there – and your ‘baby’ (non-fiction book idea, fiction manuscript, idea for a tv series or screenplay, whatever it is) – and not only does your pitch fail, but you get the distinct impression you should really crawl back in your hole and stay there? It happened to me this week – and, not surprisingly for a sensitive creative type (read neurotic!), it really knocked me around.

All the crappy things in your head come up – things about self-worth, past failures (somehow your successes diminish at a rapid rate) and whether you should give up now, because rejection really hurts (ouch!).

So, after a quiet meltdown, I realised some ‘deconstruction’ was needed! I’d written a blog recently: The Upside of Failure, so I decided to take my own advice. And I know my writerly readers out there will relate to this, because we have to risk exposure and rejection in order to reach for that elusive publication dream. Here’s the lessons I took out of my failure:

  1. Hold things lightly. Don’t wrap up your entire self worth with the outcome. Because it may just be that you don’t appeal to that person’s area of interest or taste.
  2. Take risks – but take the risks that involve reaching for your dream, not the risks that are about things you don’t care enough about, don’t really want to do, and aren’t worth wasting your precious energy on (like thinking you need to go for a particular job to be seen as successful, even if you know you’d absolutely hate it!)
  3. Before you give up – work out whether you’re just going through a dip (so it’s worth sticking at it) or whether you’re actually on the wrong track and headed for a dead end (Seth Godin’s The Dip is a must read…)
  4. Work on the things you can change, but hang onto the things that are essential to who you are (aka authentically you). Don’t change you to fit anyone’s mould or idea of success.
  5. Take lessons from failures, then let them go (the failures, not the lessons)
  6. Last but not least: stop doing what what you do (paint, write, create) just to get a result (like publication or money). Create from the heart. Do it because you love to do it and it’s vital to your wellbeing. Love the process, and you are already a success… the money and recognition will be a (nice) bonus.

And remember, some people are just plain rude. Their ignorance is a reflection on them, not you. If all else fails, crank up a Alanis Morrissette’s I see right through you and sing your heart out. You’re not the first one to feel these things, and you won’t be the last. It’s what you do with how you feel that matters.

So power up your dreams and go for it… I know I am.

Lou x

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When you look back at the year that’s just flown past, what do you remember?

The birth of a child or a grandchild, getting a new job, going to a rock concert or a festival, buying a house or car, getting married – or divorced, losing someone you love, getting a new dog or cat, losing weight, getting published…

Big moments and big changes might get all the attention, but it’s those trillions of little moments that really make up your year — and your life. So as Christmas approaches and everything’s a little bit manic, stop and breathe. And be in every moment.

This second. This place. This body. This… is your life.

And we’ll leave you with this: Rob Thomas – Little Wonders. Have a wonderful silly season… talk to you soon.

Louise & Sandra x

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Catching that thought…

I’m an avid people watcher, and I love walking and taking in the signs of life around me. I just can’t help myself. An old man with a fascinating face, kids playing up in a skate park, a mother trying to calm her three year old down (who hasn’t worked out that Santa delivers on Christmas Eve), a young girl hurrying home in the dark, a couple having dinner – and not much conversation…

There are so many places and people and stories, and so much body language, to capture. And I’m going to wish I could remember them one day… when the muse is out to lunch and I’m in need of some inspiration.

But the problem I have is getting them down and keeping them sorted. I have snatches of stuff all over the place, more lost than found. So today I bought myself a sexy notebook, and I’m going to take it with me everywhere. No, it’s not an iPad(although I do have a lot of notes in my iPhone!) and it’s not a voice recorder (because, let’s face it, talking to yourself just feels stupid).

It’s just a simple notebook, and I’ve already written a scene snatch and character notes. It’s a bit like incidental exercise – a bit here and there adds up.

So I’m not going to write my to do list in it, or use if for shopping lists or work notes. This is, for once, just about characters, scenes and conversations. Whatever catches my attention, wherever I am.

It’s a step towards getting my focus on my writing again, and not coming up with all those ‘time-poor’ excuses. And catching my thoughts, for later.

How do you keep your scribbles and thoughts together? We’d love to know…

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I’ve had a list of ten things pinned on my fridge for so long that the paper is crispy feeling and I no longer remember where the hell I got it from.
But I look at it all the time and try to do the things it says.
I was going to list five, seeing as this is five for Friday. But then I thought you might want to print it out and stick it on your fridge too – as a gentle prod to get you doing things differently sometimes.
1. Accept personal responsibility for change, no matter how small.
2. Reflect on your own behaviour.
3. Identify what you have got to give.
4. Act in your own context.
5. Collaborate.
6. Join. Network. Lobby. Advocate.
7. Treat everyone with respect.
8. Be inclusive.
9. Maintain your rage, your hope and your optimism.
10. Celebrate your successes.

See? Who doesn’t need and get inspired by that list?

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