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Don’t Stay Stuck

February 17, 2021– Fear can be paralyzing. Our brains are wired to be on high alert for threats and haven’t evolved too much since the days of sabretooth tigers. Often, we live the same day over and over and call it a life because it’s safe and comfortable; that’s the furthest thing from actually living a life that is meaningful, exciting, and makes an impact.

Have you heard of the saying, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t”? What does it mean? It’s a silly sentence that basically says I’d rather be comfortable keeping the status quo and being safe rather than take a risk in case it doesn’t work out. This mindset and way of thinking keeps us stuck in jobs we hate, relationships that should be ended, and in situations that don’t serve our future. Sure, things might suck now, but what if they got worse, is often used as a crutch and keeps us living a life that’s mediocre. Change can be painful, but it hurts a whole heck of a lot less than staying stuck and miserable. Sometimes, we only take action to change because we’ve been forced to e.g., we’ve been laid off or have gotten sick etc. I’d rather live a life on my terms and change because I want to, not because now I have to.

So, how do we start to change our lives?

  1. Be mindful.  It’s time to start looking at your behaviour and find patterns/habits that are keeping you stuck. Are you lazy? Do you procrastinate and do everything except write when you’re supposed to? Do you take the easy way out? Do you leave things until the last minute? Do you have a bad attitude or think that you know it all? Are you arrogant and think that no one can teach you a thing? It’s time to be honest with yourself. What are all the things that make you unhappy in your writing life? List them.
  2. Be disruptive. Break out of the negative cycles that you’ve become accustomed to. Let’s use procrastination as an example, you procrastinate because you feel overwhelmed or because you don’t know where to start. Then, instead of getting to work right away on what needs to be done, you clean out the junk drawer, play on your phone, or check social media. How do we disrupt this negative cycle? We could set a timer for ten minutes of writing a day, or we could get up earlier to write when we have less distraction, we could commit to rewarding ourselves after ever five pages written, and so on. The point is, we need to disrupt the cycle of procrastination by changing things.
  3. Be direct. Create a new routine that’s positive and will help you reach your goals. Perhaps we need to change our writing environment, find new inspiration, upgrade our skills, or find new tools for our writing tool box. Whatever you need to do, do it. Achieving success is all about looking at the big picture and focusing on your goals. Take things one step at a time and take the first step!

Remember, we can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. Be truthful with yourself about what you need to change in order to live the writing life of your dreams!

 

 

 

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How To: A quick and dirty guide to get the creative juices flowing!

June 1, 2018- We’ve all been there; we’re on our sixth cup of coffee, it’s two o’clock in the afternoon, and we’ve been staring at our blinking cursor on a blank page for almost an hour. The sound of our head thudding off our desk is the only sound except for the voice in our head that screams, “You’re a failure! You’re a no talent hack who can’t write!” And this is on a good day! Ok, maybe that’s just me. Nonetheless, we’ve all been stuck at one time or another while trying to write the next New York Times Best Seller. I want to arm you with some tools for your toolbox the next time you get stuck, so I’ll share with you my dirty little secrets for getting inspired!

  1. I change ANYTHING. Seriously. When I’m stuck creatively, I change anything that I possibly can. There were two weeks where I switched sides of the bed with my husband to see if I could get out of my creative writing rut and guess what? It worked! Why? Because any time you change up your perception, creativity happens! It’s true, sometimes the simplest switch in your routine is just the kick in the ass that you need. Also, try switching up your location, go to the mall, go for coffee, sit in nature for a while, do whatever it takes to get inspired.
  2. Read outside of your genre. If you’re writing non-fiction, read anything fiction based. If you are writing a thriller, read a romance, if you’re writing a romance, read a biography. Reading outside of your genre does two things to help your creativity, it expands your imagination, and it lets you take a much needed mental break. I write books that are psych thrillers, and sometimes I need a break from the genre so what do I do? I pick up the total opposite to read during my leisure. My choices have ranged from The Unauthorized Biography of Axl Rose to cozy romances, and everything in between. It works and lets me escape from the murders and dismemberments that I have created.
  3. Use writing prompts. The internet is full of writing prompts and my advice to you, if you’re stuck is to start writing ANYTHING. Scour the headlines for something that you can expand into a storyline, go on Pinterest and type in writing prompts and I can assure you that you’ll come up with something.  Re-write one of your favourite fairytales or movies to have a completely different ending! The important thing is to write and keep writing.

What tips do you have for other aspiring authors? What’s the best advice that you can offer them to get unstuck? Sound off in the comments below!

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