Tag Archives: Goal Setting

Hit a Writing Dip? Stay Motivated

Standard

We all find ourselves in the dreaded dip from time to time, unsurprisingly the pressure of a new year and new goals is enough to send the most sturdy writer over the edge… so I have put together this motivational post just for you.

person-woman-desk-laptop.jpg

Remember pursuing a writing career is a guarantee you will face rejection, find projects stall and possibly feel no confidence in your ability. But remember this is what you want to do, this is what you live for, this is enjoying work on those good days in a way you never could before. For those times when your world is rocking, it is all worth it and all part of this path you have chosen.

The best way to deal with it is to learn the tricks, keep the dream alive and know even the greatest feel this way from time to time.

 

2012 brighton 532

 

Rejection is not personal

Sometimes maybe the writing wasn’t up to scratch but more often than not it doesn’t fit alongside accepted work, may not be the taste of a particular editor, may be too similar to work which has already been published/accepted.

The main thing is – rejection – means you are submitting your work, which is an achievement in itself. If the writing is good it will find a place eventually and sometimes that place is a better match than the place you initially sought acceptance from.

It won’t make it hurt any less, but it is normal. Normal to be rejected and normal to feel a bit dejected by it.

pexels-photo-278312.jpeg

 

TLC

I do not reward myself when I get writing accepted, unless you count mentally doing the happy dance, but I do commiserate myself when I read a rejection.

Do something that refocuses or lifts you for a while. Go for a walk, read a chapter of a book (if you can still bear to hold one in your hands), try a few relaxation exercises, watch a comedy show, or even eat cake. Do something that makes you feel better. Just something between 10-30 minutes just to get your mindset shifted.

The best thing is to send something else out there (as long as your writing is ready) a flight of new hope, then move on.

woman-typing-writing-windows.jpg

 

Create Deadlines

Of course you know the actual submission deadline. We all miss them from time to time (learn to forgive yourself and let go). In Life Coaching* we always break goals down into smaller steps. Each chunk needs a deadline. These skills can be transferred to how you work as a writer.

*I qualified as a Life Coach in 2007.

 

Commitment

Allocate enough writing time to achieve your goals. Yes! I am well aware there is never enough writing time and few of us are lucky enough to fulfil a full-time writing career, but every dream needs commitment otherwise it is just a wish/ wishy washy.

So take yourself seriously and allow it.

Give priority to your writing time.

pexels-photo-280264.jpeg

Speaking of time…

Time 

Discover when the best time for your writing is. I tend to be best early in the morning both at the beginning of the day before lunchtime and now at 1 AM in the morning.

I organise my writing day so I am actually producing at my optimum times and fit the admin tasks and chores and everything else into the time that my writing brain isn’t in prime working mode.

We are all different. It takes a while to find out what is the best time for you, but it is worth bearing it in mind.

Note: A few hours before deadline is really not the best time for quality writing/editing.

Once you know when to write you can learn how to write. Allowing yourself 1 hour can be more productive than allocating an entire afternoon. Some people work in blocks of 25 minutes ‘The Pomodoro technique’, I tend to find that I need longer to write but I do take my breaks to do other things in blocks of 20 minutes.

 

Lists

pexels-photo-131979.jpeg

Mr G. used to laugh at my TO DO LISTS as they would always have wash hair, breakfast etc. on them. He knew these were not things I would forget to do. I explained they enabled me to tick something off before 10 AM.

My lists have come a long way since then, I rarely put shower/hair on them anymore. They will include a little box of chores that need attention to make sure I do not get too lost in the admin and the writing and there is an important point. It no longer amazes me, but for years it did – the amount of admin a writer has. You could easily fill whole days without actually getting any writing done and so when you are scheduling your time allow yourself the discipline of actually writing. I used to work on a laptop that didn’t recognise we have Internet.

Nowadays I am better on focusing on one job at a time and avoiding social media/internet distractions (don’t judge me, but I never needed the LOLCats).

pexels-photo-311268.jpeg

 

What alchemy is this? The magic of lists. I simply write 2 or 3 things at a time that need to be completed and keep adding. If you write a long list of everything your brain will freak out at the sight of it and this is not good for creativity and free flowing thoughts.

 

pexels-photo-597331.jpeg

Plan your time and reward yourself. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

From INKSPILL (Our online Annual Writing Retreat) 2014

inkspill-how-to-get-rejected-guest-writer-william-Gallagher/

inkspill-making-time-to-write-guest-writer-williamgallagher/

inkspill-good-morning-come-and-watch/

INKSPILL SHARE BUTTON

From INKSPILL (Our online Annual Writing Retreat) 2017

inkspill-get-motivated-to-write/

From INKSPILL (Our online Annual Writing Retreat) 2016

inkspill-hugging-the-monster/

motivation ave

whats-the-point-keeping-motivation-alive/

the-ups-and-downs-of-creatives/

the-emotional-spectrum-of-writing/

turn-the-negatives-into-positives-how-to-look-at-your-writing-block-in-a-new-light/

Advertisements

Setting the Sights

Standard

all sorts 09 10 022 Today is a celebration – 3 years of this blog, I spotted the WP Trophy icon on the site! I went for a wander around the data and was happy to see the growth in traffic, visitors and followers year on year. This wander down memory lane landed me in the New Year posts from 2015. After I read them and recalled how I felt this time last year in my writing skin, I decided to write this post.

Last year in this post Truth & Rainbows I wrote about goals/resolutions and I know I have said this year is all about my house (which it is), I still have a growing poetry/writing skin to fill. This blog was primarily started to keep tabs on my writing life. It has become so much more than that to me and hopefully to you, but from time to time I want to take it back to the original detail. This is me, starting a new life, I am a writer. (2013) writing

I have often said that what the world sees is the tip of the iceberg and actually they never see the part under the surface. We all know too well those internet lists of incredibly successful people who started with a series of failures, some lasting decades. I always wanted to mix the downs and ups, tell you about rejections and so on, equally I want to mark the successes.

So I have lifted this list from the review post Truth & Rainbows. It isn’t just about blowing my own trumpet, it’s to get you to think about yours and realise that if you keep on, you will get there.

Reviewing Resolutions 2015 – Reflecting on 2014

ARCHIVED NEW YEAR / GOAL SETTING LINKS

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/new-year-new-you-writing-resolutions/

It seems last year I did make resolutions, the best thing about this post  ^ is knowing the results 12 months later;

Here are my resolutions –

I am working towards a collection of poems for a pamphlet. I sent 2 manuscripts, both were rejected but one showed promise and I continue to make this my personal project of 2015. The process has opened up a whole new world. I had the wardrobe, now I have to find my way around Narnia!

I am starting work as an Assistant Writer with hope of having a position as a Lead Writer in 2015. I am coming up to 12 months as an Assistant Writer for WWM and have also been 1 of 3 writers picked as mentors for a term.

I am going to have a big presence on the Performance Circuit in the hope of being booked for guest spots by the end of the year. I managed 107 events, some were open mics, other were gallery openings, art projects, festivals, commissions, collaborations, everyone of them was a delight! I performed alongside many amazing people and have just had my 2nd Headline/ Main guest booking!

I will submit poetry for publication. I did! Some was published, others rejected, all were new writing fresh from my pen.

I will write some short stories for competitions. I did, I have shelved this as I was not particularly successful in this field although I corresponded with some incredible people and had a few close misses. However, posts I wrote back in 2013 about writing short stories are still top of the stats several years later.

2016 – Reflecting on 2015

I am working towards a collection of poems for a pamphlet. In August 2014 I submitted a manuscript and in January 2015 this was accepted for publication. It has been a long, hard year and somewhat disappointingly my work is not yet out in print. I am in the final editing stages and have learnt a lot from this process. I know that the final pamphlet will be stronger for the additional work that has gone into it and will mean so much when I finally get to hold a copy!

As I didn’t enter the poetry world until October 2013 I mark this acceptance almost within the first year of writing, 14 months after starting my poetry was accepted. Even if it will take a while longer to be read.

I am starting work as an Assistant Writer with hope of having a position as a Lead Writer in 2015. I was given the Lead Writer position in September 2015. I happily continue and have just planned our first session for 2016. There is also a new project I am hoping to be involved with for our groups this year.

I am going to have a big presence on the Performance Circuit in the hope of being booked for guest spots by the end of the year. In my first year I performed poetry at over 107 events, some were poetry festivals and commissioned events and collaborations. My biggest achievement was a poetry commission to write and perform at Birmingham Literature Festival 2014. In 2015 my headline slots started at the beginning of January and I was booked throughout the year at various venues. I hope to keep this up and of course having a book to sell will help!  

I think I performed at about 92 events in 2015 (not much of a back seat was taken), including book launches in London, Poetry Festivals (a wider net was cast), commissioned performances and a finalist in Worcestershire Poet Laureate competition (3rd Place), my first ever Poetry Brothel Experience with Caged Arts and 5 other selected poets, I was also part of the Quiet Compere Tour 2015, Worcester – Stop 6, which was booked way back in April 2014 and had to be kept a secret!

I also completed some Poetry on Loan training and organised the best INKSPILL yet, our annual online writing retreat, this year marked 3 INKSPILL retreats and next year plans are afoot for some expansion.

I will submit poetry for publication. I did! Some was published, others rejected, all were new writing fresh from my pen. I got into publications that were on my ‘dream list’ too.

We have to put up with so much rejection in this field that I think it is essential for some positive reflection.

So have a think about your own writing desires, how far have you come? How close are you? What will be your next step?

© Copyright 2011 Leo Norrie

© Copyright 2011 Leo Norrie

The Ups and Downs of Creatives: Motivation & Mindset

Standard

notebooks The Ups and Downs of Creatives

YOU ARE NORMAL – IT IS NORMAL!

  • Writing can be particularly isolating – get out and find Local Creative movements or find an online community.
  • Keep your motivation up. If you’re not excited – then who will be?
  •  Be brave – look in the mirror and see courage – and if not, repeat the words a few times.
  • Find time to put in practise
  • and practise what you learn

MOTIVATION

Look at some great examples (people/work) and aspire, see what achievements they had, do you see yourself having the same?

maya creativity

  • Share your own learning experience
  • Pass it forward

Then you get to a place you feel you should be and it is all waterfalls and rainbows after that? Wrong.

You keep growing – keep learning – keep failing and succeeding. Many creative areas are like small planetary systems and the orbit around us is called REJECTION – occasionally you see a small opening – shoot for it and make it through to success – and even success comes with a ton more lessons.

Don’t let that put you off wishing for it – in fact wishing for success is your first step towards it – pull it closer towards you.

Be prepared for your confidence to take a knock – and quite often you are the one responsible for throwing such punches.

Be prepared for a lack of self-belief to raise its ugly head from time to time.

visual

GOAL SETTING

Set goals – be clear on what it is you want to achieve and when things go wrong make 1 of 2 decisions;

– kick it to the kerb and try again

OR

– decide that fate has other plans and move in a different direction  – fight or flight really – of course it is TRULY something you really want – keep fighting – don’t give up – but set a time limit on the punches (mine was 16 years*, now closer to 13, despite it taking 9 months to find my writing niche).

Right now, especially if I reflect on the past 4 months, there are things that haven’t gone as well as I would have liked. Things that have failed completely (note I say ‘things’ and not I – rejection is not personal) but also there has been success, achievement and a few opportunities I had not dreamt would be on offer this early on the path of my goals.

A happy summer 2011 SEEK HAPPINESS

Of course a certain amount of dream/ambition and perfect working world comes from a place where we seek happiness. If you are serious about making it part of your life/existence you will need to accept that it will be jolly hard work (often not jolly at all) … but if you love what you’re doing it won’t feel like work and when it does and you feel it dragging you down… do what I do and think about what WORK used to mean/be! I can guarantee you are doing better now -right?

Stress(ing) takes up abundant amounts of energy and you may find (if like me you still have paid employment to keep you alive) that this is becoming ever more stressful.

DAlma© 2014 Deborah Alma

This year for many reasons (not least that I am finally well enough to do so) I have taken on more career work. The result of this has meant losing writing days – for the first few months this made me angry. Mr G was working away and I wanted to spend my free time with him, not the laptop – and I am glad I did, because we got through it and are now reunited and the laptop can make an appearance at any time without neglect or imbalance occurring.

Looking back considering what a challenging (timewise) writing year it has been so far, I am not doing too badly. There is one major project that I wish I had spent more time on in the New Year, on the flip side although I have inevitably delayed something exciting and forward propelling from happening, I have created new material which wouldn’t have been written in time or possibly would never have existed.

writing space 2 mote carlo CREATE SPACE

Remember to create some space and time for you to address what’s happening, what you are thinking. What do you want your life to be like? Start with the ideal and work backwards.

What is important to you?

What creative direction would you like to take?

 TOP TIPS:

  • step out of your comfort zone
  • seek new opportunities
  • plan and schedule – only say YES if you can do it
  • Celebrate the good times and try to acknowledge the bad times, they will often teach valuable lessons. Many times over, usually.
  • Remember all those famous people who failed, that we only see the success (which is why I like to blog the fails too). If you have been walking around without an eye on the internet for the past decade and happen to have missed the list and have no clue what I’m talking about…. here are just a few popular examples:

DURING THEIR LIFETIME…Motivate faith

Vincent Van Gogh: sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money.

Emily Dickinson: had fewer than a dozen poems published out of her almost 1,800 completed works.

I have (and probably you have) already beaten this in today’s world of publishing.

Theodor Seuss Giesel: 27 different publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book.

Steven Spielberg: was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times.

Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash.

J. K. Rowling: was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel.

ELVIS PRESLEY got fired after his first show;

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

world poetry day LOOK BACK

Look back – YES

I look through my schedule, which I annotate as I go with highlighters/markers, I know my key: Performing, writing, submitting, publishing etc.

Then I have a system where at the end of the month I write on a small post-it all the MAJOR achievements, that way when I reflect I just look over the 1-12 post-it notes.

Other people keep their TO DO lists in a separate notebook and just look back through these.

It needn’t mean extra work for you, but this reflection will boost your creativity/ output and success in the future.

I have also learnt to let the dips happen, they are a natural (and necessary) part of any creative career. Plus many creative people are likely to suffer depression, anxiety… so let go, give in and feel the rip and pull of the tide until you enjoy it as much as the gentle white horses of the sea covering your feet on the sand.

The best way to deal with it or anything is to

JUST KEEP GOING!

motivation keep on

Happy Writing x

* Brief information on my plan = 4 Olympics… all this is training for my first – 2016.

Stay Motivated – Tie Up January ~ Prepare for Creativity in February

Standard

For many years I worked weekends, I am under no illusion that we all have the day off – but for those of us fortunate not to be working, take some time today to gather up the month and get ready for the next one!

Today I am writing poems and clearing more boxes with Mr G, my main deadlines have past but I may squeeze in another submission if I create enough time.

1 jan

This month my writing life has been packed full, I have met many new performers and poets, created new work, attended workshops, performed, headlined, spent hours researching (specifically the Iron Age, horse’s harness fittings, the terrorist attacks in Paris,  Charlie Hebdo , the Earth, measuring planets and religion), worked to tight deadlines, submitted poetry, worked in my writing and mentoring role & read/ bought new poetry books. I have also nearly filled my A4 notebook – which was started in the summer – soon I shall be using my 3rd writing notebook of this new fangled life. I have also (thanks to a visit to the Corinium Museum) nearly filled my 2nd observational-notes-take-it-everywhere-with-you notebook. Exciting stationery times!

I have just spent 2 hours with my writing diary reviewing everything – making sure everything is ticked off for January and scribbling well into the pages of February and March – as far as August and then to December. Being organised is the key to a freelance life. I have at least reached the stage where my bank of work enables me to find suitable poems rather than continually producing new work to theme.

I also spent sometime this month looking back over the blog and want to share a list of links back to January 2013 and 2014. Dip in, particularly if you have become unstuck with resolutions or lost those hopeful vibes that January the 1st brings.

ENJOY

January 2013

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/putting-the-stones-in-first/

A Wise Article I once Read…credit for the metaphor needs to go to Joanne Borrill.

Some lessons I learned on the 10th January (still relevant today)

8 LESSONS

1) You can’t outwit a SMART phone

2) Reading material you are ‘into’ takes half the time

3) You can create your own sense of joy and well-being

4) Following your dreams reawakens you at soul level

5) Seek and you will find – The Bible

6) You have got to be in to win it – National Lotto

7) ALWAYS test the heat of the coffee BEFORE you twist the lid on

8) Those warm-up-writing-ideas- are less necessary when you have a blog

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/how-to-create-more-time-effortlessly/

Gold dust ^ you won’t need a time machine or anything!

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/146/

A reminder that loss resurfaced – a poem mantra

January 2014

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/start-the-new-you-now-ultimate-webinar-positive-affirmations/

Positive affirmations to keep you going from a great online webinar I did last year.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/letting-go-finding-the-balance-between-work-and-dreams/

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/taking-a-stroll-down-rejection-avenue/

1 the end

A NEW YEAR Message ~ inspired by ‘black rainbow’ Rachel Kelly

Standard

Link to the original part of this message: Approaching the New Year Truth and Rainbows

NEW YEAR MESSAGE

NYBB NY fireworks

Over Christmas I read Black Rainbowan amazing book by Rachel Kelly. I sent Rachel an email this week requesting permission to use part of Chapter 15 to base this post on, I was delighted when I received a reply the same day! Thanks for your kind permission Rachel and heart-warming email.

I had been thinking about my NEW YEAR blog message, when I read this chapter these pages jumped out (page 275-278). Sections of the book are shown in this

FONT

 

2015 and You

In Chapter 15 of Black Rainbow, Rachel writes about a book group she started in her neighbourhood, they were all trying to help each other beat depression, the difference with this book club was they reviewed self-help books. Rachel herself worked through some of her depression by rekindling her love for poetry and sometimes prayers. It was this factor that encouraged my mum to recommend this book to me, that was my connection. Only in my own battle against illness I rediscovered writing poetry.

I spent the first 3 years of depression fighting it (something all suffers know is futile), I self- medicated; devoured self-help books, my whole library lending list was full of them, I read every single relevant title in my local library as well as stocking my own shelves at home (eat your heart out Bridgette Jones), I tried meditation, both in audio form and prayer/meditations, I tried pilates, yoga, t’ai chi, visualisation, mood boards, life coaching (I am trained myself and know how important it is to see a coach from time to time) – I was stuck – nothing worked because I was severely depressed in need of help, therapy and medication.

I agree that the list of things above can enhance healing experience, in fact my own experience of psychotherapy last year worked wonders and my sub-conscious still has the power to drag me back before I fall too far. We arm ourselves as best we can with a whole stock cupboard of counter balances, do our best to protect ourselves from the darkness, despite knowing that if and when it hits we just have to live with it, let it do its worse and rebuild afterwards. Become as resilient as nature. The plant may well look dead, but you keep watering it and you will be amazed by what happens.

So let’s start our New Year arming ourselves with tools, create the change we want to see happen. Only you have that power.

Tools for creating change

Let’s start with a prayer Rachel pinned to her noticeboard, read it, let the words sink in. If you are not religious, see it as spirit talk, being a better human being, mankind;

Lord, help me to notice all the signs of goodness

around me and give thanks for them.

Lord, we are each other’s gifts: help me to be thankful for

every life-giving encounter and to see that your gifts

are all around me if only I would look.

In gratitude I will find healing. 

sunset

Gratitude Journals

I have posted about (and written) gratitude journals over the years, if this is something you want to do or need to do to spot the good and take notice, now is the time to start one. Do it for January, dip in daily/weekly/monthly. I used to make a note of 3-5 gratitudes a day.

I chose a small, pretty notebook, tied with a purple ribbon and kept it next to my bed, I used to reflect on a short list just before going to sleep.

The more you take notice, the more you will see.

 

Print the Prayer

Do what Rachel did, print it out, stick it on your noticeboard, notice it.

 

Meditate

Use the prayer. Read it aloud and then ponder on what it says, what is good around you, what signs of goodness do you see and hear today? Give thanks for them. Literally… ‘Thank you for ……’

Think about your own gifts, what do you give to people? Who have you encountered that you felt blessed by or antagonistic towards – not all signs are sent sugar-coated, sometimes there is a different kind of obstacle to overcome to create change.

What of God’s gifts or the universe’s gifts/ mother nature… what are you missing? Open your eyes (you know you have 3)!

Finally repeat the endlines as a mantra until you believe that healing is possible.

In gratitude I will find healing. 

 

be grateful

I persuaded the group that we should each bring along favourite poem to the next session. I brought my faithful Herbert poem ‘The Flower’, with its message of rebirth. A friend brought this poem entitled ‘Instants’, its author unknown:

It was actually written by Jorge Luis Borges, however the versions I have found are slightly different in wording to the poem seen by the group (I imagine this is a translation issue). The wording here is referenced from ‘black rainbow’ and appears as it does in the text apart from the fact the poem is one stanza, WordPress and I have some formatting issues!

Instants

If I could live my life again,
In the next I would try to make more mistakes,
I wouldn’t try to be so perfect, I would be more relaxed,
I’ll be more full – than I am now,
 I’d be sillier than I have been this time around,
 In fact, I’d take very few things seriously.
I would be less hygienic, I would take more risks, 
I would take more trips,
I would watch more sunsets,
I would climb more mountains,
I would swim more rivers,
I would go to more places that I’ve never been,
I would eat more ice creams and fewer lima beans,
I would have more real problems and fewer imaginary
ones.
I was one of those people who lived prudent and prolific lives –
each minute of his life.
Of course I had moments of joy, but,
if I could go back I would try to have only good moments,

After all, moments are what life is made of,
Don’t miss out on the now!

I was one of those people who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer,
without a hot-water bottle,
without an umberella and a parachute,

If I could live my life again I would travel light.
If I could live my life again I would walk bare foot
from the beginning of spring till
the end of autumn.
I would take more rides on merry-go-rounds, 
I would watch more sunrises and play with more children,
If I had the life to live. But now as you see, I am eighty-five,
– and I know that I am dying .

WOW! At this point I probably needn’t type anymore, right? I mean it has all been said. This poem made me feel invincible. Read it again. We all agree. Old age is after all a place (hopefully) we are inevitably heading towards, this was another reason I was so angry about being debilitated by depression in my 30s. That time when we should be jumping out of planes and climbing mountains on the other side of the world.

motivation old

We weren’t eighty-five and we weren’t dying. The time had come to watch more sunrises and play with more children, to shout with joy and swim more rivers.

We spent time at the group making our own lists inspired by ‘Instants’… ‘Let’s boost our sense of delight.’ We made logs of the past year and recorded what we had most enjoyed doing and what we hadn’t enjoyed too.

 

Write your list

Rewrite the poem from your own perspective, what would you care less about or strive to do more? Maybe you can make these part of 2015 and not wait until you are eighty-five. Make your wishes reality.

Or copy what the group did and create your own log from 2014.

Find the pursuit that allows you to be your most creative self. Go with the flow.

checklist

The chapter closes with a letter written by Sir Sydney Smith in 1820 which Rachel was sent. It parallels with her own guidelines for dealing with low spirits… apart from his advice to avoid poetry. I would say BATHE IN IT!

Thanks again Rachel for writing the book in the first place and for allowing me to reference sections here

HappyNewYear

ADVICE CONCERNING LOW SPIRITS

A letter from Sydney Smith to Lady Georgiana Morpeth, Feb. 16, 1820:

Dear Lady Georgiana,– Nobody has suffered more from low spirits than I have done — so I feel for you. 1st. Live as well as you dare. 2nd. Go into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold, 75° or 80°. 3rd. Amusing books. 4th. Short views of human life — not further than dinner or tea. 5th. Be as busy as you can. 6th. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you. 7th. And of those acquaintances who amuse you. 8th. Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely — they are always worse for dignified concealment. 9th. Attend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you. 10th. Compare your lot with that of other people. 11th. Don’t expect too much from human life — a sorry business at the best. 12th. Avoid poetry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy, sentimental people, and everything likely to excite feeling or emotion, not ending in active benevolence. 13th. Do good, and endeavour to please everybody of every degree. 14th. Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue. 15th. Make the room where you commonly sit, gay and pleasant. 16th. Struggle by little and little against idleness. 17th. Don’t be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice. 18th. Keep good blazing fires. 19th. Be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion. 20th. Believe me, dear Lady Georgiana,
Very truly yours,
Sydney Smith

 

Despite constant advances since the 1820s, much of this advice is still relevant and helpful, some more so.

ghandi

 

Let’s finish with a reminder that life is precious, we are heading forwards – let’s make it worthwhile. Spend some of your time with those staying young at heart.

 

 

 

 

In return for the permission to use part of Chapter 15, here are some links to Rachel’s website, go and BUY her book on Amazon or download the app.

‘I would love to get the book into the hands of those who need it and all my author proceeds go to mental health charities.’  – Rachel Kelly 1803_BlackRainbow_Dhb.indd www.black-rainbow.co.uk

Rachel Kelly is a writer and former journalist on The Times. Her memoir Black Rainbow was published by Hodder & Stoughton in April 2014 and won the Spear’s Best First Book Award in October 2014.

All author proceeds from the sale of this book go to the charities SANE and United Response.

sane_logo saneorgcoukUnited%20Response

Approaching the New Year: Reviewing Resolutions, Truth and Rainbows

Standard

 

Approaching The New Year

I have had a play around in Blogland and managed to actually visit and read other blogs and as one would expect at this time of year they are all filled to the brim with shiny new hope and goal setting.

As a trained Life Coach I know about this field and how to succeed. I don’t make resolutions, I make plans. Then I chase my way through all the obstacles to victory or a soothing acceptance somewhere close by.

I had a trawl through our own archives here and found some GEMS that I will link you up to, recommended reading for sure. As a blogger, I have been carrying the thought of my New Year message since Christmas, when as you remember I was offline and absorbing the full 3D reality of life in the big, wide world.

beach

Reviewing Resolutions

ARCHIVED NEW YEAR / GOAL SETTING LINKS

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/new-year-new-you-writing-resolutions/

It seems last year I did make resolutions, the best thing about this post  ^ is knowing the results 12 months later;

Here are my resolutions – feel free to commit some of your own down in response to this post.

I am working towards a collection of poems for a pamphlet. I sent 2 manuscripts, both were rejected but one showed promise and I continue to make this my personal project of 2015. The process has opened up a whole new world. I had the wardrobe, now I have to find my way around Narnia!

I am starting work as an Assistant Writer with hope of having a position as a Lead Writer in 2015. I am coming up to 12 months as an Assistant Writer for WWM and have also been 1 of 3 writers picked as mentors for a term.

I am going to have a big presence on the Performance Circuit in the hope of being booked for guest spots by the end of the year. I managed 107 events, some were open mics, other were gallery openings, art projects, festivals, commissions, collaborations, everyone of them was a delight! I performed alongside many amazing people and have just had my 2nd Headline/ Main guest booking!

I will submit poetry for publication. I did! Some was published, others rejected, all were new writing fresh from my pen.

I will write some short stories for competitions. I did, I have shelved this as I was not particularly successful in this field although I corresponded with some incredible people and had a few close misses. However, posts I wrote back in 2013 about writing short stories are still top of the stats several years later.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/writing-short-stories-tips-on-planning-and-structure/

 

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/putting-the-stones-in-first/

 

Truth

I spent the holidays reading a rather large book which was an emotional mountain for me, reaching the peak took several attempts and I needed to find more strength to finish the final chapters. It was far from an easy read (and yet still enjoyable) it is the kind of book I have always imagined writing, the sort of book that I didn’t believe existed, the sort of book I have needed to read for years, but wouldn’t have been strong enough or open enough before now (and it was still being written) there in the final pages I found shining out at me ,a New Year message.

The book is Black Rainbow by Rachel Kelly http://www.blackrainbow.org.uk/

I recommend it for any families with depression sufferers, as someone suffering it might be a monumental challenge but a worthwhile one.

I accepted help in 2012 and have been on medication (and other treatment) ever since, I spent the first 3-4 years trying to self help, medicate naturally and hid it from myself and others. I was diagnosed as high functioning but had slam-dunked the Beck Test, severe depression. It is something that affects lots of creative minds.

Part of my healing came from reading and later writing (journaling emotions initially) and eventually writing again after a 15 year break and finally entering back into the world of Poetry, all of which supports me in my day to day living.

I acknowledge that I attacked 2014 on the LIVE circuit with a vigour that was only possible to maintain through mania and that I myself need to calmly tread into 2015, stay behind the desk a little more, get things done, write my own rainbows. I’ve started, I am 90k into a manuscript that is still growing and assembling some shape,  finding that there are books out there written by people who have lived it, that work to lift your head to a different space is exhilarating and I will definitely pursue my own version of such a record, more books like this are needed.

Having said that, the diary for January is already filling up and brimming with a few exciting new ventures. More on that later.

Rainbows

Look out for my post on Rainbows COMING SOON!

Until then, spend some time considering what you want to discover in this new year. Look around you, be a part of that.

me MM

Dream big & keep writing

 

ADDITIONAL LINKS

About one in 10 people, possibly more, in the UK will experience depression during their lifetime. However, the exact number is hard to estimate because many people do not get help, or are not formally diagnosed with the condition. When sadness and other symptoms of depression are intense and last for long periods of time, they can signal clinical depression or major depression, a serious medical illness that needs professional care.

SOURCE: http://www.webmd.boots.com/depression/default.htm boots_webmd_logo

Low Mood and Depression Audio NHS

Goal Setting 2014 – Part II

Standard

The first part of this article can be found here

motivationAre you ready?

So now you have your goal you need to know how to achieve it, read on.

 

It’s all about the steps…

You will have heard of baby steps – well that’s what we are going to be taking, eventually.

4) LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE

I always think that getting the grand design in mind first helps you see the smaller steps that it takes to build the picture. Never lose sight of the GOAL but you must know how you will get there. Think about the achievements you will make on your way to the final goal.

Write a list of them (in the special Notebook you have already invested in) then consider what steps you will need to take to reach each one of these.

 

5) BABY STEPS

Break down your goal into smaller steps, by thinking about what you have to do to achieve each big step. What do you need to do to achieve target? Write them down.

 

6) FOCUS

Find the place you will start, focus on it – see yourself already achieving it and GO FOR IT!

 

7) BUMPS IN THE ROAD

There will be some (probably) that is life. So what if you get stuck? Don’t PANIC!

Step back from it and assess what is going wrong, work out what it is you need to do to move forward and do just that MOVE ON! When life sends you treacle – wade! It may take some time and lots of energy but you WILL GET THERE! If being successful was easy we would all be a lot more successful and there would be far more competition in the world.

 

8) HANG THE BIG PICTURE ON YOUR WALL

Keep imagining how it will feel to achieve your goal. Imagine yourself already succeeding. Keep that big picture in mind all the time – your final goal and you will discover a compelling force that pushes you onto wanting to achieve it.

 

9) DON’T GIVE UP!

You will know this phrase – If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again!

Well there is a reason why the word TRY is repeated – it’s not a typo, KEEP GOING!

 

10) BALANCE

Remember that you have a life beyond this dream and the busier that life is the more self-discipline you will need to continue achieving your baby steps and ultimately the goal. YOU HAVE A LIFE – are the key words here, don’t let the rest of your life fall by the wayside as you strive to achieve your goal. That would be messy!

GO FOR IT!

motivation ave

 

 

Goal Setting 2014 – Read This BEFORE You Set Any! (Advice)

Standard

I trained as a life coach 8 years ago and know some things about setting goals and achieving them! I am delighted to pass the JAR idea forward and look forward to hearing how all your jars go in 2014. I have been in quite a reflective (non-writing) mood today and just before I wrap Christmas presents I thought I would tap out another post.

Whether you are dreaming big or small, whether you are an expert goal-setter or a novice – this post is for you!

© 2013 lushhome.com

© 2013 lushhome.com

Happy reading x

PREPARATION:

Go sit in a big comfy chair or your favourite place in your home or surrounding area and think about what your life will look like in 12 months time if there were no obstacles and if everything went your way. What changes would happen? Where would you be? What do you need to do to achieve this picture dream?

Or if you are more practically minded and manifestation seems like fantasy to you then go with what would you like to achieve this year? Where would you like to be this time next year?

However you approach this HUGE question / imagining you need to try to get your idea down into a sentence or two.

EQUIPMENT:

A pad/ journal to track your goal and achievements – it is good to keep it all in one place.

(And a pile of magazines if you really want to go for it!)

Visual manifestation works even better because you see an end result – you see yourself as the achiever.

I made mine in May (was a promise to myself in January – but I was busy reconsidering my professional life and buying houses and the like!)

I saved it as my mobile screen saver so that I would see it every time I activated my phone!visual

  1. SET A CLEAR INTENTION

Write it down.

1-2 sentences, that is all.

Keep it simple & easy to understand.

        2. WHAT ARE YOR RESOURCES?

What do you have available to you to help you achieve your goal?

People/ Mentors,

Websites/ Books,

Local groups/ other areas of your community

Things you already know.

And anything else.

Think about what your resources are and write them down.

3. WHAT ARE YOUR MISSING RESOURCES?

What are the things that would help you achieve your goals, dramatically cutting time scales or increasing success?

These may be things you are unable to get – considering them will help you focus on

a) what you want &

b) ways you will be able to get that.

The areas you may wish to focus on are the same as resources in step 2.

People/ Mentors

Websites/ Books

etc

Start thinking about how you can obtain these resources.

motivation

NEXT we have to work on strategy the step by step plan that will help you reach your goals.

Find the 2nd part of Goal Setting here