Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Posts tagged ‘distractions’

January 12, 2015 Five Promises I Make to Keep the Flame I lit in 2013 Burning

Gentle reminders to keep the dream alive.

As I work through the doubts and fears which have tied my hands of late, I find it necessary to reiterate some of the promises I made back then, and add new ones I’ve learned along the way.

1. I will write.
2. I will not sign up for any more “quick fix” classes.
3. I will praise myself regularly.
4. I will hold my dream aloft as a beacon when my spirits flag.
5. I will love myself and everything I do and am.

I’ve learned that when a writer comes out of the closet, we become easy prey for the piranhas.

Piranhas come in many shapes, sizes and colors, but rarely do they assume their true form. Instead, they wear pretty disguises and throw promises of help around like candy falling from a pinata. In boxes are filled to the brim with everything from get rich quick schemes: “You too can earn six figures a year!” to help navigating the dangerous world of editors and publishers: “We’ll help you avoid these rookie mistakes.”. But every one comes at a price.

Some are better than others, of course. My own recent experience tested a money back guarantee which proved completely true, and quite simple to invoke. Like anything else, though, there are plenty who are simply going to bilk the uninformed and really leave them with more questions which they can get answers to…for a price.

If you do sign up for one of the classes, webinars or blog subscriptions, be prepared to be inundated with still more classes and publications you MUST have to be a successful writer. Even though I did a fair bit of picking and choosing, I still strayed from my original path for the better part of a year before it dawned on me that the offers of help at this stage in the game were really hindering rather than helping.

After a year of wasted time and seriously impaired productivity, I’m going back to basics.

To be fair, not all of the classes and publications I paid for were a waste of time or money. I’ve started a fairly decent personal library of books to help me clean up my work once the first draft is penned and revised. I also have volumes acquired when I took some creative writing courses. All together, they give me at least a few resources to both help me improve what I write and present it, should I choose to go that route, in a professional manner.

For now, though, even those are distractions which are better left in their spot on the bookshelf until such time as I’m ready to go from creative to critical.

For now, my time is best spent letting the creativity flow, making lists to keep myself on track and doing things to keep my body healthy.

For everything I mark off of my perpetual To Do list, I’m finding that I add two or three more things. In fact, I have a separate one just for my website. It seems, the further I go, the more the tasks pile up. Some, like trash and scooping sandboxes cannot be put off. After a brief hiatus while my back stopped being unreasonable, I’m back to my gym routine, and healthy eating is much easier with my weekly produce box. Both provide the extra energy needed to write into the wee hours and do chores during the daylight hours. All in all, a reasonable tradeoff. In fact, I found myself thinking as I finished cleaning three litter boxes, vacuuming the entire house and mopping floors that I am pretty darned grateful that, at my advanced age, I can do all of that after going to the gym in the morning and still feel terrific. I’ve even learned to find a little joy in what was one of my most hated tasks; housework. Admittedly, it’s a lot different when it’s only me and the cats. I’m not cleaning up someone else’s messes, and what I clean up stays cleaned up for the most part, unless it’s something my furry darlings get into or knock over. (Dylan and Scrappy Doo are particularly fond of digging to China and tossing cat sand all over the room.  I think they just like to watch while I sweep it up.) That is a small price to pay when Dylan follows me from room to room and lounges on my desk while I work. The others take turns wandering in, sitting on the desk to rub their faces against mine or head bonking my leg to get my attention.

Some might call my life lonely, but as an introvert, the less mental and emotional chaos I encounter, the better. The only place I’m comfortable with it is in the pages I write. And quite honestly, company which only demands a few skritches and a warm body to snuggle with at night means I am the furthest thing from lonely. I am loved.

Cats or any pets don’t care if we brush our teeth or dress up or put on makeup. If we spend two days straight in our pajamas because we’ve been reading or writing, they’re not going to nag us to get in the shower. They don’t require conversation, though I admit, I talk to them quite a bit. They understand that their company is all I really need. In short, they help me with number 5 on my list. When several pairs of eyes look at me adoringly every day, it’s pretty hard to lose sight of the fact that I am, indeed, lovable and worthy.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the times I lose my way as it serves as a reminder when I finally find my way back.
2. I am grateful that I may be over half a century old in years, but I’m still able to take care of myself, whether it’s cooking a meal, hefting 40 pound containers of cat sand or cleaning my house. There is nothing more precious than self-sufficiency.
3. I am grateful for my companion animals. They ensure that I am never, ever lonely.
4. I am grateful for the habits I’ve formed over the last year or so. Daily meditation, regular visits to the gym, fresh, locally grown produce every week, and respecting my body and brain’s need to write late at night are giving me the life I want and need. And it is good.
5. I am grateful for abundance: writing, reading, love, inspiration, healthy meals, exercise, friendship, harmony, peace and prosperity.

Blessed Be.

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

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January 3, 2014 Getting sidetracked

Best of intentions are seldom enough to get the story writ.

I left the dance hall tonight I had it all planned out. I was going to go home, make a cup of one of the lovely teas I unearthed while organizing today, sit down at the computer and write. It’s now 1:03AM and I have yet to write a thing! Even now, I’m dividing my time between writing this post and talking to a new friend. We met over a Tarot spread tonight, and spent a couple of hours helping each other interpret our cards. I won’t say it was wasted time because I learned a lot in the process, but yet, it didn’t get any writing done, here or on my latest novel.

I know I need to exercise more discipline, and my intentions really are good! I even spent some time on the copywriting course tonight before I went dancing. I also know that I need to minimize distractions, and have been good in the past about turning off everything except what I need to write.

This is the year when I will turn off email and social media for blocks of time every day.

A key part of sticking with my resolution to be kinder to myself is to allow myself to be successful. In order to do that, I have to make time to write and study, not just when I feel like it, but every single day. It’s a lot like my commitment to my gym routine. There are no excuses! Or should I say, there’s no such thing as a good excuse. Which is why, at just after 1 in the morning, I’m still up and making sure I do some kind of writing before I sleep. If you can’t keep a promise to yourself, you’re not going to be much good at keeping them with others.

***Topic Change Alert*** Speaking of having to be good to yourself before being good to others, I am reminded of how important it is to love, nay, to be madly in love with yourself. It took me a long time, but I’ve finally learned that until you can honestly say that you’re madly in love with yourself, you’re not likely to attract someone who will love and appreciate you as you deserve. Now, I’ve become pretty darned deserving over these last few years, yet I seem to be lacking an ingredient which will complete the circle.

Which leads me back to the new friend I made tonight. We were discussing the cards we’d each pulled for a Relationship Spread a gentleman posted tonight. My quandary was having gotten a card which meant “wish fulfillment” in a position which was supposed to answer the question: What am I doing that is an obstacle to finding an appropriate love partner? What I now realize is that my mindset is that I have everything I need emotionally, which keeps me from presenting an openness which might allow someone to breach my walls. In other words, loving yourself isn’t enough if you don’t acknowledge the fact that you also want to share that loving, caring person with somebody besides your pets and children.

This is just another example of how I allow myself to get sidetracked, however. So I will wind this up with tonight’s gratitudes so I’ll get up at a reasonable hour tomorrow to start following my plan and writing/studying!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for new perspectives.
2. I am grateful that I can crank out a few words, even when distracted.
3. I am grateful that I recognize when I need to make some changes.
4. I am grateful for another night of dancing with some lovely company.
5. I am grateful for abundance: friendship, inspiration, commitment, love, joy, happiness, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Blessed be.

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