Thursday, September 10, 2015

Your Passport Into The Recesses Of My Mind Is About To Be Stamped - Brace Yourself

Just getting over a weird Summer cold, which is one reason I haven't posted here in a while. As I said to a friend recently, I feel like I've been in a dark hole for the last 2 or 3 weeks and am finally becoming aware of the world around me again.

I did finish the manuscript and passed it on to my writer's group. They passed it back and I'm now about to begin what I hope is the final, major revision. To say there was plenty wrong with the last draft is putting it mildly. As a writer, you hardly ever see the flaws in your own work until they are pointed out by someone else.

Apparently, I use certain phrases a lot in my writing. It kind of makes sense because when you're just trying to get the story down, you don't want to spend time pondering how to say the same thing 30 million ways. You just want to get the words out of your brain and into the light. Well, that's my defense, anyway.

I've been collecting FaceBook posts from several writing-related pages on how to say the same thing in different ways. Perhaps it's time to collect those into something readable and start studying, eh?

I am also in the process of reading two works from one of my writer friends to give her a review on the published piece and feedback on the yet-to-be-published piece. In addition to that, it's time to get this copywriting thing rolling. Either that or go job hunting. I would prefer the former rather than the latter. To that end, I will be continuing my education in the B2B world with AWAI courses on writing white papers and case studies.  I also plan to look into websites that offer paid writing opportunities.

But first, I need to get into the habit of writing daily.

I confess. Writing daily is not something I'm doing on any kind of consistent basis, but I know it's something that, as a writer, I really should be doing. Doesn't have to be fiction but it does have to be writing. Actually, practicing copywriting should probably be a priority right now. Funny thing is, even though I'm not going out to a job every day, I still have limited time in which to do everything I feel I need to do.

Yeah. I know. I've got very little to complain about in that respect. Unfortunately, I've got so much I want/need to do that I get overwhelmed and get none of it done.

Part of the problem, I feel, is the chaos in which I reside. Chaos meaning clutter. Clutter meaning all kinds of crap stuffed into the room in which I'm supposed to be creative. In case you don't know, clutter and creativity don't work well together.

I have begun to clear the clutter and have actually made a good dent, but there's still a lot to do. What I really need to do is to make a priority list and then just work through it. And stop panicking every time I look at my dwindling savings.

All this means that I need to set some goals for what I want to accomplish.

Keep in mind, I'm preaching to myself right here but if anyone else needs this, you're more than welcome to listen in.

Set those goals. Just do it. And then work toward those goals like it's your job. Because it is. Granted there's no pay at the moment but meet the goals, do the work and the pay should meet you somewhere along the way.

Goal #1: Lose the clutter. A chaotic mind simply cannot focus within a chaotic environment. Well, it can if well trained but yours isn't, so get rid of the crap, Lady.

Goal #2: Finish reading the novel and give it a review. This one should be easy and you might even accomplish this one while working on goal #1.

Goal #3: Complete manuscript feedback. This one will take longer and should be worked on after goal #1 for the same reasons goal #1 even exists. Just do it.

Oh, yeah. Probably should set time limits for these goals. Hmm. The first two should actually be doable in a day or two. The third one will take a little longer because I'm not just reading as a reader, I'm reading as an amateur editor. So a week, maybe?

Ok. That's 7-10 days booked. What else? Right. Income.

Goal #4: Dig into your AWAI courses with a focus on B2B as well as a refresher on the copywriting course. And do the exercises, for heaven's sake. Which reminds me...

Daily Goal #1: Write. Every. Day. No exceptions. Even if it's just for 15 minutes. Surely you can spare 15 minutes a day to write something.

Where was I?

Goal #5: Check out paying websites where you can further practice what you're learning. Not going to make a fortune at this but you will get experience and hopefully overcome this lack of confidence you have in your ability to do the job.

And while I'm thinking of it, I do need to update my LinkedIn profile with some writing samples. Perhaps what I practice writing every day?

Oh, and I need to get my website done. Probably should do two - one for the copywriter and one for the author.  And separate FaceBook and Twitter accounts? Hmmm. I'll have to think about that one. Probably some kind of guidance in some of the resources on AWAI. So, I need to spend at least one day just browsing the site and taking notes. Check.

Um, is that chaos I see lurking over there in the corner?

I know. I'll put this all on my calendar and set reminders to remind me of what I'm supposed to be doing for that day. And I probably should be getting up a lot earlier than I am now. Which also means I need to go to bed a lot earlier than I am now.

And somewhere along the way I need to work on the revision of my own manuscript. Then there's NANOWRIMO coming up and I want to participate in that again this year.

Blog posts. Need to keep up with this blog as well as the beauty blog.

Windows 10. Two computers in this house are ready but neither one is mine but I need to work with it myself before I can show the parental units how it works. They also have issues that I need to help them resolve.

I have my own computer issues to resolve as well as organizational issues that need solving and...

Oh, look. Chaos has just taken over. Isn't that nice?

But seriously. I guess I just need to set the goals, set the time limits and just do the work. I mean, this is really no different than when I had so many priorities at my former job. I prioritized my priorities and went from there.

One more goal, or perhaps I should call it a deadline, is when I'll need to go job hunting if the income doesn't become a reality before the end of the year. Probably by the end of October, which isn't that far away. I have enough savings to get through November and that's about it.

It just hit me. Next month will be an entire year since I left my former job. I guess I could say that I took the year off to see where my writing could take me. Of course, temp employers probably don't care why there's so much time between jobs but it will help to have that explanation handy in case the question comes up.

I know I've rambled on a bit here. Ok. A lot, but this has helped me to think through what needs to be done now in order for me to continue my quest to be a paid writer. Even if I have to take a temporary job to bridge the gap between this year and next year.

I do think this time off has been beneficial for me. I was in a bad head place when I left my former job. Pretty sure it would only have gotten worse if I had stayed. That place was slowly killing me. I'm sure of it. I am a much nicer person to be around now - at least, that's what my Mom tells me. I'm more relaxed now. Maybe too relaxed.

I still have dreams. Big dreams, in fact. I just need to push past the chaos and self-doubt and take the steps necessary to see those dreams come true.

I can do this. One step at a time.

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