Friday, January 27, 2017

What Will Happen Next?

“What will happen next?” 

"Is a question that can 
pin us to our chairs
raise our heartbeats, 
and make us sweat."

~Ian Leslie~

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Always Take the Scenic Route

"The drive to make sense of the world is a universal characteristic 
of human beings, but the world is divided into those who always 
seek out shortcuts and those who prefer to take the scenic route."

~Ian Leslie~

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Law of Diminishing Intent

The Law of Diminishing Intent says. . . .

The longer you wait to do something, 
the less likely you are to ever actually do it.

An alternative?

1. Define your goal
2. Get a plan together
3. Take the first, most manageable step

In other words:

1. Write a Book
2. Write 500 words a day for 100 days
3. Sit down and write your first 500 words

Be Brilliant!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Passing Through the Imperfection

So it goes without saying that I'm a Seth Godin fan. I like to pass along his blog posts and insights, and while most of his musings are related to business or entrepreneurship, I find that many can be applied more broadly to the writing and/or creative processes.

For instance, in "The Road to Imperfection," he closed with this little gem:

We get to the work we seek by passing through imperfection.

As much as I wanted the first book I ever wrote (in college!) to become a bestseller, the truth was that it was utter crap. 

Fifteen to twenty full-length novels later (I don't know! I've lost count!), I still want the first draft of the book I'm working on to immediately go to auction.

But the fact is the first book is rarely sellable, and the first draft is never submission-ready.

We get to the work we seek by passing through imperfection.

We have to slog through the hard part--again and again (and again and again).

The slogging seems never-ending, but if we want to create works that matter:

we have to be willing to fail, and we have to work hard to close that gap between the creator we are and the creator we want to be.

Be Brilliant!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

On Setting Goals


It's that time again! 

I know I've posted this the last few years in a row, but since it's the "goal-setting" season, I thought it would be helpful to re-post.

So, without further ado, five things to remember when setting your goals for the new year:

1. Write the Goals Down

It's proven that just in writing your goals down, you're more likely to accomplish them. Make a list and keep it handy. (But don't overload yourself. Limit your list to the three to ten things you MOST want to accomplish.)

2. Make them Specific

Don't just say you want to "read more" or "write more." Write down how many books you want to read a week. Determine how many words you want to write a day, and which story (or stories) you want to write.

3. Create a Plan and Set Deadlines

What will it take to read a certain number of books in a year? Trips to the library? Penciling "reading time" into your schedule? If I wanted to read six books a month, that's one book every five days. With due dates, that's two individual trips to the library. The first and fifteenth could be designated library days. I could find a quiet place and read for thirty minutes after dinner every evening....

Get an action plan together.

4. Get Out of the Way

I fully believe that we are in control of our own destiny. I'm not a fan of assigning blame, or even letting past events or situations affect our today and tomorrow. Don't sabotage your goals with a negative mindset. 

Believe in yourself.

And that voice in your head that says you can't? He's a liar. Tell him to shut the hell up. 

5. Remember WHY These Goals Were Set

Maybe it's to become more well-rounded. Maybe it's to step outside of a comfort zone. The "why" is just as important as the "what" and "how." This is what you will return to when the road gets tough. 

So . . . what do you want to accomplish in 2017?

Your goals don't have to be reading or writing-related, either. Make this the year you get healthy--both physically and spiritually. Make this the year you save for that trip. Learn that language. Work for that promotion. Make that career change. Go back to school.

Step into your "discomfort" zone. 

Live intentionally.

Figure out what matters most to you and make those tough decisions (if necessary). 

Get moving.

And, as always: Be Brilliant!