Sunday, November 30, 2014

Day 126...Part 2 of How to Get Out of a Writing Slump...













Welcome to Day 126 and...Part 2 of How to Get Out of a Writing Slump...

So yesterday my post focused overcoming a writing slump by tackling lack of motivation. 

Today let's talk about another reason for a writing slump - Fear.

So when it comes to our writing, what exactly are we so afraid of?  And how can we move past them?

Writing A Book Is Hard.
Yes it is, but think about the things in your life that are worth having - your family, your career, other dreams and goals.  Even if they're more work, or require more time from you, aren't they worth it?  Think back over your life, you've met other challenging goals head on haven't you?  Well then you can write your novel.

I Won't Finish It
Well if you never start you certainly won't.  And yes it's a big task which can be daunting, but if you break it down into smaller tasks - finishing a scene or a chapter, drafting an outline, you're already well on your way.  Stop putting it off and start today.  Jump in and build some momentum.

No One Is Going to Like It
This comes from a much larger deep rooted fear - that we're not good enough, that no one likes us, that we'll never be as cool as the cool kids.  At some point in your life you have to break free from this limited belief about yourself.  Why not today?  Craft a great story and I guarantee you they will come.

Here's a few other pointers when dealing with fear.

It Really Is All In Your Head
If it's going to be in your life, feel the fear and do it anyway.  Sometimes, simply by acknowledging it, you can move past it

Practice the Art of Courage
Do something every day that makes you a little bit uncomfortable.  Facing fears and becoming a courageous person (however you may define being courageous) can be a learned skill.  So work at it - give yourself a fearless workout everyday.

Remember What Fear Really Stands For
False
Evidence
Appearing 
Real

So face the fear and start writing.  Today.

Here's Today's Takeaway Lesson...

"Fear Kills More Dreams Than Failure Ever Will" 

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Day 125...How to Get Out of a Writing Slump...













Welcome to Day 125 and...How to Get Out of a Writing Slump...

If you're like me, after all the food, the family, the couch time, even some black Friday shopping, it seems like you've been doing everything under the sun except writing.  So now that my anniversary, birthday and holiday week is coming to an end, it's time to make some adjustments to get my writing effort back on track.

Holiday or no holiday, if you've been in a writing slump, here are 7 to dos, to get more pages, more scenes and more chapters done...

You might have seen a few of them from my Day 115 - What to do When Things 
Aren't Working and some are brand new.

Try one, a few or all.  
1.  Table Most Tasks on Your To Do List

If you're an over-doer and a  list writer like me, your To Do list is usually full and prioritized. The trick to recharge your writing is to get out your list, and however many items you write down for the day or the week, make sure at least 33% of them should be about your writing. If you're feeling really motivated on a particular day, make it 50%.  But the bottom line is that your writing goals should be on that all important list and...most of them should be in the top 5.

2.  Plan, Plan, Plan
Set out a weekly and daily plan.  How many words...how many and which scenes will be completed.  Focus on where you're at today and set goals of completion for the week's end.

3. Set a Writing Time & Show Up With Purpose
Make and keep a daily start time for your writing.  And then within that time, set either a designated end time or task completion end time - and if you need to, start small.  For example if you're just getting back to writing and you're still feeling unmotivated, start with 15 minute intervals or editing 1 paragraph.  Work to rebuild your focus and fearlessness in increments and then expand them to longer time frames or larger tasks.

4. Get Moving
Get your mind and your body fired back up with some good old exercise and plenty of water. Exercise gets the O2 circulating in your body which boosts your energy and focus.  Add in drinking lots of water to keep you hydrated to combat listlessness and fatigue.

5.  Get Inspired
Read a blog post from your favorite author or pick up one of their books and re-read a favorite scene.  Immerse yourself in their success and then spend some time dreaming of your own future success.  

6.  Get Rewarded
Dig in and get to work and when you've met some small goals or checked some To Dos off your list, indulge yourself with a treat - a great cup of anything from Starbucks, some time on social media, a small purchase you've been wanting...I'm a big believer in rewarding hard work.  

7.  Don't Give Up - Toggle Through
I love the power of the toggle.  Consider working on multiple scenes or projects - like a book and a daily blog - if you get stuck on one, just toggle over to the other and keep working.  If you hit a lull on that one, toggle back and I can almost guarantee you'll move easily through the place you found yourself to be stuck in the beginning.


Commit today, right now, to getting back in the game...

Here's Today's Takeaway Lesson...

"If You Don't Change, Nothing Will Change." 

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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Friday, November 28, 2014

Day 124...5 Signs You're In A Writing Slump















Welcome to Day 124...

It's no secret all that over indulgence from Thanksgiving can put you in a food coma.  You feel listless, unmotivated, unfocused...

For those of us who write, some of those symptoms may sound way too familiar.  That's because they could all be the same indicators that you just might be in a writing slump.

But here's the tricky part.  Some times those signs can get masked, so you have to been on guard for the warning signals.

Here's what to look out for...

1.  You're Becoming Overly Efficient in Your Everyday Life.  
So much so, that your putting your writing last or avoiding it altogether.  Yes the chores, the grocery shopping and the errands have to get done, but it's really all about priorities and if you're putting any and all of those ahead of getting some quality writing time in EVERY day, you're in danger mode.

2.  You're Feeling Guilty About Not Writing.
Guilt comes when you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing...eating better, exercising more, writing etc...or when you are doing something you're not supposed to be doing...eating junk food, laying on the couch, avoiding working on your book.  If the guilt is there, it's a tell-tale sign you're not writing as much as you can - or even at all.

3.  Gaining Little or No Traction on Your Scenes 
For me, it's like I'm stuck in neutral.  I keep revisiting the same sentences in the same scenes to re-tweek words and phrases.  It's like I'm faux writing, but the bottom line is, I'm making no real progress.

4.  You Have Low or No Drive on Any Aspect of Your Writing & Publishing
Even if you're feeling a bit stuck on you're writing, then at least other aspects of the publishing game should still be on you're radar.  But if everything, from designing your book cover, to creating new marketing ideas, isn't anywhere on you're to do list, you could be heading into a serious slump. 

5.  You're Feeling Twinges of Dissatisfaction About Your Life.
Look if you're like most writers, you have big dreams about where your novels will take you...dreams that will transform your life...an early retirement, a vacation home, travel.  You get the idea, but if all of that seems completely out of reach and you're daydreams have stalled, it's time to get back to writing and believing in all the places your success can take you.

So there it is, and if by now you've decided you're in a full blown writing slump, take heart...the hardest part of fixing something is first admitting there's a problem.

Stay tuned because tomorrow we'll be looking at solutions to get you back writing...

Here's Today's Takeaway Lesson...

"Sometimes the Easiest Way to Solve a Problem is to Stop Participating in the Problem" J Mead

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Day 123...Truth













Welcome to Day 123...

Happy Thanksgiving to All...

I'm so grateful for my family, my writing, my life and for all of you sharing this journey with me.

Here's wishing your day is filled with family, laughter, friends, great food and even greater blessings...





Here's Today's Takeaway Lesson...

"When You Look at Life Through the Eyes of Gratitude, the World Becomes a Magical and Amazing Place" J Gayle

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Day 122...Slowing Down & Firing Up...














Welcome to Day 122...

Bit of a snowstorm here in the Hudson Valley today and I'm blissfully in my sweats, cup of tea nearby and working on NEVER LET ME GO.

I won't be seeing the likes of my day job until next Monday, I'm all geared up for some family time and a day of thanks tomorrow.  And...over the next few days I'm all fired up for sneaking in some quality writing time.

It's good to be off schedule, to slow the pace, to catch up on the never ending to do list -  #busywriterslife - and have the chance to focus on my book.

If you have some days off coming your way, take advantage of the down time, but also get inspired to put in extra focus and hours on your writing.  

Let's get fired  up...

Here's Today's Takeaway Lesson...

"You Can Not Afford to Live in Potential For the Rest of Your Life; At Some Point You Have to Unleash the Potential and Make Your Move" E Thomas

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Day 121...Don't Delay,This Could Be You...













Welcome to Day 121...

We recently hired a great addition to our office.  C.G. is smart, hardworking, a fast learner and...she almost didn't get the job.

Just as my boss was about to call another candidate and offer her the job, CG's resume and cover email arrived in my boss' inbox.  Before making any offer, my boss decided to have CG come in for an interview.

And guessed what happened?  C.G. nailed the interview and was offered the position.

We've teased a couple of times since we hired her that if she had waited even five minutes more to send along her cover email and resume, she would have never gotten the job.

Timing may not be everything but it can be an integral component in your success equation.

So whether it's a new job, a new venture, a new book, be early, be on time, don't delay and...
Here's Today's Takeaway Lesson...

"Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. Make Today Count" 

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Day 120...Time to Celebrate...












Welcome to Day 120...

So today is a day of celebration and for remembering an important milestone...my husband's and my 25th wedding anniversary.

We had the chance to sneak away and getting a break from work and the day to day craziness has been great - even for just a few short days.  It's given us time to reflect and appreciate the life we've built and the journey we've made.

It's important to take time to celebrate - graduations, new jobs, promotions, new book releases - all these moments, days, weeks, years pass too quickly.  And for the life you lead and the goals you achieve big or small should be recognized and honored. 

Here's Today's Takeaway Lesson...

"The More You Praise & Celebrate Your Life, The More There is in Life to Celebrate" Oprah Winfrey

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Day 119...Always...













Welcome to Day 119...

Tomorrow my husband and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.

25 years.  It's hard to believe so much time has passed and as anyone knows, any relationship comes with its ups and its downs. 

No, it wasn't always easy, but it has always been worth it.  Always. 

I'm proud of who we are as a couple and even prouder of the family - 3 kids and 2 dogs - we've become.

It's true when they say that the best things in life are worth working for.

It's true of relationships and it's true of your goals.  Which is why I'm All In on my writing.  I'm building something that I'm proud of and that I know is worth it.  Always.

That's what commitment is all about.

Here's Today's Takeaway Lesson...

"Few Things in Life Have as Much Power as Commitment" JD 

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Day 118...Some Sound Logic...













Welcome to Day 118...

If you've been on this path with me for the past 100 or so days, you probably noticed I write a lot about ideas to help motivate and stay on track to meet goals and to be successful.

As part of my own journey, I'm always interested in what successful people have to say about their own success...

Today I wanted to share some thoughts from one of my favorite artists...Stevie Nicks.

With her soulful sound, her bewitching stage presence and her heartfelt lyrics, there is no singer-songwriter quite like her.  Which is why her career with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist has not only endured but thrived - despite both professional and personal set backs.

Here's what she had to say about her own journey...

“I think in my heart of hearts I always knew that we were going to make it... I was going to jam my songs down people’s throats if I had to, but I was going to be a singer-songwriter, no matter what.”

No Matter What.

A  belief like that is even more than just confidence.  It's a knowing, a sense that despite the brick walls in your way...the hardships that materialize and the naysayers along the way, the goal will be achieved, the dream will be realized

Keep your belief in yourself strong.

Here's more on Stevie Nicks in an article from V Magazine.

http://www.vmagazine.com/site/content/3137/heroes-stevie-nicks#!/4

That's all for now, except for Today's Takeaway Lesson...

"When You Need to Believe in Something, Start With Yourself" 

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Day 117...Two Basic Principles That Will Make or Break Your Success













Welcome to Day 117...

It's the day after...

You would think the world had come to an end when the internet connection crashed at our house late yesterday.  I'm hoping it will all be resolved by tonight.

Anyway on to today's post...

In Day 15 I wrote about getting my writing groove back on track.  

When things had slowed down for me, I quickly realized I needed to get back...back to building positive momentum, setting goals, scheduling writing time, writing first above other to-dos, going for balance and keeping healthy habits.

And for the past few days I did.

The end result?  Well aside from moving my story much further along, I had a renewed energy and was in a great mood.

So I have to say...the past 2 days have been good in the writing department and if 2 days of good constitute a groove then I'm happy to report the groove is back - for now at least.  

I'm looking to continue the streak and stay on target...so stay tuned.

And here's something else I wanted to share with you...

It's an idea that occurred to me while I was trying to get myself back into focus. I realized that two basic principles can really make or break your journey of success...

What are they?

Well, the first is simply Showing Up.  Which means making and keeping your commitment to your writing goals.

The second principle?

Showing Up with Purpose.  Bringing an energy, a can do and I will do attitude to your project. Even when your just not feeling it.  

That's all for now, except for Today's Takeaway Lesson...


"You Have Seen My Descent, Now Watch My Rising"  Rumi

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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Day 116...The One Act to Follow...













Welcome to Day 116...


This post is a bit late because we had some internet connection problems last night...

Mike Nichols, the renowned writer, director, producer and comedian, died Wednesday evening.  

In case you didn't know, Nichols started as comedic stage performer, and was one of the founders of the Chicago-based comedy troupe Second City, which was the starting point for a lot of talented SNL alum including John Belushi and Bill Murray.

In the 1960's Nichols moved behind the scenes and won a Tony for directing Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley in "Barefoot in the Park," on Broadway.

He then went on to further acclaim and awards for writing and/or directing movies like "The Graduate" and "Working Girl"; "Silkwood", and "Primary Colors", just to name a few.  He also was one of the elite few EGOT winners, having won all four major entertainment awards (an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony)

Playwright Tom Stoppard, described Nichols as a “giver” as “someone who was good at comfort and joy…someone who was good at improving the shining hour and brightening the dark one, and, of course, he’s superlative fun. To me he is the best of America.”

Funny, professional, brilliant, Nichols was known to be all that and more - like hardworking and a true professional.  A man who followed his passion and who was focused on his craft.   
In a world of foam fingers and nude pictures designed to break the internet - for anyone who has a dream, Nichols not only represented pure class, but is the one act we should look to follow.

Here's Today's Takeaway Lesson...

"Strive for Excellence and Achieve Greatness" 

Here's to Being All In,

Maggie 

Follow me on Twitter @AuthorMaggie #busywriterslife
Visit my website @ www.maggiecollins.net
Like me on Facebook Maggie Collins


365 Days & Counting...


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