Journey of Chaos: Writing

Writing

When it comes to writing, I can’t imagine my life without it.

I often think about writing and crave the chance to take some time to do so. My mind considers the many different things to write about, and my imagination soars.

However, when I actually set aside the time to write, my mind instantly draws a blank. The motivation and eagerness that I had before waivers. Granted, it’s not every single time…

Just the majority. (;

What I would like to do is express how I change that thinking process and ultimately, explain how I press forward with my 11 ways to encourage an atmosphere for writing. Here we go! (:

1.) Tell yourself that you’ve got this. Often times, I find that when I tell myself things that are negative, I believe them. So I have been trying to reverse that effect and tell myself positive thoughts. I have the ability to write. I am prepared. I am creative. You get the idea. (:

2.) Take a few deep breaths.¬†Some days, my mind flies. I think about too many things at once, and it’s hard to concentrate. Allowing myself¬†a few moments¬†to consciously take a few¬†deep breaths really refreshes my mind to¬†help me refocus. I accept that time to focus on my breathing only, then another few moments to focus on my intention with writing.

3.) Understand that motivation and determination are different. Tell myself¬†that I¬†have the power to make writing achievable, every day.¬†Here’s what I mean by this… I can be motivated to do something based on my emotions and/or the time of day. Maybe my day was stressful, now I don’t want to write… Maybe my day was happy, now all I want to do is write, write, write! It’s late, I want to write, but I have to get up early, so maybe writing isn’t the best right now… Or, it’s morning, and I think I have a few moments to spare. I think I’ll write.

Determination on the other hand, for me, is setting myself up for success. That equates to me deciding for the moment to do something regardless of emotion or the time of¬†day. I set the bar for myself and then chase that goal to complete it. Think of it like going to work. Maybe you don’t¬†want to go, but you’re driven by the determination to pay your bills (or I am, at least) and get that paycheck at the end of your pay period.

4.) Set up an area that is strictly for writing. Having a personal space all to myself for novel-writing really encourages me to want to go over there. It’s a reward to go to that place and work on something I love. (:

5.) Stay consistent in the writing times that I choose. I schedule out two times a day, minimum, to write for thirty minutes. That’s not so bad when you think about it. Most¬†times, I want to continue,¬†but even if I can’t,¬†I know that I get some writing time the next day.¬†For me, it’s a non-negotiable.¬†Whatever my day holds, these slots of my time are valuable and already set aside for me.

6.) Set up a playlist that inspires me to write. I’m a fan of Audiomachine, Thomas Bergersen and Varien for writing because they aren’t familiars with words to distract me. That being said, I set up a playlist for different styles of writing. If I’m writing horror, I don’t listen to romantic or techno songs. The general gist, if you know, it will help you write, that’s what you should enjoy, so that’s what I strive to do.

7.) Set a timer and have rewards. A lot of people that I know use candy to incentivize a response. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big candy person. So for me, I’ll set a timer, but once it goes off, I get to do something that I want to do. For example, if I know that I’ve listened to classical music for my writing, then I get to select a song/playlist of my choice for the duration.

In some cases, I will also get to switch my writing location (like go outside, or drive to Starbucks for a coffee/tea). I’ve also placed foods/drinks in the kitchen as rewards but try not to do so much with delicious rewards as that’s not always the best option. I’ve even considered giving myself stickers if I write for the¬†whole time. Everyone loves stickers. (:

8.) Give myself time to figure out what I’m trying to write before I start. I often give myself a few moments to think about what I intend to write. Where am I going with this page? What am I trying to say? Who is involved? This helpful tip came from the owner and creator of #12MAD for non-writers, [check it out here]. When I allow myself to consider the concept I’m trying to write about, it makes it easier to get the message out in the time that I’ve given myself to write.

9.) Decide what I’m going to write. Though I have projects that I’m working on, at any given time, I still have the power to decide what it is that I’m working on for the day. Will I continue working on Open Deception so that people can read it on Wattpad¬†or¬†Figment? Have I added a blog post in a while? Will I write a chapter in my zombie novel from three years ago? Would I like to start a new book or work on a short story? Is there a poem I want to work on today? Maybe I want to write an email to someone or a gratitude letter. Who knows! I have lots to choose from, and as long as I’m writing, that’s the power I like to have. (:

10.) Turn off the internet and/or write by hand.¬†All too often, my writing is distracted by something that I’ve allowed to interrupt while in my process. I have realized it’s okay for me to take time for myself and do the things that I want to do. This includes writing. So if I have to turn off the internet so that I can stay focused with little to no distractions, I will. As for writing by hand, sometimes our creativity flows in abundance when we write by hand. There have definitely been a few different times where I’ve written by hand to complete a chapter I’ve struggled with and ended up pushing through it.

11.) Write with a friend.¬†When I do things with a group of people, I tend to get more accomplished. Whether it’s one person, or three, I stay focused and more often than not, motivated. They may not be a writer (just yet), but maybe I can spark that interest. Even better, perhaps they have something that they have to work on, and they’ve been procrastinating. Ultimately, it opens up opportunities for progressive writing. I can make it a game, a race, a challenge, or even a team effort.

So there you have it friends, 11 ways that I am offering to encourage your atmosphere for writing. I know they’ve worked for me in the past and will continue to present opportunities for the future. What are some ways that you stay encouraged to write? What are things that you do differently? Share your ideas below.

Until Next Time,

 

Shay

Journey of Chaos: Wisdom

Every once in a while, I have a random moment of wisdom.

“Wisdom, you say?”

Wisdom.

I know, pretty crazy coming from me, right? (;

So about a week and a half ago, I was talking to a friend of mine, and she was struggling with confidence in herself in regards to an interview. After taking a moment to think about what she was saying, I knew that she already had everything she needed to succeed. Even better? She was more than prepared for the situation. All she needed was a boost of motivation as well as a dose of the truth to kickstart her self-esteem.

The sentence was twelve words long and relatively simple. Little did I know that those words would prove to be impactful or that it would be something I needed to hear as well.

“What good does it do to worry about something you don’t know?”

Now clearly, the wordage could be a bit smoother, and I’m sure there is a better way to lay that sentence out. Overall?¬†The meaning was¬†clear. Why worry about something that you don’t know? Such a simple statement, yet it is one of¬†the first things¬†overlooked.

But, why limit it there?

Let’s try:
– Why worry about something you can’t change?
– Why should I allow my flow/routine to be jostled by worry?
– Is worrying healthy for my environment, and even more – myself?
– What good will come out of worrying about something?

Going back to the beginning, let’s go through this – one at a time.

  • “What good does it do to worry about something you don’t know?”
    It’s pretty self-explanatory, yet I am guilty of forgetting the importance of its meaning as well. There is no good in¬†worrying about something I don’t know about because it is unknown. If I worry about it, it gives the “unknown” object power. That’s not going to help me move forward. Instead, it will hinder me and my productivity.
  • “Why worry about something you can’t change?”
    Clearly, there is a lot in this world that I can’t change. Worry will not improve it. The only thing it will change is the level of stress inside of me, and then I¬†think that I’m helpless. This is not the case. I am not useless. I have the power to change things with action.
  • “Why should I allow my flow/routine to be jostled by worry?”
    Well, when I put it like that… I’m not 100% sure why I should allow worry to turn my life upside down. Do I let it anyway? Of course! I’m human. But I’m able to take that control back and “take action” as mentioned above.
  • “Is worrying healthy for my environment, and even more – myself?”
    I’m going to answer this with a No. It is not healthy for me to worry as worrying causes stress. Stress has been proven to be very unhealthy for the body in a variety of different ways. As for my environment, if I’m stressed out, then my environment is hectic. So no… Worrying is not healthy at all for me.
  • And last, but certainly not least…¬†“What good will come out of worrying about something?”
    I honestly don’t know… (;

Does it change the situation?¬†Probably not. Yet all too often, I find myself in a state of worry or panic. What does that get me? A swift kick in the booty and an extra pile of stress.¬†Yay me… (;

Back to my point –
My friend was patient with me as I explained to her that she was terrific already and that the people she would meet – they were lucky to have her. We talked for quite a while, and I showed her the different ways that she was prepared.

“That’s all fine and great, Shay, but how did that situation end?”

Such a great question, I’m glad you asked. My friend aced the next day’s interview and did correctly as I initially had suspected. She had an enjoyable experience and feels confident moving forward.

“What you’re saying directly applies to me. I am right there with you. So… Now what?”

Now, we embrace ourselves and realize that we are already powerful with what we have to offer. Each of us has such great potential. We each have a unique set of tools and talents that we can provide benefits in a variety of situations.

Myself included…

So why do we sell ourselves short?

Because we allow worry to overwhelm us. Take it a step further, and you’ll find that concern stems from fear. [Take a look at my fear¬†post, if you haven’t already.]

In my life, I allow others [and more importantly, myself] to overwhelm me when it comes to many different areas of my life. For the sake of transparency, let’s take a look, shall we?

My greatest Question: Am I a good writer? Do I have what it takes?

Answer: Absolutely! My writing is unique to my set of talents and tools. My perspective is different than others which means that my words are worth it and my stories are valuable. As for what it takes, of course, I have what it takes. I am determined and motivated, energetic and passionate. If it were left at that, these four reasons are more than enough to show that I have what it takes. I’m dedicated to something I love, and for my own well-being, I need to remember that.

Question: Am I pretty enough? What do others think of me?

Answer: I am beautiful the way I am. It doesn’t matter what others think of me. Everyone has opinions, but only I determine what is essential as far as that goes. I need to ask myself what I think beauty is and then hold myself to those standards and those alone. No one else should hold that control, power or worry over me. We’re all significant, but that doesn’t give us the right to purposely harm another individual based on¬†our biased opinions.

Question: Will I succeed in life? Will I accomplish my goals and ‘make my dreams come true?’

Answer: I already have started the process. Even in small ways, I’m succeeding in life. I’ve already overcome a lot of fear and began to accomplish the multitude of goals that I set for myself. As for my dreams, they regularly change, but as long as I continue to pursue them with passion and fervor, that’s more than enough in my book. When it’s time to “make them come true,” I’ll have the power and ability to do so. I don’t need other people to tell me about my success. I’m already there. (;

As always, there is a multitude of questions that I could list. But I’m sure you get the idea.*

So, my dear readers,
Take a moment to really think about your life and most importantly, yourself. Where are you allowing the worry, stress, and fear power to overwhelm your life and take control? Where can you gain that control back? How can you remove those worries/stress? How do you already move away from fear? Share your experiences in the comment section.

In the meantime, here is my suggestion. I promise I’ll keep it¬†simple.
Take those words and apply them to your own life. You are valuable. You are wanted. You are good enough. You already have what you need to succeed and move forward.

Believe in you.
You’ve got this, and I have faith that you’re capable. (:

Until next time,
Shay <3

*{Writing this -publicly- makes it easier to believe, and gives me a personal record to look back on, reminding me that yes, I am good enough.} (;