Journey of Chaos: Encouragement and Positivity

Everyone needs encouragement.
Whether we want to admit it or not.

We crave it.

I am most guilty of all.
I look to other people and their affirmations to encourage myself. Now, this isn’t always bad… But it can be! Here’s why.

1.) I think that I’m doing a horrible job until someone tells me otherwise.
2.) I won’t ask for someone to tell me I’m doing a good job or set them up, but when they don’t, it makes me sad.
3.) I watch as others compliment another person’s hard work, and notice that they ignore mine.

And the moral of the story?

I get jealous.
When I see others getting “encouraging words” or recognition of sorts (like a raise, or a thank you note), I instantly get jealous. It’s almost like, “Hey now… I do that stuff too… Why didn’t anyone notice me for doing that?” Let me just say, that’s not the frame of mind that I want to have. Let’s continue, shall we?

I get discouraged.
I watch as others get congratulated or rewarded then automatically think that I’m doing something wrong. I’m not doing anything wrong! I am doing everything humanly possible when I give my 100%, I just have to remember that.

I feel defeated/down.
My mood changes based on the encouragement levels that I receive. Ultimately, I shouldn’t let my mood change or fluctuate based on others. That’s a downward spiral waiting to combust. I want a healthier, steadier life. (:

I know that it’s not healthy.
I can’t rely on others to make me feel worth it, or good enough. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with those scenarios. Most of which leaves me in a depressed state. No one -wants- to be sad. Or, at least, I hope not…

So I start with me.

I allow myself time for just me. Time to get ready, time to eat, time to write, time to sleep, the list goes on and on. This isn’t verbal, but it helps me to realize that the time that I dedicate to myself is worth it. It’s valuable, for me and -only I- can commit that time to me.

I read encouraging things. Often times, we’re bombarded with negative news, stories, and events from others, including stress. If I give myself something to read that I know will be beneficial, then it’s going to give me something positive to think about.

I think of the things that I’m grateful for. Listing my thankful items, even if it’s only three, puts me in a better mindset and helps me stay positive throughout the day because it takes the focus off of me.

I encourage others. Again, adjusting my focus to something other than myself helps me stay positive. It’s not that others don’t see what I’m doing. Instead, it’s everyone is so busy that we don’t take time to tell others how they’re doing and how they help you.

Selfishly?
I want to hear all of the good that I do and what I do right.
We all do.
But, life isn’t like that.

All I can hope to do is try to encourage another person so that they don’t have to feel that way. We’re a team on this earth. It’s time we started acting like it. (;

So I challenge each of you, my dear readers. Make it a point to tell people positive, encouraging and truthful things. [Don’t feed blanket statements or lies.] Fill your environment with positivity and encouraging truths. You might be surprised by the change it makes in your life as well as theirs.

Remember: You are important! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If the environment you are in today is not the one you want, transform it. You are powerful and can do whatever you choose.

How do you stay encouraged? How do you stay positive? What do you say/do daily to make your environment better? Feel free to share your encouraging thoughts and activities in the comment section.

Until Next Time,
Shay <3

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