I've worked 24 out of the past 48 weekend hours.
I slept most of Monday trying to heal.
Tuesday was my "Chore Day".
I only found time to write one page of my new novel ... but I wrote it.
Those long days when I ran my bookstore,
visited my mother as she lay dying,
and walked back and forth to the mall and to the hospital because twice someone had put sugar in my gas tank ...
I still wrote.
In fact those ______ who destroyed my cars improved my health with all the walking,
gave me time to reflect on the dying of my mother & to come to grips with it,
and allowed me the opportunity to put my thoughts into coherent order to write in my journal.
I do not know what storms hammer at you this season ... I just know they are ... or they will soon. Life is like that.
You must ask yourself:
WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE?
A SUNSHINE SOUL
ONE FOR ALL SEASONS?
Can you sacrifice who you are for who you will become?
Can you do with 30 minutes less sleep a day to write one page of your novel?
Can you transform your lunch half-hour into one of sipping Instant Breakfast
while plotting the page you will write tonight or tomorrow morning?
It's not about how hard you were hit but how hard you can be hit
and still go forward.
1.) PICK YOUR BATTLEGROUND
Choose where you can do the most good.
You cannot do everything. Help where it makes sense. Be flexible. Be adaptable.
Pace yourself: running yourself into the ground will not help you or anyone else.
2.) PEOPLE SEE THROUGH THEIR OWN EYES
You are entitled to your boundaries.
You have the right to say NO.
You have the right to safeguard your own health or sanity.
Non-writers think we’re not working when we’re plotting or researching or studying how to write better.
It’s up to you to defend your writing time as strongly as others defend their own pursuits.
Yes, you can be more flexible.
But writing should stay on your calendar for all but the most critical days.
3.) INVEST IN THE PERSON WHO YOU WILL BECOME
Skill is only achieved by hours and hours and hours of honing your craft.
If you are not making your life or someone else's better ... then you are wasting your time.
You're already in grief from your dream. Keep on and get some reward for all that grief.
You want your dream? Then, go on and get the hits, the disappointments that come with the package.
4.) THE HIT LIST
Before sleeping, make a list of three important things you intend to accomplish the next day.
If you’re in the midst of storm and trauma,
break bigger projects down into tiny steps you know you’ll be able to complete in a day.
As the storm eases, you can work with bigger chunks again.
5.) WINNIE THE POOH DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
No one's life is all sunshine and rainbows.
For most of us, the world is a mean, nasty place ...
and life will knock you to your knees and keep you there and laugh as it kicks you ...
if you let it.
No one is ever going to hit you as hard as life.
But it is not about how hard you are hit ...
but how hard you CAN be hit and get back up and go forward,
how much you can take and still stumble forward.
That's how you win, how you can stand tall, knowing you gave it your all.
6.) IT'S NOT THE TITLE THAT MAKES YOU
It is not the title AUTHOR or DOCTOR that makes you. It's not success that makes you.
It is your character that makes you. Character defines success, defines fame, defines YOU.
And you sculpt your character with every resistance to obstacles you make,
with every sleepless morning as you write,
with all the early A.M. hours when you run dark streets ...
with doing something right each and every time you do it whether anyone is looking or not ...
because you refuse to do shabby.
7.) IT'S YOUR DREAM
It's not someone else's.
Do not expect help or support from someone who has their own dream.
You must get up early, stay up late to make your dream come true ... no one else will do it for you.
8.) LIFE IS GOING TO SUCKER PUNCH YOU
Murphy was right. Life is going to blind-side you when you least expect it.
It's all right to show pain, to even unleash a colorful metaphor or two, to suck air.
But those times are when the most growth occurs.
You can let the tragedy destroy you or you can learn from it.
We all fall down in life. The question is: who gets back up?
Please, choose to get back up and into the struggle, fighting smarter.
The companion to night is not darkness but light, for every night is followed by the dawn.
9.) YOUR MIND SET
It is not your circumstances or your situations that determine if you are going to be successful or not.
IT IS YOUR MIND SET.
It's the way you see your dream, your writing, how you feel it, how you nourish it.
Your mind is the battleground.
But it is YOUR mind, sow the soil of it with truths that help not hinder you.
"I may give up one day ...
BUT IT WILL NOT BE TODAY.
I'M GOING ALL IN, ALL THE WAY!
I'M GOING TO MAKE THE REST OF MY LIFE THE BEST OF MY LIFE."
10.) LEAN ON YOUR STRENGTHS
What are your personal strengths as a writer?
Whatever they are, they’re your leverage for hard times.
If dialogue is your strength,
you may want to write dialogue for the next few chapters and come back later to fill in the rest of the details.
Or you might want to carry a journal and use spare moments
to brainstorm character names and answer “What if?” questions to sketch in a story and its conflict.
AND DON'T FORGET TO REWARD YOURSELF EACH DAY YOU KEEP FIGHTING ...
if only an extra ten minutes of sleep the next day or a dessert you reserve for hard times.