December 17 Journal Prompt: Your Own Personal Mary Sue

Who Is Your Perfect Person?

We’re going to play around a little bit with character traits here. I want you to think about your ideal person, and think about what makes them perfect.

Thinking about a perfect person might sound count productive. After all, wouldn’t that essentially be creating a Mary Sue?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, a Mary Sue is someone who has almost no character flaws, or the flaws they do have are too much goodness. Superman is a great example, in my eyes anyway.

The reason we don’t want to write this type of character is because we need our characters to struggle. When they struggle to overcome an obstacle, especially one that’s a character flaw, then they’re relatable and the character also grows.

In creating a perfect character or person, you can use this as an exercise to discover creative ways to bring that character down. How would you make this perfect, flawless character struggle?

However, we are also going to use this as a personal exploration. There is a lot you can discover about yourself when you consider the characters you develop.

Journal Prompt

Step 1

Create a perfect character. Free write what you think this person would look like, sound like, act like. What would they spiritually be into? What activities would they enjoy? Why? What good would they do for the world?

I strongly encourage you to complete this exercise before moving on or even reading the next part of the exercise.

Step 2

The interesting thing about this journal prompt is that you’re likely going to be putting your own ideals into this character. This offers you the opportunity to develop and explore what you value.

After you’ve created your character, ask yourself what it is you’ve included that are something you personally hope to aspire to, or that inspires you?

If you’re not actively a working toward these characteristics, why? What’s stopping you? Spend some time free writing and considering what it is that you want to include in your life going forward, and what you want to include in your goals for the next decade.

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package.

This means that if you sign up for either of the monthly packages, you’ll get 5 sessions instead of four. This includes any of the additional bonuses included in the package. For example, if you sign up for the 6-month package, you will get an additional week of partial manuscript reading and critique.

This offer is only if you sign up for my packages through the month of December.

Don’t miss out starting your 2020 new year write.

Book Your Free 30-Minute Call

Fill out the form below to talk to me about your piece. This is about getting to know you and your work, and deciding if we make a good pair to get you through your project.

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a FREE 3-day mini course on planning and outlining tips to start your novel!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

December 15 Journal Prompt: Who’s Awesome?

The first part of the month was focusing on getting to know yourself. The last part of the month was getting ready by setting some goals. Now we’re going to look at how to generate ideas for writing.

Today is going to consider things in your own life that might work toward building your characters. You do need to make sure you do today’s journal prompt because the next few will stem from this one.

Journal Prompt

Who, in person or otherwise, inspires you?
Why?

This questions is important because you can examine the characteristics you find appealing. Likewise, you can take some time to research the person (if it’s someone famous and you don’t already know much about them), and look into the complexity of their character. You can pick apart what their flaws are and see how they contribute to the inspiring aspect of this person.

For example, I used to know a woman who suffered from extreme anxiety. She was a single mother, and she knew some intense hardship in her life, most of which all happened at once. But despite everything, she managed to create her own business and make a living off it enough that she was able to support her and her son, lease her own car, and have luxuries she couldn’t afford when I first met her. And her business had to do with her art. Then one day she saw something she didn’t think was right, something she thought the city should be doing something about. When she couldn’t find a solution, she went back to school so she could prevent it from happening again. She’s one of the strongest, most amazing people I know.

There are so many traits about her that I could use in my writing to make an inspiring character, or a redeeming character.

Likewise, I absolutely adore Jim Morrison from the Doors. Love their music, love his poetry, and I think he’s a fascinating individual. He had a lot of problems, which makes him all the more interesting to me. There are aspects of him that I could combine with my first example and make a very interesting and complex character.

So today’s journal prompt is to think about an inspirational person you know, even better if it’s two of them, and to list every characteristic of them you know about them.

If you have more than one character, then your next task, or bonus task, is to see how you can combine the characteristics you’ve listed into one person.

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package.

This means that if you sign up for either of the monthly packages, you’ll get 5 sessions instead of four. This includes any of the additional bonuses included in the package. For example, if you sign up for the 6-month package, you will get an additional week of partial manuscript reading and critique.

This offer is only if you sign up for my packages through the month of December.Don’t miss out starting your 2020 new year write.

Book Your Free 30-Minute Call

Fill out the form below to talk to me about your piece. This is about getting to know you and your work, and deciding if we make a good pair to get you through your project.

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a FREE 3-day mini course on planning and outlining tips to start your novel!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

December 14 Journal Prompt: Know Your Steps

What steps are you going to take toward achieving these goals?

You now have at least some of your goals for the upcoming New Year, with all the steps we’ve taken. You have done some work regarding your fears and how those might influence your success and your goals.

Now we’re going to look at the little tiny steps you can take to achieve your goals.

For some people, making goals for the New Year, or in life, can feel overwhelming. A project might seem HUGE. But when you break it down into smaller bite-sized pieces, it’s not that bad.

A Quick Personal Story

I went back to school nearly 10 years after I graduated from high school. I enrolled in the local community college and set myself the goal of just passing my classes. When I realized I could do that, I jumped and set myself the goal of straight A’s. All the time.

No pressure or anything.

Except it was ALL THE PRESSURE. I did it to myself.

When midterms and finals came around, I was a mess. I was working two jobs while taking four classes (with the way my college was, more than three classes at a time really wasn’t recommended because of their work load), plus an additional pilot program I was helping to design.

I was freaking out a bit.

But when I was swamped with everything, knew that I had school stuff, work stuff, as well as general existing stuff like laundry, grocery shopping, eating, and this weird thing called sleeping, I started making lists.

When I organized my jobs that I needed to get done on a list, and then approximated how much time I thought each thing was going to take, none of it seemed impossible. In fact, it all looked very possible.

I began delegating certain tasks to different days, and I was suddenly able to manage my time that much better. For the projects that were bigger like completing a report on the pilot mentorship project, I broke that down into smaller pieces. Suddenly finding five suitable research papers as my goal for one day was far less daunting than “work on research project.” I had a specific smaller goal to achieve that was manageable.

The Point

The idea is that when you break down your goals into smaller steps that you can assign yourself, then you can achieve them more readily.

Tip: Love NaNoWriMo?
Excited for CampNaNo in April?
You can learn to use Tarot
to plot and develop your story
without even knowing how
to read the card.
Check out my
#30DayTarotWritingChallenge

A great example of this is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For those of you who don’t know, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That breaks down to 1667 words in a day. For some, that’s a breeze. For others, it’s like writing the length of a school essay every day.

But a really great way of tackling this is to break it down into small parts and litter the small parts throughout your daily schedule. This is short bursts of 417 words four times through the day. You might do this before breakfast, somewhere around lunch, when you get off work, and then before you go to bed. It’s about a page of single-spaced typing, or a page and a half of double-spaced typing. Far less daunting.

Journal Prompt

You might have already guessed what the prompt is, but I’ll tell you anyway. Your prompt is to look at what you want to achieve, what you’ve been journaling toward over the last few days, and break them down into small chunks.

What can you do daily to work toward your goal? What seems daunting about it?

Furthermore, I want you to look at any fears you might have surrounding it think about steps you can take to work through those fears and resolve them. Journal out and brainstorm as much as you can.

The more you know about your fears, your goals, and the steps you can take to be successful, the more equipped you’ll be for a successful 2020.

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package. This means that if you sign up for either of the monthly packages, you’ll get 5 sessions instead of four. This includes any of the additional bonuses included in the package. For example, if you sign up for the 6-month package, you will get an additional week of partial manuscript reading and critique.

This offer is only if you sign up for my packages through the month of December.Don’t miss out starting your 2020 new year write.

Book Your Free 30-Minute Call

Fill out the form below to talk to me about your piece. This is about getting to know you and your work, and deciding if we make a good pair to get you through your project.

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a FREE 3-day mini course on planning and outlining tips to start your novel!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

December 13 Journal Prompt: Know Your Fears

What Is Your Fear Around Writing?

There are two more posts specifically about goal setting, and one of them I’d like to talk to you a little bit about fear.

When you boil it down, fear is behind what stops us. We’re afraid of investing, we’re afraid of success, we’re afraid of failure. We’re afraid of being wrong, we’re afraid of being right.

All of this boils down to change. If we have a fear in any of these areas, it’s because we have an idea of what is or should be, and whatever it is that you’re afraid of runs the risk of change.

I listen to a lot of tarot podcasts (if you didn’t know, my dovetail into coaching was via my tarot website and the writing prompts I was posting there), and Lindsey Mack had a wonderful episode recently on the 10 of Swords, which is generally viewed as a difficult card. In the episode she spoke a lot about fear, and what it is in the brain.

Your brain is trying to create a safe route for us, but we can only do it if we can predict what’s going to come. When we have a fear of change, it’s because the change is something that is unknown. The outcome is unknown. And as a result, we fear it because we can’t predict and prepare for it on a deeper level.

If you look at Eckhart Tole and what he has to say on the matter, fear is a result of your ego trying to preserve itself. Similarly to the idea of unpredictability, the ego is trying to maintain its sense of identity. Anything can threaten that sense of self, especially change of status. As a result, we have fear, anxiety, anger, jealousy, and myriad of other difficult emotions.

I cannot recommend his book, A New Earth enough. The first chapter can be a bit dry, but once you get into the meat of it, it’s amazing.

What’s this Got to Do with Writing or the New Year?

When we are setting our writing goals for the New Year, we need to address and confront some of these fears that we might have around success.

Some common writer fears are:

  • Fear of success
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear to start
  • Fear of not finishing
  • Fear of not writing well enough
  • Fear of people reading their work

I won’t get into these too much. However, the end result in many of these is a change in the understanding of yourself. What if you write a book? Then you’ll now be the person who writes books, and with that comes some form of responsibility.

What if you’re successful? What if you fail? Both of these involve changes to the sense of self. If you’re successful, then your identity now involves “writer,” and it can mean keeping up a social media presence, going through the motions of publishing, repping your work, etc. If you fail though, then it could mean a change in how people perceive you.

Whatever your fear regarding your writing is, it has the potential to hold you back in some way.

It can manifest in

  • Writer’s block
  • Stagnation
  • Boredom of a project
  • Inability to stay focused on just one project
  • Constantly working on your piece but never actually getting anywhere with it

Again, these are just a few ways you can see fear interrupt your writing.

When you’re making goals for the New Year, you want to look into what goals you aren’t setting but would like to set. You want to look at the goals you are setting and see how fear is playing a role in how you set yourself up for success this year.

Journal Prompt

This is going to be another two-part journal prompt. It is essential that you really dive deep to get to understand what’s in you, what might be blocking you, and what might be supporting you. Your joy is what’s going to carry you through to find success. Your fear is going to be what holds you back.

Step 1: Your Relationship with Fear

The first part of this is to look at your relationship to fear. This might involve a few days’ worth of reflecting. During this exercise, think about the things that have held you back because you were on some level afraid. Think about the things that infuriated you, and ask how they might have been in response to an underlying fear.

Look at this in relation to your writing, but also in life. Sometimes our fears in life can be symptomatic in our writing as well. For example, if we’re stressed out in life  because we’ve taken on too much, our writing can suffer, even if we make time for it.

Step 1.2: Your Writing

Now look at your writing. Really look at it. Look at all the times you thought “I should be writing,” but didn’t. Think about the times you wrote but wanted to keep it a complete secret. Think about the manuscripts you have, completed, doing nothing.

Ask yourself why all these things are the case, and examine the fear around each situation.

Step 2: Your 2020 Goals

Now that you have some understanding about your fears, ask yourself how they’re going to influence your goals. Are they going to hinder them in some way or will your 2020 goals remain unaffected?

If you think they’ll be a problem, work overcoming that fear into your goals for 2020, into your habits for January.

If you need any help coming up with ways to break through that fear, I’m only a quick message away!

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package.

This means that if you sign up for either of the monthly packages, you’ll get 5 sessions instead of four. This includes any of the additional bonuses included in the package. For example, if you sign up for the 6-month package, you will get an additional week of partial manuscript reading and critique.

This offer is only if you sign up for my packages through the month of December.Don’t miss out starting your 2020 new year write.

Book Your Free 30-Minute Call

Fill out the form below to talk to me about your piece. This is about getting to know you and your work, and deciding if we make a good pair to get you through your project.

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a FREE 3-day mini course on planning and outlining tips to start your novel!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

December 12 Journal Prompt: What to Write Next Year

What is your writing goal for the whole of 2020?

We’ve spent some time delving into the habits we can create to make our year successful, but now I’m going to switch gears a little bit. Knowing what you now know about yourself, we are going to look at what goals you can set for the whole of 2020.

Writing goals mean different things to different people. For those who write non-fiction, this might be querying a publisher with a book idea. For those who have an idea for a book but haven’t put any time into developing it, it might just be to outline it and get the first chapter done. For some it’s to write a book a month, and for others it might be to write a million words during the year.

All of these goals are set with the idea of what they want to develop in the long run.

Journal Prompt

This is going to be a two-part prompt. We’re going to look at the big picture and then shrink it right on down to the smaller picture.

Step 1: What Do You Want?

Fun Fact: If you want to write 1,000,000 words in 2020

You only need to develop the

right writing habit.

It only take 2,740 words each

day to write 1,000,000 words

in 356 days.

If boundaries were not a thing and wishes were fulfilled as easily as taken a breath, what would you want for your writing?

Do you want to build a career? Do you want to publish? Do you want to create stories for  those who are close to you? Do you have a message to share?

Over the span of the next decade, what do you want to happen with your writing?

Spent ten minutes or more writing everything you want for your writing. Think big, think about a world without limits, and consider everything you would want. Again, give yourself at least ten minutes of constant writing. That means no pausing once you’ve stopped. Let that pen flow, even if it means writing “I don’t know” 14 times before you finally figure out what you do know.

Don’t think about what is practical, don’t think about what is feasible. Think only about what you want.

Step 2: Your Writing Goal

Now you’re going to make your writing goal for 2020. Look at everything you’ve just written. It is possible. You just have to make the right steps.

List out the steps you would need to take in order to get to where you want. Write them out in detail, break them down. If your first step is to write your first book, then what steps do you have to take to make that happen? Break everything down as much as you can.

Now, that you have this list, ask yourself what you think you can get done in the first year. This is the time to be practical. But, at the same time, you want to challenge yourself.

Running with the example of writing your first book, maybe you not only want to write it, but have it completely squeaky polished and ready to send off to publication, or ready for beta readers, or ready to self-publish by the end of 2020.

Or maybe you want to write a million words in 2020. You could write a million words, or, you could really challenge yourself and aim for two million (5480 words a day!).

Bonus Step

When you have fun, you’re promoting joy, and that is what’s going to carry you to your goals.  

When you have yourself a writing goal, break it down, step by step. What do you need to do to write your first book? What do you need to do to write a million words? For each of these steps, create a reward system.

On of my favorite podcast hosts, Sara Werner of the Write Now Podcast, likes to reward herself when she reached word-count goals during her writing sessions with an M&M.

I’ve rewarded myself with cups of coffee. When I’m really struggling to put words on the page, I’ve told myself that when I get to x point, then I can have another cup of coffee (though I do have the fine print that I have to have a pint of water before I have my coffee as well).

Your reward systems should line up with your goal. If it’s something small, have a little—but joyful—reward for yourself. If it’s something bigger, then have a bigger reward. For example, if one of your steps is to read three books on writing, then celebrate each book by purchasing a song download, and when you finish all three, purchase a full album. Or if you want to need to finish your outline, then celebrate by spending a day out doing something you love but rarely get to do.

When you have things to look forward to, then it makes achieving the steps along the way that much more fun. When you have fun, you’re promoting joy, and that is what’s going to carry you to your goals.  

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package. This means that if you sign up for either of the monthly packages, you’ll get 5 sessions instead of four.

This includes any of the additional bonuses included in the package. For example, if you sign up for the 6-month package, you will get an additional week of partial manuscript reading and critique.

This offer is only if you sign up for my packages through the month of December.Don’t miss out starting your 2020 new year write.

Book Your Free 30-Minute Call

Fill out the form below to talk to me about your piece. This is about getting to know you and your work, and deciding if we make a good pair to get you through your project.

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a FREE 3-day mini course on planning and outlining tips to start your novel!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

December 10 Journal Prompt: What Is Your January Goal?

What Is Your Writing Goal for January?

For some of us, we have monthly goals. We want to start a novel, or participate in (Camp) NaNoWriMo, begin editing, or even start getting the garden ready or planning or saving for a trip at the beginning of the month.

But January isn’t just another month. It’s a whole new year. As a result, there is a lot of pressure to have bigger goals, goals that will follow you through the whole year.

Knowing yourself is the first step
in creating attainable goals
forthe upcoming year.

It doesn’t help that January 2020 is the beginning of a whole new decade as well. Which is why we’re starting our planning now.

Yesterday I asked you to review your journal prompts so far. What did you learn about yourself that you didn’t know before? What did you already know, but now you know that you have to incorporate that knowledge in your next steps?

We’re going to start out simple and just make a goal for January, then we’ll move on to the full year, and then the decade.

Setting Up the Goal

The purpose of looking at your goal just for January is that you can start your year off right. Many of us make goals for the whole year and fail to neglect the smaller steps it’s going to take to create the habits to make the resolution pan out.

For example, a common one is to loose weight. How? How are you going to do this? Go to the gym? Eat better? Go for more walks? A whole 356 days can be daunting, but if you make it a goal to just go to the gym every day for January, the finish line is more reachable. Once you have one month down, you can up the ante for the next month.

Feel Your Goal

The most important thing you can do is to look at yourself and know what goal is truly in alignment with you. What jives well with you, what gets you excited? While the rest of the world is trying to loose weight for the New Year, it doesn’t mean that you need to fall into that category as well. You might be comfortable in your skin and feel no need to improve upon your health. Yet you might still feel urged to join in on the weight-loss frenzy.

You don’t have to, though.

When you look at your goals, look at what lights you up.
What is going to make you feel the best when you achieve it?
And, as always, why?

When you follow what feels good because it actually feels good to you, not because everyone else thinks it will feel good, you’ll be more likely to follow through and reach the goal.

Journal Prompt

January is a month of developing good habits. Because of the pressure of the New Year, we’re more likely to stick to the habits at least until the end of the month.

So today you are going to make a list of habits you want to try just for January.

Go crazy with them. Make a list of things you think you might want to try, things you think you should try,  and things you’re told you need to do that just don’t make you happy.

Keep in mind, all of these things are just for January. Try not to look too much further past that.

Once you’re done with your list, make three columns. They don’t have to be big, you’re only going to write numbers in each of them.

What makes me feel goodWhat I feel is importantWhat is important to others

Your first column is going to be what makes you feel good. The second column is going to be what you feel is important, regardless of how you feel, and the third column is importance to other people.

Go through your list and number each item 0-10. 10 is going to represent the most important/best feeling/most important to other people.

By “important to other people,” I mean what other people think you should do/expect you to do. This might be being on time to pick your kids up from school, eating salad instead of pasta, make more money, etc. The idea is that as you get to this column, you really think about the item on your list and examine if it’s something that you think is important, or if it’s something that other people think is important.

Go through and number your items. Spend time really thinking about each item.

After you’ve numbered them, write about what you discovered regarding your list of January goals.
Were you surprised at how much you were doing for other people?
Were you surprised at how focused you were?
What will these habits do for you in the long run?
Which will bring you the most joy?

As the month goes on, you can alter this list however you want. As you set your goals for the year and the decade later on, you might realize that there are some other good habits to develop during the first month of the year.

Keep in mind what you’ve learned about yourself over the last nine days, as well. Stay in alignment with who you are. When you feel good about what you’re doing, then you’re more likely to succeed in your goals.

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package.

This means that if you sign up for either of the monthly packages, you’ll get 5 sessions instead of four. This includes any of the additional bonuses included in the package. For example, if you sign up for the 6-month package, you will get an additional week of partial manuscript reading and critique.

This offer is only if you sign up for my packages through the month of December.Don’t miss out starting your 2020 new year write.

Book Your Free 30-Minute Call

Fill out the form below to talk to me about your piece. This is about getting to know you and your work, and deciding if we make a good pair to get you through your project.

December 9: How Your Beliefs Shape Your Writing

How Do Your Beliefs Affect Your Writing?

Yesterday we delved into what it is we believe. This isn’t just about what we spiritually believe, though that can play a role, but what is that we believe about ourselves.

Story-telling is a method of
explain the world around us.

Story-telling is about showing and sharing our experiences in life and examining the human condition. Historically, it would be a means to explain the changing seasons, the migrating animals, the truly amazing and horrifying occurrences in the past. It was a way of depicting the world our ancestors lived in, and we do the same thing today.

As writers, we are story-tellers. Even if your medium is non-fiction, you are putting your own flavor and perspective into your writing, You shine through with the words you choose.

The downside of this is that we also tell ourselves stories. All the time. Every minute of every day. This isn’t just writers who do this, but every single one of us. When we look at how we perceive the person who cut us off in traffic, we’re telling a story. That story could either be that they just didn’t see us when they changed lanes, or that they’re personally attacking us, or that they’re just arrogant enough to believe that you should yield to them.

How we tell our stories in our lives shapes how we see the world. The drive for the stories we tell is anchored in our beliefs.

Journal Prompt

Today’s journal prompt looks at the beliefs you analyzed yesterday and consider how they affect your writing.

Pull out your list of beliefs, and ask yourself what they do regarding your writing. Do they inspire? Do they hinder? Do they influence the genre you write? What kind of endings on your stories do you have? Why?

Take the time to consider what you generally like to write, and how they correspond to your beliefs.

Once you have done that, spend some time asking yourself what you can do to alter the beliefs that are negatively influencing your writing practices or habits. Ask yourself what your writing or life might look like if you changed these beliefs. Spend some time journaling about this. Really challenge yourself to look into these questions and the correspondences. You’ll be surprised by what you find.

Tomorrow

Today is the last day that we focus on you, the writer. Tomorrow we begin to look more specifically at your 2020 goals. However, the last 9 prompts have been to help you get to know yourself so that you can make effective goals in 2020 that are in alignment with you.

By knowing yourself, you can know that sure, you want to sell 100,000 books next year, but because you know that you detest marketing, you’ll have to hire someone to do the marketing for you, or develop a marketing strategy that you can abide by. Knowing yourself means you can create plans that you are more likely to follow.

Knowing what brings you Joy can also mean using that as the inspiration to propel you toward achieving your goals.

Using a personal example, I adore working with writers. It lights me the f up. This is why I became a writing coach. For 2020, I of course am going to have goals for my business. But, I hate marketing, if you recall. But, by keeping in mind my love for working with writers, I can create a goal that involves working with writers and knowing that every step I take toward that goal will keep lighting me up. This might mean finding writing groups to just exchange stories with outside of being a coach, or beta reading. Both of these allow me to interact with writers and it can also be a way that I can network and market at the same time. Finding a path that lights me up is how I will succeed in my 2020 coaching-related goals.

To prepare for the next few journal prompts, look back at the journaling you have done so far. Look at how what you’ve learned about yourself can potentially work toward enhancing and empowering your 2020 goals, even if you don’t have them developed yet.

Designing your 2020 goals begins tomorrow.

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package.

This means that if you sign up for either of the monthly packages, you’ll get 5 sessions instead of four. This includes any of the additional bonuses included in the package. For example, if you sign up for the 6-month package, you will get an additional week of partial manuscript reading and critique.

This offer is only if you sign up for my packages through the month of December.Don’t miss out starting your 2020 new year write.

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a FREE 3-day mini course on planning and outlining tips to start your novel!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

December 8 Journal Prompt: What Do You Believe?

What do you believe?

Asking yourself what you believe is a multi-faceted question. You might know what you believe in spiritually, but we all have beliefs that we don’t realize we carry with us.

This is an important thing to realize about yourself. This can be one of the things that is blocking you from getting what you really want. This can manifest in writers block, in bad relationships, in a career you hate, in anger or depressive issues, and so on.

Today’s journal prompt is going to ask you to get really deep into what it is that you believe about yourself. This might not come easily to you, as often the beliefs we have will be subconscious. However, if you look at a particular issue that you might be having, especially around writing, you can start asking yourself questions from there.

This is how it’s going to look:

The Journal Prompt

Pick a recurring issue in your life. Since I am a writing coach and I assume you are a writer, I’ll use a writing-related example.

I can’t ever finish a writing project.

Many writers suffer with this. They have an idea, start on it, but might never get further than the first chapter. Or they have an idea and they don’t start it at all. Or they have an idea and while they’re starting that idea, three more come rushing at the writer—and they’re so much shinier and more exciting that the writer gets distracted by them.

Does this sound familiar?

Perhaps you might find that you finish plenty of projects, but haven’t done anything with them. You won’t let anyone read them. Or you do let people read them, but you don’t respond well to their constructive criticism.

Once you have your common recurring setback or block, play the Why game with yourself, like you did for Day 2.

Ask yourself why until you get yourself to the belief behind your issue.

It might look something like this:

I can’t finish a writing project.
Why?
Because I get stuck and don’t know where to go.
Why?
Because I haven’t put the time into researching and plotting.
Why?
Because I was too excited to start this and didn’t want to lose momentum.
Why?
Because I struggle to hold on to inspiration.

And we arrive at the belief: Inspiration is fleeting. This, then, is a mindset problem, and can be resolved.

We’ll talk about what to do with the beliefs in tomorrow’s Journal Prompt, but for now, make a list of as many beliefs that you might have, and interrogate them. See what you come up with.

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package.

This means that if you sign up for either of the monthly packages, you’ll get 5 sessions instead of four. This includes any of the additional bonuses included in the package. For example, if you sign up for the 6-month package, you will get an additional week of partial manuscript reading and critique.

This offer is only if you sign up for my packages through the month of December.Don’t miss out starting your 2020 new year write.

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a FREE 3-day mini course on planning and outlining tips to start your novel!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

December 7 Journal Prompt: What is Revolting?

What in life revolts you?

This exercise can be fun, or it can be dark. I’ll let you decide where you want to put it.

While getting to know yourself and your writing, you’ll come across practices that might pertain to your goal that just make you feel gross. For example, many writers detest the idea of marketing (I’m one of them!). There’s good ways of marketing which don’t feel slimy, and then there’s disgusting methods of marketing that make my skin crawl. Everyone’s different, so I won’t list anything here.

Why You Should Know This

So far we’ve looked at what inspires you, what scares you, and what brings you joy. All of these have been aimed at personal development as well as potential prompts or things to consider while you’re developing your character.

Today’s journal prompt is purely for inspiration.

Often when we develop a character, we might think about what the character likes and dislikes, but going so far as knowing what revolts them is the opportunity to give that character just a little bit more depth.

Furthermore, in knowing what revolts you, you gain some insight as to what might revolt a reader. Depending on the genre you’re writing in, this has the potential to create a more gripping effect in your writing.

For example, a client of mine who wrote a beautiful short piece for a competition (and was successful!) had a character lift a lock of hair to his noseless face, where a nose used to be, and sniff it. That image made my skin crawl and I loved it. I was invested in the story completely with that detail.

However, there is definitely a fine line here.

While it can be affective in creating a capturing piece, it can also have the opposite effect. If it’s too revolting, it might make your reader close the book and be done with it.

Chuck Palahniuk certainly walks this line, and for many readers, crosses it. His short stories can be absolutely horrific to read, though are of outstanding quality. I won’t go too into it, but let’s just say that Fight Club is easily the tamest thing he’s ever written.

The Journal Prompt

Your prompt is to look at what revolts you. Make a list of things that just creep you out, that you can’t stand the idea of, or that will make you close a book instantly and never look back.

Once you’ve made your list, ask  yourself what about it gives you this reaction. Some will be obvious, while some will really make you think. Try to avoid answers like “It’s just too much,” or “It just creeps me out,” or anything that fails to give an actual reason for why it revolts you.

Ask yourself why and interrogate this list as much as you can within comfort. If you feel up for it, push past your comfort level, though I do acknowledge there are somethings on the list that might be triggering. If you feel that it’s going to be problematic to your mental or emotional health, please don’t push yourself.

After you’ve completed this list and asked each item “why?” a few times, spend sometime freewriting about what you discovered. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about writing? What can you use from this exercise to your advantage in your writing?

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package.

This means that if you sign up for either of the monthly packages, you’ll get 5 sessions instead of four. This includes any of the additional bonuses included in the package. For example, if you sign up for the 6-month package, you will get an additional week of partial manuscript reading and critique.

This offer is only if you sign up for my packages through the month of December.

Don’t miss out starting your 2020 new year write.

Decebmer 6: Where Is Your Joy?

What in Life Brings You Joy?

Yesterday’s journaling exercise was intense. It meant delving into that which makes us uncomfortable. We looked at what we are afraid of that might block us from our paths to success.

Today we are going a different route. Today we are looking what in life brings you joy.

Joy

Joy is going to be the thing we chase when things get dark. When we feel like giving up, joy is going to be what motivates us to keep going.

Non-Fiction Recommendation:
I highly recommend
Danielle LaPorte’s books
and her podcast,
With Love

Yes, there is plenty of non-joy-based motivation, such as love. Alice Hoffman, author of Practical Magic, writes regularly of love so intense that it hurts (I highly recommend reading her work), and the things we do for that love. But that love is its own form of joy. Knowing the person you love is doing well, seeing your family thrive, seeing your dog run through the mud having a grand old time are all forms of joy.

Danielle LaPorte in her books The Fire-Starter Sessions and The Desire Map writes about the importance of chasing what feels good. I have made it a regular practice of mine, and I encourage all my writing clients to do the same. This is why I encourage them to celebrate their achievements, however small, and create a list of what feels good to them.

What Feels Good

I used to have a journal that I got while visiting Vancouver. It was red, had different colored pages. And had a little red mushroom with white spots, and a ladybug hugging the mushroom (because it thought the mushroom was another ladybug, and it wasn’t actually hugging per se…). I called this my Book of Things that Makes Me Happy. In it I wrote every little thing that made me smile. It might be song lyrics (I’m pretty certain Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” and “The Significance of a Pickle” were in there), words that you enjoy, a cartoon, a thought, an amusing conversation—whatever.

The purpose of the book was that every time I was feeling down, I could flip through it and smile again.

I think everyone should create their very own Book of Things that Makes Them Feel Good, and I certainly encourage you to do so.

But for now, this exercise is simply to write out at least 10 things that bring you joy.

But don’t stop there. If they keep coming, keep writing them out. They can be family related, work related, nature related, writing related—if it puts a genuine smile on your face then write it down.

Once you have your list, spend some time with it. Look it over. Ask yourself what on this list you can add to your daily or weekly life. How can you bring these joyful experiences into your goals? How can you bring them into your writing?

Remembering to bring joy into what you are working on or what you are doing can be the difference between a horrible day and a wonderful day. It can be the difference between quitting a writing piece and carrying it through to the end.

Be sure to make yourself a List of Things that Make You Happy, and remember to look at it from time to time. It could be what gets you through to the finish line.

Sometimes in life, we become so focused on the finish line
that we fail to find joy in the journey

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

December Offer

January is a time of starting fresh, of setting up good habits to begin the new you.

Through December, to get excited and ready for January, I’m offering a Free 1-hour session in addition to any monthly package or the 6-month package.

This means that if you sign up for either of the monthly packages, you’ll get 5 sessions instead of four. This includes any of the additional bonuses included in the package. For example, if you sign up for the 6-month package, you will get an additional week of partial manuscript reading and critique.

This offer is only if you sign up for my packages through the month of December.Don’t miss out starting your 2020 new year write.

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a FREE 3-day mini course on planning and outlining tips to start your novel!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.