The necessary mindset to build better habits

Goal setting, Inspirational, Writing
Building new habits only seems easy when the habits are bad. Forging good habits is a constant uphill battle, but it can be done. With the right mindset and a lot of hard work, you can create new habits and build the life you've always wanted. So what is the mindset that will spur you to success? In a nutshell, it's the belief that you can accomplish it and the willingness to work at it every single day. Really. Take it back to basics, those two things are all you need to be successful. To break it down further, there are four important beliefs which make up the mindset required for success: 1. I am already successful in many ways. Grab a pen and paper. Write down everything you've done…
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Creating a realistic schedule when you have no boss

Goal setting, Increasing productivity, Inspirational, Uncategorized, Writing
Last Friday marked the official end of my high school career. For many students this marks time to go to college or starting a full time job. For me it means the opportunity to work on my writing full time. There will likely come a day where I choose to seek full time employment or further education, but for the next few months I'm going to be entirely focused on doing what I love. Or, should I be lacking in discipline, it will mean the least productive period of my entire life. As many authors and entrepreneurs have learned before me, controlling your own schedule can be quite perilous. When you have all day, it's easy to think a few minutes on the phone and one TV show won't completely…
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Monthly routines to save time

Goal setting, Increasing productivity, Writing
Some things, like checking email and social media, are best done in small bursts every day. It's easier to do a little bit of cleaning every day than it is to do all your cleaning at once. Still other things are easy to ignore for months, and yet become monumental tasks when you finally face them. Every year, I spend the first couple months paying careful attentions to these things. I carefully organize my life in January and February, and things soon fall apart as I get overwhelmed by everything in my life that isn't writing. But this year I will be finishing school and be able to focus on my writing full time for the first time, and I'm determined to make every day count so that I can…
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Building new habits in 2014

Goal setting, Inspirational, Writing
Everybody--especially the people that don't admit it--wants to become a better, more successful version of themselves. The specifics vary from person to person, but it always boils down to two things: building good habits and eliminating bad ones. Looking at the big picture of self transformation is scary. Most of us have a pretty concrete vision of how we'd like to change--quit smoking, eat less fast food, write more, exercise regularly--and regularly attempt to make these changes. Many set these goals as their new year's resolutions, put real effort in for a couple weeks or months, then fall off the bandwagon. They set the same goals, year after year, never making more than minimal progress towards becoming the person they want to be. There are all kinds of reasons why…
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Organizing your writing life for 2014

Goal setting, Inspirational, Writing
Usually I spend most of December talking about setting goals for the new year, but this year I want to focus more on getting organized so you can achieve those goals. There are some key steps you can take now to make your writing run more smoothly in 2014. The simpler you make it to achieve your goals, the more likely you are to go through with it. This simplification process doesn't mean lowering your goals, unless you've realized that you severely overshot when you set out on the adventure of 2013. Instead it means preparing yourself for 2014, similar to preparing yourself for Nanowrimo in October, but more intense. Some of these steps can and should be taken right now, and others will have to wait until you've chosen…
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Week 4

Goal setting, Inspirational, Nanowrimo, Writing
Judgement day is now very near. Our days to finish the novels we've been working on this November are almost over, and it's time for the final push. It doesn't matter if you have 49, 000 words or 5, 000 words, be ruthless this week. Cut out as much of your socializing as you can and beg or bribe someone else to do your housework. Your focus should be on writing this week, and getting as close to 50, 000 words and "the end" as possible. It's entirely possible that if you free up enough time, you can write almost your entire novel this week. So don't despair if you're behind, and if you're ahead, keep pushing yourself towards the end. Of course there's some things you still need to…
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How to make the most of this weekend

Goal setting, Inspirational, Nanowrimo, Writing
Tonight marks the beginning of the last full weekend of Nanowrimo, and no matter where you are in your word count--unless you're one of those lucky people who has already finished their novel--it's important to make the most of your time. By creating specific goals and a detailed plan, you can balance your weekend between social commitments, housework and writing, and get a lot done. Most people recommend working in short bursts and then taking short breaks. Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA suggested the Pomodoro Technique during her writing marathon last weekend, which involves working on something for a 25 minute period and then taking a five minute break. I personally find that how long I like to work on tasks depends on the task--often a blog post will take…
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What’s your word count so far?

Goal setting, Inspirational, Nanowrimo, Writing
Today I don't want to distract you from writing for too long--after all, it is the beginning of the weekend and you'll want to get into your writing zone tonight, so you can trample your word count goal for the weekend--so I'm going to leave you with a quote and a question: β€œIt is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.” – Will Shetterly. How many words have you written this weekend, and how many do you plan on writing this weekend? Share your word counts and goals in the comments below! If you're wondering, I've written just over 32K and I'm hoping to hit 50, 000 words this weekend.
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5 Important considerations when planning your Nanowrimo novel

Goal setting, Nanowrimo, Writing
If you, like me, are currently working with only the most basic novel concept, there are some important things to consider as you flesh out your story. These are important things to consider before diving into your novel, whether it's for Nanowrimo or not. Asking yourself these questions can really save you a world of pain during November and beyond it. 1. How exciting is this story? You need to be excited about your story. A novel is a commitment. You're going to devote at least a significant chunk of next month to writing this thing, and if you plan to someday publish you're going to have to spend months, possibly years editing it. Frankly, you won't get all the way through November with a story that doesn't excite you,…
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Prioritization

Goal setting, Writing
In today's world with family, friends, work and endless media vying for your attention, it's incredibly important to make sure you prioritize the things that are important to you. I spent much of the last few months discussing how to deal with various distractions and I'm even working on an ebook based around that very subject, but before you can truly implement that advice you must choose what is most important to you. As the summer has reached its halfway point, I've been thinking about this a lot and re-evaluating my priorities for the next month. Soon enough school will start again and I'll have extremely limited time for my writing, so I need to make the most of this next month. Everyone's writing goals are different, but you can…
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