Thursday, June 17, 2010

Good Advice from WordStrumpet

Success Mindset
1. Intention, Not Expectation. Set an intention for whatever it is you want to be successful at, but don't have an expectation of exactly how it will pan out. Because, the universe loves to surprise you. This goes for small, daily goals, too. Set an intention to write a certain number of words per day, for instance, but don't have an expectation that you will absolutely, positively meet that goal or else. Set an intention, go for it, and if you don't make it, do better the next day.

2. Just A Wee Bit of Organization. I know, we creative types like to be wild and crazy and free. And organization is a dirty word when you are wild and crazy and free. But a wee bit of it will help you to achieve your success goals. Learn what your maximum mess quotient is and when you reach it, take some time to get yourself organized. My maximum mess quotient is when my desk gets so overwhelmed with piles I no longer know what each pile represents (probably because they are so messy they don't represent anything).

3. Use the Power of Your Subconscious. Put your brain to work for you. Your subconscious can be noodling away on your creative projects while you are doing other things, like dishes, or vacuuming or carpooling. You just need to give it a little nudge. And that's easy to do. Read over your notes before you leave to do errands. Glance at a page or two of your manuscript before you go to sleep at night. Or sit in front of your latest painting and ponder it before you leave for work. You can also tell your subconscious directly what you need, such as, "I'm looking for Claire's motivation for leaving her husband." And don't forget to carry a small journal with you wherever you go so that you can jot down ideas as they come. Because they will come.

4. Process, not Product. Don't put yourself into the mindset of product creation. Instead, remember that it is all about the process. Yes, you are indeed creating a product, whether that is a novel or a painting or an EBook. But focusing on the end product results in perfectionism, and panic. Instead, stay in the present and think only about the process. Be in the process. Product follows.

5. Transcend Judgment. This is a biggie, and a difficult biggie at that. You need to be able to transcend judgment of the product you are creating until you are finished and need to be critical of it. But beyond that, you need to transcend judgment of yourself and other people (which is really just judgment of yourself). Stifle that negative voice that loves to hear you tell critical stories. You'll be amazed at how much space opens up in your brain. And you can then use that mental space for, oh, I don't know, rewriting a novel?

6. Ask For Support. But seek it from the right people. I adore my family and my non-writing friends, but I don't let them in on the process of trying to get my novel published much. Why? Because, wonderful as they are, they just don't get it. If I mention I have an agent interested in my work, they'll be asking me constantly how it's going. My writing group, on the other hand, offers concrete assistance that I can take to the computer and use immediately. (And no worries, there will be a huge celebration with my beloved family when the time comes and I do nab that agent.)

7. Know You Can Do it! Because you can. We all can. We all can accomplish our goals if we just give ourselves a chance. Or a pep talk. So good luck cultivating a success mindset and go forth and accomplish your goals!
Reposted with permission:
Writer, mentor, and coach Charlotte Rains Dixon is passionate about helping writers, coaches, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals succeed, achieve, and profit in their careers and lives through writing. Visit her for more tips and techniques on writing--and living--at

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Backspace Conference

It was all I hoped it would be. Lots of interest in Grace, four agents asked for the MS. Donald Maass's talk about writing the breakout novel was to the point for me. I have been upping the tension prior to hitting "send."

Bravo Backspace!
Thanks to Backspace and Colleen Lindsay for the original query contest last fall that I won. The prize was free attendance at the conference. I also thank Backspace for giving me a rain check when I couldn't attend in the fall.