Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Motivation and Willpower

You’re not being as productive as you want to be.

This doesn’t just have to be about writing and your novel, this can be applied to anything in your life you are working toward; saving money, losing weight, starting a business, being a more involved parent, learning a skill. Whatever it is you are trying to achieve.

Whatever is important to you right now.

People often comment on my willpower and determination and I think I have been a bit lax in my responses. I say stuff like: “You just have to buckle down and do it.” Which I think is a bit discouraging to people and shows that I haven’t really taken the time to sit down and analyze my own process.

It tends to be the things we are good at that we have most trouble explaining to others, because it’s not something we have to think about, we just do it. However there are things I do to keep myself motivated and give myself the willpower to achieve what I do. It just hadn’t occurred to me they wouldn’t be instinctive to other people.

Kind of like if you told me you were itchy, I would say: ‘Oh, that sucks.’ It wouldn’t occur to me you didn’t know how to scratch it!

So there are three things I ask myself daily to in order be super, insanely productive.

1. Why do I want to achieve this?
Write a list. Maybe it will be short. Maybe it will be really long. I think you should list every single thing you can think of. And write the truth. Write down the reasons you would be ashamed to admit out loud. Don’t write the shit you think would sound good if you had to talk on Oprah. You want to lose weight because you want to be hot. You want to lose weight because you want your ex to regret breaking up with you. You probably don’t really want to lose weight to be ‘healthier’. We all know that’s bullshit.

2. Which of these reasons is good enough to suffer for?
Is it really worth suffering through an hour of workouts and cooking healthy every single day to make your dumb ex regret her choices? Probably not. But if losing weight gives you the confidence to meet and marry your soul mate, maybe all those hours of effort are worth it. Underline the top 1-3 things that you would suffer to achieve, that this project or goal as the prospect of bringing you.

This is where a lot of people make a vision board, by the way. They put those 1-3 things they want on a corkboard near their workspace so they can see them all the time. So when their motivation is flagging, they can look at the vision board and say: ‘Yes, those things are worth suffering for.’ If that will help you, I suggest you do it too. Personally, when I see images of the things I want, I end up googling them for 2 hours, adding new pictures to the collection, or, for some reason, spontaneously driving to Maleny to wade around in creeks. So I have to keep my list in words only. Do what will motivate you, not what will distract you.

3. What would I do right now to further this goal if someone had a gun to my head?
You have to believe in what you are capable of and you have to prioritise your own goal and happiness. What could you do today if it was literally life or death? Great, do that. That’s what you’re capable of.

Now keep asking yourself that, every day. This is your fucking life. These are the things you are willing to suffer for! Make them happen, moron. Stop dicking around on my blog, you have lists to write.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Romancing The Book Lover

Romancing The Book Lover

You see them across the room. They might well be your soul mate, but it's hard to tell because they spend most of their time reading. Maybe you've known them for a long time, but beyond having their favourite author write you into their next novel, you don't know how to get them to notice you.

In this article, I will tell you the secrets--I will tell you how to romance the mysterious creature known as the book lover:

- Find The Best Book They Haven't Read

We're starting with the trickiest one first, because if you pull it off it will be magical. Find out what your book lover likes and what they've read, and introduce them to something completely awesome and amazing they've never heard of before.

It's going to take a little research--ask friends, ask booksellers, ask online, ask librarians and stalk review websites.  However a new literary love is the best kind of romance a book lover knows. Plus, they'll think you're a super genius.

- Go On A Book Date

You, them, a blanket under a big shady tree, picnic food, something to drink with bubbles or caffeine. You both have a book and you lie quietly side by side, reading. Is there anything more romantic? Possibly to people who don't like books there is, but those people don't matter!

The only thing better than a blanket under a shady tree is a crackling fireplace, cosy quilts and a rainy day with no TV, no radio, just the pages and the quiet company of someone else who is as lost in another world as you are.

Showing a book lover that you can keep them company while they read without bothering them will give them a very good reason to ask themselves if you are 'the one' (the one who can shut the hell up when they're reading).

- Book Fairs

Are you familiar with the wonder that is a book fair? If not, let me dazzle you. Book fairs are held year round, in varying locations--often in association with trade fairs. They are usually held in large spaces, like halls and warehouses, and allow publishers and retailers to show off that season's book releases.

A whole warehouse, stocked full of new releases, publishers and book retailers. All the best of the fresh and shiny books. If I didn't just describe heaven, you and I are very different people. You should be able to look them up online and it's the perfect place for a date, but remember to take a backpack or granny trolley or you'll kill your spine.

- Word Gifts

Do you know what book lovers have? Too many books to read. There is a pile, a big one, one that is both beautiful and endless, because for every book they read, another two come along. Book lovers do love new books, but sometimes the pile becomes daunting.

But do you know what book lovers do need? Bookmarks. Reading lights. Book themed key-chains and shirts. Designer covers for their e-readers. Their favourite reading snacks. And most critical of all: very soft fluffy socks.

The right bookmark or e-reader cover will be with them all the time, for hundreds of good books. What an awesome reminder of you whenever they read.

- Read Their Favourite Authors

This one is the simplest, and still one of the best: read your book lover's favourite books. Not only will it give you an insight into them and the things they love, but it will give the two of you plenty to talk about. Hopefully the two of you share tastes and if not, you will undoubtedly experience new worlds and ideas.

Turn around is only fair, and once they see you taking an interest in the things they love, they will probably do the same. There are few greater joys in life than sharing literature with the people you care about.

- Tell Them How You Feel

Book lovers can be a little lost in fantasy worlds. That means that sometimes your very best efforts to get their attention may go unnoticed.

I once wrote a love note to a young man, and stuck it in the middle of a book he was reading. I knew when he found it, because he called me in the middle of the night, rather flustered, to tell me he felt the same way.

Don't be afraid of the direct approach. Our heroes and heroines are brave and bold, you can be too.