Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Series: On Being A Writer: The Power of Innovation, Idealism, and Basic Organization

Sometimes I get really frustrated with my friends. Their weekly visits turn into therapy sessions, as they sit on my couch and complain about how they've got big plans and ideas, but they're so uninspired. During the first session I feel bad for them and we map out ways that they could rectify their issues, during the second session they reiterate the same blues and tell me how little they've embarked on any of the solutions we came up with, and by the third session I snap and tell them that they're wasting precious productivity time, complaining to me. 

If you find yourself saying the following, it's time for a productivity makeover: 
  • I just don't have time. 
  • I can't seem to focus on what I really want to do.
  • Now that I've figured out what I kind of want to do, I'm just overwhelmed with executing it.
Blah, blah, blah. I know there are all these websites and books that tell you that it's okay that you haven't begun or that you have so much time, but it's NOT & you DON'T. Time is precious and you're running out of it. Sure, it's fine to be undecided and/or not have your end goal in sight. However, there are ways you can conjure your innovative side to grasp your ideals and fall into I-can-do-it bliss. 

I know this series is geared towards writers, but I promise to drop gems that will inspire any profession or aspiration. I'm an advocate of getting off of your butt and getting to it. Don't wait for help, don't wait for inspiration to walk up to you, and don't think someone is going to hand it to you. It's out there, but you have to pursue it. & baby, because you're still reading...I know you want it. 

Innovation doesn't just appear. (Okay, for some folks it does, but I'm one of those folks.) You have to conjure it. Sometimes it's unintentional: Seeing an image or hearing a quote that sets off a lightbulb. However most times it happens when you're reading or delving into things that you're interested in. 

The building blocks of great ideas and new methods are found in our academic/creative/life intake. In these photos, you'll see some of the things that inspire me and thus push me towards innovation. Today I invested in A Beautiful Mess' "Blog Life" E-Course, because I took a class from their site last year and it helped me immensely. I could've easily brushed it off and said: Took something similar, from them, already. I'll pass. However, I didn't. I've skimmed through the course to see what it has to offer and there's a ton of new information that I can benefit from. I'm only on the first course and I have four pages of notes (innovations). 

I'm also a HUGE fan of O Magazine. There's always amazing gems that lend to my psyche and affirm things that I'm already feeling or need to feel. I give great advice on this site, however sometimes I need it myself. 

I'm in an inspiration, get-my-blog in order, and better myself mood this week. Therefore, the things I'm carrying around and studying are reflective of that. Don't have the itch to create and innovate and ignore it. Start right now and stuff something (article, book, magazine, etc.) in your bag that will help inspire you and cater to your innovative spirit, throughout the day.

The same goes for books. Ugh, I love books. I can't walk into a Barnes & Noble without sniffing the air. (Okay, I got kind of carried away there.) I read several books at a time, from different genres. (I've been doing it for years, don't try it if it's not your thing.) Don't feel like you're beyond a little assistance. I studied English Arts and Creative Writing and I still look to self-help books, for...well, help. If you can't imagine what your aspiration will look like, once you've finally accomplished it, find it in the words of others. Memoirs of folks who've faced your plight will assure you that you're not alone. Advice will steer you in the right direction. As a writer, I read a lot of fiction and memoir that has to do with love and finding yourself. Naturally, these are the things that I also write about. Sometimes I read for pleasure, sometimes I read to see how it's done, and other times I'm in incredible awe seeing my ideal manifest, as I turn the pages. 

We're not finished. Innovation, inspiration, and imagination are amazing, but they're nothing if you don't utilize the tools you're given. I'm going to get real simple here. I feel like there are three things folks neglect to do after they've turned an amazing idea around, in their mind, over and over again.

  1. They don't plan. 
  2. They don't execute. 
  3. They execute and put the final product out, without preparing for evolution. 
I'm HUGE on planning. These days, I can't start a project unless I've fully fleshed it out. If 21-year-old me heard this, she'd die laughing. However, I'd tell her that she failed at blogging during her first attempt, because she just winged it. Sigh.

Write it out. Utilize a list, bullet-points, a calendar, or whatever you need to. But for God sakes don't start executing without a plan. 

Execution is the most rewarding and daunting aspect. I know the idea of actually implementing what you've been dreaming of, all this time is scary, but...GET OVER IT. You don't want to regret never trying. Trust me. Execute with the intention to revise, re-edit, and revolutionize, for the rest of the tenure of your idea coming to fruition. Your work isn't done once you've given it to the world. Demands are constantly changing, mistakes could've been made, and tweaks are always necessary. Be sure you go back, when you've had time to take a break from your investment. See it with fresh eyes. Make changes, as necessary. 


I can't say these two words enough. Have a planner, bring your supplies with you, and be sure to manage your time wisely. Rome wasn't built in a day, but I'm quite sure they had a schedule. 

I wasn't always this way. I spent a lot of time reading material that helped me get my crap together: theMuse, The Anti 9 to 5 Guide , The Freelance Bible, and so many more self-help books. 

Wanna know the consensus though?

Get off your ass. 

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