Friday, October 6, 2017

Five on Friday: I Was Life-Coached. And I Liked It.

Last week a friend of mine asked if I would attend a workshop she was holding, it had sort of a life coach-y vibe. I'll admit I'm usually the type that rolls her eyes at such events but my friend needed a practice audience so I gladly attended.

I don't want to sound like a total jerk with that whole eye rolling thing; it's just that I'm a naturally motivated person so when I want to make a change in my life I normally just figure out how I'm going to do it. Except that one thing, of course . . . and after the presentation when my friend asked us all to write down something we wanted to work on, I knew just what mine would be.

Get back to memoir writing.

I thought she might have meant things more like "figure out a new career" or "make my marriage happier" but this was really what I've been struggling with.

I started out so strong at the beginning of the year and kept exceeding my monthly word count for myself. I was worried about the summer but I was way over my goals by then so I got lax. And after our road trip, I just stalled. Could. Not. Get. Back. To. It.

Granted, my days are full from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep. But I had gotten to 30,000+ words with the same sort of hectic schedule already, so why couldn't I get back to it now?

For today's Five On Friday list, here are some things my friend taught me and the goals she encouraged me to set for myself. Thank you, Susan.

1. She taught us about the regrettably named "Five Second Rule" It has nothing to do with floor cereal (which you may remember, I have no problem with). It has to do with making a conscious effort to NOT talk yourself out of something. For example, when I finally get to sit down on the couch at night and relax, and I think, "I should work on my memoir," I should immediately make the decision that YES I should before I can talk myself out of it. Which brings me to goal #1: Say yes.

2. So the thing about saying yes to writing or any other creative endeavor is that sometimes things just don't flow. But lately I'm not even trying, I just assume I'm too tired. I realized I have to at least give it a chance and that there are things I can do that don't require a muse. Things like these other goals:

3. Touch base with those people who agreed to be early readers and I said "maybe in about a month" and then they never heard from me again. That's a job I could do at night while lazing on the couch. (*Note: I still haven't. But I will!)

4. Bring some articles and photos to work to scan. At night I can always trim and add them in where they belong. (*I have done this!)

5. Pick up Sherman Alexie's new memoir and get to reading. ("Oh, good," Susan said, "Looking for mentors!"  I might just have to add my life coach to that list too.)

A picture of real me really writing could go here but it'd be pretty boring . . . because it'd just be me in my pajamas on the couch.  But this metaphorical mermaid me, tattoo and all, painted by my daughter a few years ago, makes a lovely finishing touch.

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