I've had one of those weeks where I've felt put upon, and a little anxious about different things. As the working week closed I felt jaded, a lot of it was beyond my control. It's been hard going, and it made me feel off course and grumpy too. My well laid plans were disrupted. Again.
What I did
- Almost two hours of editing on the novel (over two VERY early mornings)
- Flash Fiction (written on a return train journey when I could of slept instead)
- Took part in #writingchat (discussed a subject, I know little about)
- Writers Group - Gave feedback to other writers on their manuscripts, and facilitated the Submissions Group
- Pilates Personal Training session
- Attended Slimming World session (even though I put weight on! I stayed for the whole session)
- Went out for a meal with a friend
- Had a night out at Leicester Comedy Festival
- Coffee with a writing buddy
- Lunch with members of my writing group
For years my way of coping with my crazy mad schedule is to be grateful - grateful for all the good stuff that happens in among the difficult stuff. I simply turn my thinking around, and get rid of the negative stuff.
So when that little voice in my head shouts, 'You're rubbish at novel writing - give it up and admit it would be easier if you went back to short stories.' I take myself to one side and say, 'Okay so you're struggling - get some help. Talk to a writing buddy, enrol on a workshop to learn how to push through, or read one of your writing books and find something you can try.' I re-frame the problem. It's not me, it's the situation and that can be changed.
Tell someone you appreciate them
I've found that if you cultivate an atmosphere of thankfulness it spreads and grows. It really is amazing what a small thank you can do. If someone has given you their time, or helped you in some way when they didn't have to, then why not acknowledge what they've done for you. It'll make you feel good too.
Take it a step further and do something good for someone you don't know. Pay an act of kindness forward. If someone has mentored you with your writing, you probably can't repay them, but you can pay it forward. Help someone else. And when someone does do something nice for you, focus on how they brought goodness into your life.
Don't forget to say thank you
So if you're week goes off course too, start saying thank you. It really helps. Say 'thank you' to the person who served your coffee, the man who delivers your groceries, the person who gave you their parking space. You'll feel so much better for it, and it'll make you smile too.
Things I'm grateful for this week
- All the people who opened doors for me, or carried my luggage when they saw I was struggling.
- The baristas who served up the coffee that fuelled my days.
- My birthday cards, best wishes and the lovely gifts I received on the day.
- The man I shared a taxi with in London who wouldn't let me pay my half.
- The lady I sat next to at Slimming World who told me not to give up, and the friend who texted to say she wouldn't let me quit!
- The friend who lent me an evening bag so that I didn't have to buy one especially.
- Breakfast, and lots of writerly chatter with a buddy I haven't seen in a while.
- The log burner!
- The company of strangers
- An out of the blue email thanking me for my friendliness.
My plans for the week ahead
To do the best that I can
To further my writing
Another Leicester Comedy Festival Outing
Lunch with a friend
I hope your week was good, and the week ahead is enjoyable. Remember - Be grateful - Start small and find things to be thankful for in all you do this week.