Post #17 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing and Healing – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler
Memoir Writers and Journalers Can Find Healing through Five Tips on Being a Good Boss to Yourself
“Self employed with strict boss” – that’s what my Facebook profile says, and I’m only half-kidding. As a freelance writer, I am my own boss and sometimes I’m harsh, which means I’ve got a rebellious employee on my hands. She could even decide to go on strike!
Below are five strategies for working with and for yourself that will help you. Whether you write full-time, or tuck your writing around the edges of a busy day, these tips from me as well as other experienced writers can help you be a more productive and happier boss and employee.
Oh. I’m working on more ideas, so tune back in tomorrow and see others that just may help you in your writing life.
1. Set realistic goals
Before you begin your writing time, have a realistic idea of what you expect to accomplish. You can’t necessarily plan to write something brilliant, for example, but you can take a piece of writing and bring it to the next level. (The brilliance is up to the muse.) Award-winning children’s book author, Deborah Heiligman, writes “Make a to-do list every day. Make the list reasonable so you really can accomplish most if not all of the things on it.”
2. Remember the one most important writing talent
You could be the most brilliant writer in the world, but if you don’t have this one talent, you’ll never accomplish anything: bottom glued firmly to chair. This is a relatively easy one to remember and what’s more, it works!
3. The flip side to the most important writing talent
Authors Kay Winters and Sally Keehn write about how important it is to give yourself breaks. “Remind yourself that all writing doesn’t have to be done sitting down,” says Sally. “Get out and walk and think about your project. Ask yourself questions about it. Record your answers either with paper and pen or with a recorder. You’ll be amazed at what you can work out that way.” Kay adds, “Schedule a morning and afternoon break where you get up and walk. Having a step counter is a great motivator!”
4. Tell the dentist you work full-time
Dentists, doctors, accountants, and just about everyone else will try to give you an appointment for 9:00 in the morning. Tell them you work, and you’ll be surprised at how cooperative they are.
5. Manage the Internet
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter – we all know how easily we can be distracted by these. And we rationalize by telling ourselves it’s promotion (I told you I was a mean boss.) Healthy distraction can be a good thing, but don’t let yourself get completely derailed. You went online to order a book but then you saw another book by an author you met at a conference last year. Didn’t he say he lived in Michigan, near where you grew up? Humm…isn’t there a website where you can literally walk down the street of any neighborhood in the world? Oh, here it is! Now you can take the walk to school you took as a child. It’ll help with your writing, right? The next thing you know, two hours have gone by and all you did was find out that the house you grew up in still has only one bathroom and the maple tree in the back yard is gone. (Warning: this is a true story!)
Let yourself be impulsive or playful, but impose guidelines as to how much time you spend fooling around online, such as ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the afternoon. You can set a timer to remind you when it’s time to get back to writing.
Come back tomorrow. I’m working on five more surprising tips on how to be a good boss to yourself.
Please leave us a comment and share your tips for being a good boss (nor not!) to yourself!
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