Join A Slice of Orange

Enter your email address and never miss another post on A Slice of Orange.

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

Archives

Calender

October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Tag: It's Worth It

Home > ArchivesTag: It’s Worth It

Never Give In

October 9, 2017 by in category It's Worth It tagged as ,

Once again, I’m in the middle of having no idea how my life will go in the near future. John’s job in New Zealand is over, and we are waiting to find out where we will live next. He’s interviewed all over the world, from Seattle to Stockholm, so we could end up anywhere. Meanwhile, we’re living out of four suitcases and guest room-hopping in Southern California.

Does that sound romantic? One of my friends said it did with a smile and a sigh. Consider it more deeply. I can’t make plans. I have no place to call home. I don’t have a recipe box or my usual kitchen appliances to cook what I’m used to eating. I don’t know how many groceries to buy because I don’t know if I’ll have to give them away soon if I buy too much. (We gave away over $500 of groceries when John got his last job because we didn’t know we’d be moving out of the country.) I can’t even buy many gifts because some would be too big to move, or would have the wrong type of electricity if we moved out of the country again.

Of course there are lots of positives as well! I’ve lived in other countries and seen beautiful lands and made amazing friends all over the world. I’ve seen my home country from different perspectives, which has helped me to understand the world a little better. I’ve eaten different foods and participated in different activities that I never would’ve known about.

But running a business as you constantly pack and unpack and move and move again is very difficult. A single move may cause you to have to pause your work temporarily, or work only on a laptop for a few weeks. But I’ve moved three times in the last year. (Hear my ginormous sigh.) When your life gets uprooted often enough, you may consider quitting and doing something else that you hope won’t be so difficult.

When I started writing this, I temporarily named the article, “Never Give Up, Never Surrender” because I love the movie Galaxy Quest. But I remembered a zippered pouch my husband gave me with a Winston Churchill quote on it, “Never, never, never give up” so I did a little research to share that with you as well.

What he actually said was:

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Any of us can use those words to strengthen ourselves against what pushes at us, what seems to be attacking us. Never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Sound advice.

But it was another section of Churchill’s speech that made me decide to write this for you. Listen to this:

You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination.

He doesn’t say more on this, but segues into the “never give in” part of his speech. [You can read the text of the speech here (with two added paragraphs that aren’t in the audio) or listen to it here.] But it made me think. Yes, we imaginative, creative types see so many possibilities in the world. We see kind people and angry people and imagine them to be life-givers and destroyers. We see beauty and ugliness and we imagine them to be fleeting and forever.

We can create a new future just with our imaginations. But what will we choose to create? Something life-giving or something destructive?

Today, I’m tired. Bone tired. Soul tired. I don’t know how to have the strength to get through the next few months. But I don’t have to get through the next few months. I don’t have to decide now whether I believe the near future will be a blessing or a curse. I only have to decide what to do and how to feel now. In today’s box.

where is my life goingIn today’s box, I only have to post this blog, go to church, and move to another friend’s guest room. In today’s box, I only have to buy groceries for the next few days. In today’s box, I only have to try to relax and enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow I will figure out what is in the new “today’s box.”

Even Jesus preached this wisdom when He said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

I suspect that an upcoming “today’s box” will include looking for a substitute teaching job, something that can be started and stopped with a moment’s notice. Will I give in to the impulse to quit trying to make this writing business work? It’s tempting.

But I can use my imagination to see the world being a better place when people read my fun, encouraging, uplifting stories. I can imagine other writers being inspired by me to not quit when they listen to my podcast, read my nonfiction books and articles, and listen to me teach them what I know.

And I can imagine myself choosing each day to believe more in the good than the bad. I can believe more that we can make the world a better place, not allowing my imagination to see the world sucking the life out of me.

We have more power than we realize. We must use it. To encourage ourselves, to encourage others, to choose not to quit trying to make the world a little brighter because of what we do and who we are.

Decide with me today – never give in.

Kitty Bucholtz author photoKitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. She writes romantic comedy and superhero urban fantasy, often with an inspirational element woven in. WRITE NOW! Workshop, her website where she teaches and offers advice on self-publishing and time management, is under renovation. Look for the new website near the end of 2017!

2 0 Read more

Encouragement, Inspiration, Motivation; Oh My! by Kitty Bucholtz

August 9, 2017 by in category It's Worth It tagged as , , , ,

Kitty Bucholtz is traveling today, so we’re running an article from our archives.

Kitty will return on the 14th for her August post.

I’m taking a page from Michael Hyatt’s playbook and trying to write ALL my blog posts for the next week or two in ONE day. Whew! The good news is that I get to write all day! Haha! The other good news is that with my brain focused on one thing, I’m writing better blog posts, though I’m not sure if it’s taking me any less time. (Maybe if I do this regularly it will go faster, but not yet.)

The other interesting thing is that my posts are becoming somewhat thematic as I write them all today. Everything I’ve wanted to write has to do with encouragement in one form or another. (Due to the luck of what day the 9th fell on this month, because that’s my blog day here, I have three posts hitting three different websites today!)

From a writing perspective, I want to encourage you to keep asking “Why?” John and I went to the East Valley Authors annual writers retreat last Saturday and had a great time. But on the way home, one or the other of us would start muttering, “Oh damn…” Laurie Schnebly Campbell taught two workshops on character motivation for the whole day, and it was startling to suddenly realize what you thought was your character’s motivation was just your author reasoning. It was a great day and Laurie gave everyone a lot to think about.

It also made me reconsider my own motivations. Why am I doing what I’m doing? And as Laurie said, “And why is that? And why is that?” After some work, you get another “sudden” revelation about the real why. Whether it’s for your character or for figuring out yourself, it’s good stuff.

When you are feeling tired or disheartened about your writing career, I want to encourage you to ask yourself why. The initial answer might be, “I write so slowly, I’m not getting many books out.” Or “I’m published but not selling many books.” Or “I self-published to make more money and I’m not making much.” Whatever the first answer is, ask yourself why about that. Why do you write slowly? Why aren’t you selling many books? Why do you have these expectations about money? And why is that? And why is that?

As you keep going deeper into the “why?” follow-ups, you may find your deepest motivation is something entirely different. Maybe it’s not money or fame that drives you, but a craving for respect from a significant person in your life who values money or fame. Maybe it’s not storytelling that drives you write, but the need for an inexpensive creative outlet. Who knows? You won’t even know until you start asking these questions.

I’ve learned some difficult things about myself over the years. Not having financial success makes me feel like I haven’t moved away from my poorer, other-side-of-the-tracks roots. I do write to tell the stories in my head, but I mostly write for the same reasons I teach – to connect with others and share what I’ve learned and entertain them in the process.

Knowing these things helps me understand why some advice from other writers works for me and some doesn’t. For instance, the “write every day” advice or the people who say “I have to write every day because I can’t not write” – that doesn’t inspire or motivate me because I can get the same high from teaching, and I can write every day for weeks, then not at all for a month or two, and I’m still quite happy. Up until recently, I felt guilty about that! I thought I had to feel the way “everyone else” feels in order to be “a real writer.”

I hope this helped you think about your career from a new perspective. If you’re interested in a more spiritual bit of encouragement, check out my “7 Steps to Building a Great Business and a Great Life” post on my author website. And if you’re giving some thought to quitting your writing, read “If You’re a Writer in Need of a Cheerleader” on Writer Entrepreneur Guides where I teach and share on writing topics.

Good luck! You can do it!

 


Motivation | Kitty Bucholtz | A Slice of Orange
Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss LovesickA Very Merry Superhero Wedding and Unexpected Superhero, and the free short story, “Superhero in Disguise,” are now available at most online retail sites. You can also find more advice on self-publishing and time management for writers at her new website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.
0 0 Read more

Planning Your 2017 Calendar by Kitty Bucholtz

February 10, 2017 by in category It's Worth It, Writing: It's a Business tagged as , , ,
I teach a time management class called Going the Distance, and one of the major things we do after we write out our Goals Master List (read about it here from last month) is to get out the calendar and start crossing out all the days that you know you can’t work.
Plan For What You REALLY Can Do
It might seem in December when the new year is looking bright and shiny and empty that you can get everything done you ever imagined! But when you look back over the last year, you may realize that you are often overconfident about what you can do.
Get a Calendar!
Being disappointed in yourself erodes your confidence for the next year, which erodes it for the following year, etc., and I want to help you keep that from happening. So this is what we’re going to do: go get a calendar. Any calendar will do, but one you like and can use easily will be the best one for you.
Cross Off Days You Can’t Work
Starting in January, cross off every day that you know you won’t be able to work on your goals. For instance, if weekends are always for family, cross off all the Saturdays and all the Sundays from the year. Your 365 days just came down to 261 –  poof! Just like that!
Do you have a vacation planned? Go find the dates on your calendar and cross them off. Do you have kids in school? Go find their school calendar and cross off days you know you won’t be available, like for sports and music and drama and other events that you’re committed to attending.
Weddings? Bridal showers? Baby showers? If you are just attending one of these, you might only lose a day or half a day. If it’s out of town, you may lose several days due to travel. If you are part of the planning committee, rest assured you will be spending more time than you realize, so try to plan accordingly.
Plan For Sick Days and Mental Health Days
About how many days were you home sick last year? How many days were you taking care of someone else who was sick? Plan a few sick days into your calendar, subtracting them from the total days left but leaving them “available for use.” There is no point in feeling guilty about being sick, and we both know that a good rest will often get you back to work sooner and better than trying to work through it.
How many days have you got left? I often end up with only about 180. That’s only half a year! But the fact is, you have a life outside of your work and your goals. Now you can adjust your goals to accomplish them in the time you actually have. Planning this way will keep you from over-committing and being disappointed later.
Planning Forward
Now look at your list of the 5 to 10 goals you wrote down since last month. You can either plan forward or plan backward. To plan forward, look at each goal and figure out about how much you can accomplish per day on that goal. Then plot it out on your calendar to see what date that last day lands on. Put a sticky note on that date with the goal. The sticky note is so that when things come up, you can move the goal without scribbling all over your calendar.
Planning Backward
Or if you already have a goal date in mind, you can plan backward. Say you want to finish the first draft of your next book by May 1. How many days do you have left on your calendar, the ones that are not crossed out, between now and May 1? And how many words do you expect your first draft to be –  50,000 words? 100,000 words? Take the word count and divide by the number of days. This is your daily writing goal.
Planning this way from the beginning of the year can help you see if you started out with too many goals in the first place. And it will also help you to adjust as you go. (Again, that’s why I use sticky notes!) The fact is you are planning for your own success this way, instead of not truly planning at all. And you know the saying, failing to plan is planning to fail. Let’s not do that.
How Does Your Calendar Look Now?
Continue in this way, planning forward and/or backward for each goal, until you’ve plotted everything out on your calendar. Now look at each of the twelve months. Is it challenging but doable? Does it make you break out in a cold sweat? Do you need to move a few things around? Did you schedule in a little down time, “you” time?
Only you know what will encourage you and make your brain believe that you can do this. And you do need to believe it. If it seems just a bit much, move one of the goals that you plotted out onto your “maybe” list. If you get everything else done, you can come back to this goal later in the year.
Looking at your goals in a big picture like this will encourage you, and that will give you more energy to start now and keep going. Trust me, go do this exercise this week. You are going to feel like you can conquer your world! Good luck!
Kitty Bucholtz

Kitty Bucholtz

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her superhero books for women and romantic comedies are available wherever ebooks are sold, as well as in print and audiobooks. Check out her new Valentine’s Day novella, My Bullheaded Superhero Valentine.

1 0 Read more

Easy Goal Setting for Everyone by Kitty Bucholtz

January 18, 2017 by in category It's Worth It, Writing: It's a Business tagged as , , , , ,
Welcome to 2017! 
It’s January, and you know what that means: time to plan your goals for the year. Right?
Don’t Be Discouraged!
Depending on how well last year’s goal setting went, this might be easier said than done. Maybe you’ve tried a lot of ways to plan and they haven’t turned out very well. The biggest thing to remember is to find a method that works for you.
I’ve been teaching a time management and goal setting class for the last eight or nine years (not this January, as I’m busy living and writing books in New Zealand!), and there are a couple of things I’ve found that seem to work for most people.
Write It Down
The first thing you need is a list. Write down every single goal you have for your life this year . . . personal, financial, spiritual, career or writing-related . . . anything at all, write it down. This is your Goals Master List.
It may take you a day or a week to get everything written down, but once you think you’ve got it all, go through and circle the five most important goals. These will be your Primary Goals for the year.
Now go through and underline the next five most important goals. These will be your Secondary Goals for the year.
Move Some Goals to Next Year
Look at the rest of the items on your Goals Master List. Does it seem like there is more than you can do this year? Let me give you a hint: the answer is almost always yes. If there is anything that you are willing to put off until next year, get another piece of paper and move these onto your 2018 Goals Master List.
Now you have your primary goals, your secondary goals, and your extra goals. The idea is that you will work on your five primary goals first, and when they are accomplished you will work on your secondary goals. Then, if you get all of your primary and secondary goals accomplished this year, you’ll work on your extra goals.
Rearrange Some Goals
If, when looking at your lists, you feel like this won’t work for you, then you probably need to move some of your goals around. That doesn’t mean adding more than five to the primary or secondary lists but simply exchanging one goal for another more important one.
Congratulations! You have your 2017 goals list!
Fewer Goals, Better Chance You’ll Achieve Them
Another way to do this, which arguably might be more achievable, is to look at your goals master list and choose no more than 7 to 10 goals for the whole year. That’s it. You can work at each of them a little at a time or work at one all the way through, it’s up to you. If you want, you can choose two or three extras that you will begin working on only when you finish the most important 7 to 10 goals.
Go back to your original goals master list and try the second method. Now, look at both final lists. Which one speaks to you more? Which one excites you more? That’s the one you should type up and print out.
Or if you’re feeling artistic, rewrite it with colored pencils and pens and stickers and make it beautiful.
A Daily Reminder to Keep You on Track
Post it on your wall, someplace where you’ll see it often, and make sure to look at it every day.
If you haven’t started your goal setting for this year, or if you feel overwhelmed by the thought of it or the thought of failing to achieve your goals, give this a try.
Then post a comment below or write me an email and let me know how it went. I know you can do this!

I’m super excited about 2017. It’s going to be a great year!

[Follow my post next week on Planning Your 2017 Calendar on Writer Entrepreneur Guides!]

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon . The free short story Superhero in Disguise  and the new short story Welcome to Loon Lake are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

%d bloggers like this: