14 February 2008


I am a self-help nut. Give me a good how to book and I can get lost for days. Some of my favorite inspirational authors and speakers include Julia Cameron, Rick Jarrow, and Caroline Myss. I like nothing better than discovering new ways to make my intents known to all the powers that be, and see if anything wonderful happens.

OK, the truth is that wonderful things don’t always happen, but I still believe whole-heartedly in the process. I keep a daily journal (mostly daily…lolol) as Julia Cameron urges in her The Artist’s Way. My sons call it my bitch book. And I will admit that some days that is all that goes in it, my daily whines and rails against the banality of my life. A writer’s life is far from glamorous, especially for those of us just starting our careers, consisting of long long hours spent alone, punctuated with short bursts of either despair or elation when reviews come out, or the occasional personal appearance when necessary.

I have to find a way to meet my daily goals as best I can, and keep myself motivated during those times it seems like far too much work for the results. So I write down my intents.

We’ve all heard this story, how Jim Carey wrote a check to himself for one million dollars, and actually cashed it ten years or so later. He intended to make that much money, and the check was a promise to himself that he would eventually achieve the wealth and fame he craved.

Now I am not saying that I intend to make millions (but if that is your goal, I urge you to go for it) but I do intend to write x-amount of words per day, edit such and such scene, or re-read and revise. A daily list of intentions is a great way to get going.

Here’s how to start. First of all, I write down my emotional intentions for the day. Hug my children in the morning, tell my husband I love him, send my mother an e-mail. Do I need to be calmer because I will be waiting in line at the BMV, or dealing with a friend that can try my patience on the best of days? Do I need to offer blessings and healing for the planet (a big one for me always) and take another step in my attempts to green-up my life? Buy a new florescent lightbulb…turn my thermostat to a more energy efficient setting?

Now, how much do I need to write today? What do I need to accomplish in the next week, month, or year to achieve my goals? Write it all down. In fact, take out a sheet of paper and write down as many goals as you can think of. No matter how big, no matter how small. What do you want for your life? Do you even know? Kind of like the new movie The Bucket List…what things do you want to do before you kick the bucket?

You might be surprised at your answers, at the least, you will learn a great deal about yourself as you see your needs and desires in a tangible and readable form. Tuck this big list away and look at it every few months or so, crossing off those things you have achieved. Trust me, you will be surprised at how much you actually do, whether you realize it or not.

Ready…set…write, write, write.


Carolan Ivey said...

Gia, you are my hero. :)

N.J.Walters said...

Great post! I figure as long as we're trying to make our lives better, we're on the right track.

I enjoy self-help books too, even if they're just a reminder of what I already know, but don't always practice.