… I finally updated the Testimonials and Praise section of the BUILD ecourse website! So nice to have that crossed off my to do list.
Just a reminder, we’re reading Linchpin this month for L&R Book Club.
It *finally* rained here in SoCal. For about 3 days straight. And my backyard became a lake:
Also, I chatted with my cousin for awhile (he’s a senior in high school) and learned he wants to be a Supreme Court Justice! I’m impressed.
And now for this week’s links …
I am LOVING the L&R Book Club! Last month we finished up reading focus : a simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction. I think this was the perfect book to start off the year. While basically everything in it I already KNOW, I still need the reminder to simplify, let go of distractions and pursue less.
In fact, that is my #1 goal this year – to NURTURE what I already have and pursue less.
Between focus and my OLW and the recent business resources I’ve been consuming, the idea of clarity and single-tasking and pursuing less is everywhere.
This means some in-depth “spring cleaning” to purge books and craft supplies and other things that I don’t need. This means not launching a bunch of new products under Lemon and Raspberry. This means eliminating some of my commitments to give a better effort to the ones that remain. I started last fall with discontinuing blogging on my family blog, and right now I’m considering blogging fewer times here at L&R.
It’s all a process on focusing, pruning, pursuing less and nurturing what is left.
I love the discussion of this in this article The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: “The price of his dream job was saying no to the many good, parallel paths he encountered.” I tend to overestimate what I can realistically accomplish, which is why I’m trying to use this year to pull back and basically rebuild my workload along more reasonable lines.
The whole point of quitting my day job was to be able to work less and be more present during the (few) hours that Andrew and I have together.
Which means I’ve got to really focus.
How are you focusing this year?
Reminder: For March and April 2014, we will be reading Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? by Seth Godin
I am all full up on motivation right now. I’ve done more writing in the last couple weeks than I did the full 3 months before that. I’m just about done with the first draft of my second novel, and I’ve started mentally outlining my third novel (and very very roughly fourth and fifth).
I genuinely want to be published. I want to finish these books, get them published, work on more books. I’ve started thinking about a pen name (whole different post) and reserved a URL and found a WordPress theme. I’ve started giving myself more and more time to write (doing even less housework than usual). And, honestly, my end game is to sell film rights and maneuver a way to work as a film producer on those films. And novelist when I’m not producing (yup, a tad ambitious. Not really embarrassed about that).
Anyway, the point is I am TOTALLY motivated. I am on a roll and I am making things AWESOMER.
You can totally replicate this motivation….. My top tip for motivation is:
Hang out with people who irritate you with their awesomeness.
Find someone who is doing what you want to do but in such an amazing, unbelievable, completely obnoxiously awesome way that it just irritates you to the point of making you say to yourself, “I could do that, darn it!” Gather people like this around you and roll around in their awesomeness and let that stubborn streak of yours (mine) spark your motivation.
How to “hang out” with people you admire:
- Read every single thing they’ve ever wrote – books, blog posts, twitter updates. Every day.
- Listen or watch every single place they’ve appeared – podcast interviews, TED talks, scour YouTube’s archives. Every day.
- Re-read or re-watch every single thing – Every day.
- Actually hang out with them – Skype dates, coffee dates if you possibly can. Not necessarily every day.
You just want to immerse yourself in their thought process. They are doing amazing work and the more you expose yourself to that work, the more their awesomeness will both impress and drive you crazy. And the more annoyed you are, the more motivated you will be.
At least, that’s the way my stubborn brain works.
So I’ve been listening to the Self-Publishing Podcast. There are a few years of archives, so I can listen to at least one a day. I don’t know what I’ll do when I catch up and only get 1 episode each week. I’ve also read their book Write.Publish.Repeat. (with plans to re-read) and Yesterday’s Gone and have downloaded the first episodes of a bunch of their other series.
Those jokers are OUT OF CONTROL. There’s 3 guys who, teaming up in various combinations, make a full-time income self-publishing fiction. Which is CRAZY to me! I want to be them when I grow up, and I get so worked up when they talk about how much they are writing. I think I can absolutely do that I totally get all full of motivation to write so I can finish all of these works I have partway done.
It is a HUGE motivation for me to listen to them talk for an hour about how THEY made this model work and I immediately get off and write for an hour or so. And now I want to go work on my novel. Because I’m so annoyed by how much they do the same.
Who inspires you to an annoying level?
This month’s book report is a bit lengthier …. And no YA books – sorry everyone! I have a giant stack of U.S. History to read for March.
I read far fewer books in February, but several long, slow-ish ones. In about the order I finished them, here are my reads from February:
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper: The ONLY reason I read this was for my U.S. History Class and for the historical context. It’s an *early* American novel and was published around the time that Congress was debating their Native American policies (just prior to Andrew Jackson and his Indian Removal Act). This was one of those books that influences popular opinion (and helped create the stereotype of the ‘noble savage’), so I think it’s worth reading for that context. The language of the book is convoluted and flowery, and the story is pretty hard to take. Not to mention the fact that (spoiler alert) the one female character that has any kind of agency at all and a barely alluded to connection to the ‘noble savage’ is essentially punished for it (by being killed in the end). However, if you’re not as obsessed with history as me you can probably skip it. See the movie with Daniel Day-Lewis instead.
11/22/63 by Stephen King: Turns out I love Stephen King. Who knew? I was too literature-snobby (and busy) in college to bother, but now that I’ve read a few of his books I want to read all of them. It might not be high art, but his books are certainly all page-turners. I enjoyed the history aspect of this book the most (obviously). And I think he did the best he could with the whole time travel paradox/snare/trying to make it remotely realistic. All that said, I found the ending frustrating. That is all that I will say on the matter. The first 800 (or so) pages were great.
Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll: This book was also read for my U.S. History Class. I kinda love military history, and don’t really know anything about the Navy at all so I was excited to get this book. But, really, it ended up being a bit about the legislation/political fight to found, and mostly about this war and this war. Both about which I’ve already. But if you have a hankering for in-depth Navy battles play-by-play, definitely read Six Frigates.
Yesterday’s Gone (season 1) by Sean Platt and David Wright: The short version is I enjoyed this post-apocolyptic series, but I wish I had not read it quite so soon after reading The Stand by Stephen King. The long version is, Sean Platt is one of the writers of this book that I enjoyed so much, so I was interested in his fiction. I read (for free) season 1 episode 1 and liked enough to actually buy (!) the full season 1. It is essentially structured like a TV show – problems are solved in each episode, but the end of season 1 is just as open as the end of any TV show season 1. That said, I don’t *love* the series yet. At least, I don’t particularly love any of the characters, but the story is interesting so I’m going to keep going. (And I have seasons 2-4 ready to start soon)
The Art of Growth by Tara Gentile: I knew peripherally about Tara Gentile and her business, but never really paid super close attention until her most recent CreativeLive class on pricing. Most of what she was teaching I already knew, but it’s still impressive that she can teach about pricing for 3 full days! Anyway, partway through the first day I remembered that I had this book of hers on Kindle. Liked not loved. I don’t feel like any of the info is new to me, but it was good for me to revisit and review some of the things (like, for example, thinking about structuring a sales funnel).
Arguing About Slavery: John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the United States Congress by William Lee Miller: I really really enjoyed this book. I mean, I love history. And I love John Quincy Adams. So I shouldn’t have been surprised how much I liked this book, but really … it’s 514 pages about a legislative battle about the right to petition. Which really SHOULDN’T be so interesting. I really don’t know if this battle in Congress would have been nearly so interesting (or led to the Civil War in the same way) without John Quincy Adams. He had that particular blend of constitutional knowledge, a little bit of slyness, and complete disregard for his party line (if he could even have been said to have a political party) that brought all this on. PLUS bits of humor here and there. I *actually* laughed out loud once! If you’re at all interested in this period of history read it.
Read anything good lately?
This year, I am focusing on making the small choices to bring my One Little Word into my life on a weekly-or-so basis.
This year I want to NURTURE my life and the things I already have, rather than fall into that rat-race-style trap of more, bigger, further, etc. I want to cultivate my existing business rather than stretching myself too thin. I want to take care of ME and all the little pieces that make up me.
I have been really doing a lot of work around the house. Which, of course, means I’m a bit behind on my computer-ing work. But still.
I took 45 minutes or so to completely re-pack my linen closet and pull out some of the older sheets and things that I want to get rid of.
I’ve been trying to do about 20-30 minutes of yardwork every day for the last few weeks. Including raking, taking out a tree and starting our first SchubertHQ garden. This was a BIG goal for 2014 – to make our backyard into a place I want to just hang out (instead of avoid).
Plus, Andrew and I took a trip to Lowe’s to get the supplies and things we need for a few more house projects. We’re replacing a small shelf outside the kitchen window and painting a wall in our garage (it’s currently an ugly brown).
I’m happy with the progress I’m making. We’re making. My strawberry plant is already going like gangbusters and it’s only been a week! I’m so excited to continue this throughout the year.
What have you been doing for yourself lately?
- 30 Days of Lists starts today!!
- Our 2 year anniversary of living in our house!
- Which means I’ll take another anniversary as-is photo tour
- Going to a friend’s wedding in San Diego (excited!)
- St. Patrick’s Day! No plans, even though I’m very Irish
- Finish taking out the tree and keeping our first SchubertHQ garden alive
- Catch up on podcasts. I’ve been trying to listen to 1 or 2 every night.
- Tackling unfinished projects
- and (obviously) read tons and tons of U.S. History
What do you have planned for this month?
This week …
… I’m reading this book. JQA is one of my heroes.
… I’ve been trying my hand at gardening. First garden at SchubertHQ. My first real attempt since I was probably 8 years old doing it so I could be like Anne Shirley.
… We had a bee colony removed from the wall of our house (last week). The technician that did it – Christian from Bee Green Removal – was so kind and informative and went out of his way to make sure I knew what was going on at each step. I learned so much about bees!
… I’ve been working on my #30Lists book (since Kam and I journal them in advance). Every challenge I’m grateful for the time to sit down and write out these minute details.
… and now this week’s links:
- #30Lists starts on Saturday! Will you be joining us?
- Andrew and I started a band. We don’t have instruments or songs or a name, but … you know. We will.
- Make something people hate
- My brother in law (who is an art student in Chicago) is FINALLY on Instagram! I’m so excited!
- The one thing with having a large family is communication is terrible. Everyone thought someone else told me my grandma was in town so I missed the first half of her 2 weeks here!
- Gorgeous spring time weather here recently. I love living in SoCal.
- *Trying* to grow our first veggie garden this year! I’ve been posting a lot on Instagram
- Speaking of Instagram, we had to have a bee hive removed and I am LOVING the company’s instagram feed! SO INTERESTING!
- Have you grabbed your copy of Linchpin by Seth Godin for March and April’s L&R Book Club read?
- Need some attention for your business? Sponsor L&R for the next month!
- How’s your February going?