Over on YALitChat we've been discussing the struggles of being mommy and writing the next hit ms that's too hot to stay on the bookshelves. (Sounds good, doesn't it?) The more I thought about it, the more I realized there are things I do everyday that may help someone else. Share and share alike, right?
Here's my take on the multi-coat of motherhood and ink-stained hands of a writer. (Yeah, I know. There's not a ton of real ink these days, but work with me.)
1. Believe in yourself. I know that sounds simple, but if we don't who will? Stand on your front lawn and... No. Just kidding. That could get you arrested. But do say it to yourself everyday.
2. Seek advice from reliable sources. We all know that in every aspect of life there are people with opinions about everything and then there are the real think-tanks. Find one of those. The real think-tank has experience and has most probably lived out the advice they are offering. When we first bring that baby home, every person who has a voice tells us what to do, what we are doing wrong, and what we should change. Just like when you had caller ID installed to avoid those peeps, install your own homing system for the writing advice you receive. Picking the weeds can be tough, but true advice is priceless.
3. Knowledge is power. Once you've compiled that reliable advice, begin to use it each day. Write it down. Read it out loud. I've plastered it in my office, by my nightstand, and on the bathroom wall. Granted, when the kids use the bathroom...well, I've had to make a few replacement copies there but who's counting?
4. Everyone has an opinion. I'd elaborate and begin that phrase as my husband says it, but that may get me arrested. Hah! Got to love his bluntness.
5. Set Goals!!! I can't tell you how important this is. Set them. Write them out. Print them out and put them in your purse, your iPod, by your bed, bathroom, kitchen, and wherever. Look at them often. Start with small ones and work up to the bigger ones. I have from learning a new word every day to buying a new laptop to writing the next bestseller. As each goal is reached, mark it off.
6. Reward yourself. This one is as important as setting the goals. When you reach a goal, no matter how small or large, go to dinner or play an unexpected game of basketball or hockey in the driveway with the kids. Be silly and relax.
7. Find quotes that inspire you. Just like that advice you got from those think-tanks (or fellow mom's who've been where you are), these can be powerful pick-me-ups.
8. Network with like-minded people. Today there are amazing ways to do that--YALitChat & Teen Fire being two, for those YA writers out there. Just do it. Think of them as the play dates you set up for your little ones. The moms usually get as much out of those times as the kiddos.
9. Just like motherhood, trust your instincts. Now I'm not saying if the market has fully boycotted Leprechauns to go ahead and write a tome about them. But with whatever you're working on, if a fork in the road presents itself trust your gut.
10. Finally, smile every day. As women, we are so blessed to be living in today's era. We wear many hats and much is expected of us. But within that chaos of wiping runny noses and washing our hands forty times so we can touch the laptop keys again there is knowledge, advice, and growth, not to mention a boatload of material. :)