Friday, February 17, 2012

If it ain't working, fix it!

We all know the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well the same is true for the opposite. If what you are doing is not helping you meet your goals, then change it! I realize that this is easier said than done.

We all work hard but are you really maximizing your efforts to your full potential? I encourage you to stop all the mutli-tasking that you are doing right now. OK, I’m sure your skimming this while scrolling through Twitter or cleaning your desk. Ask youself this question, “What is your greatest weakness?”

Do you know what it is? Now brainstorm and strategize a way to fix it. Obviously there is something that you are doing that is holding you back. I’ve heard a quote before and I’m not sure who said it but it goes, “Only you stand in your way of success.” Of course there are many factors that weigh into success. For writers we must finish a book, make sure it is a great book, get an agent/publisher, market, etc. And then we can always do everything better than we did. Still though, the one major factor we can control is ourself.

This also ties into the great need for writers and all professionals to have flexibility in their work structure. For example, when my father became ill last month it resulted in a change in my daily work routine. As I temporarily moved to where he was to help my family I had to prioritize my goals. Social media is important but had I strived to maintain my social media and Examiner column schedule then my greater goal with my writing would have suffered.

In the end, I still was not as productive as I usual but writing out of town, without my office for over a month will do that. We’re human. Things come up. Especially writing moms. Being a proud mother of a very active toddler has taught me that you never know what the next moment may bring. My daughter could be fine one moment and running fever the next. The same thing goes for mornings. Most of us never really know what we are waking too. You may wake up with a migraine. Lord knows I have. Just last week I went to greet my daughter when she woke up and found her diaper thrown out of her crib and a mess that needed cleaning.

Something that every writer should do is work ahead on ALL blog posts or any typical social media posts. I always work two weeks out. Then all I have to do is review and edit a post the night before it runs. This way if I do get behind, I’m not really “behind.” Of course new topics come up and you can always fit a timely article in amongst planned articles.

My point is that we can make to do lists (or as I call them, goal lists) or we can accept the fact to be somewhat flexible to the needs of our careers and lives. I put my family and being a mother first. By doing this I have accepted the fact that I will do my best writing at odd hours. By accepting this and making it happen, I am getting closer to reaching my long-term goals.


February is National Dog Training Month. For helpful tips on training the furry friends in your life follow my Examiner column, Special Needs Dog Care.

I will be teaching another class of my Writing Moms: How to do it all without losing your mind Write It Forward Workshop this March. It is a month long workshop focused on busy writing moms, something I know a lot about. Click here for more information.

Who Dares Wins Publishing offers fantastic writing craft and industry Write it Forward Workshops. Be sure and check them all out here.

My book, Caring for Your Special Needs Dog is out and a percentage of the profits go to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine.

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