Sunday, March 5, 2017

Getting Things Done With Positive Reinforcement

I spend a lot of time beating myself up. Not physically of course, that would be weird. 

But I do go few rounds in the cage mentally. Why? Because I often feel that I’m not being productive enough. I should be writing more, doing more promo, building a brand and following. I tell myself that I’m lazy and don’t really want it, otherwise I’d be 100% focused on working all day long. And you know what all that self-flagellation gets me? Time spent curled up the couch, feeling like crap because I’d just told myself I was crap for four hours straight. With that mood and mind-set I was even less productive than before.

This past week was different. I was very productive. I scheduled promo tours and created and sent out ARCs for An Officer’s Submission, I did all the pre-write planning and wrote 15,000 words of book five in the Cuffs, Collars and Love series, I updated a few things on my website, and I wrote and posted a 1,600 word fanfiction one-shot. 

 For some people that might not sound like a lot. But for me, it was. And you know what I did after I finished each one of those tasks? I celebrated. That’s right, I patted myself on the back, damnit. Instead of constantly getting down on what I wasn’t doing, I celebrated what I did accomplish. That’s something that is normally tough for me. Complimenting myself, especially where others can see it feels like I’m circle jerking myself. Not that I could do that, you can’t form a circle with one person. But it makes me uncomfortable, like I’m bragging or being a show-off. 

But as I look around Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I see lots of other people acknowledging their hard work. And I love seeing it! I cyber high-five by way of retweets and likes when other authors reach a writing or publishing goal. I like my friend’s statuses when they accomplish something at work. So why wouldn’t I do the same for myself? 

With that in mind, I tried positive reinforcement rather than telling myself I was lazy, and by gum it worked. I joined the #marwritingchallenge hashtag and posted my word counts each day. Getting celebratory tweets from other writers feels superb. Checking off the little boxes on my word count chart feels awesome. And completing tasks on my monthly calendar makes me feel like a rock star.
I didn’t get to everything on my weekly list. Partly because I always over schedule myself and plan more than I’d be able to accomplish in a day. Partly because sometimes I just want to chill and go watch a movie (Go see Get Out and Logan. They are both superb). I plan to continue working on positive reinforcement. Because I gotta tell ya, high-fiving myself for meeting a goal feels much better than hiding in the couch and mentally yelling at myself because I didn’t. 

P.S. Don’t forget, An Officer’s Submission releases March 16th! If you’d like to win a signed paperback copy, go to Goodreads and enter the contest. It’s open to US, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia and ends March 15th

And shout out to last week’s winners, Kim M, Jess A and Danny FD! They each won an advanced e-copy of An Officer’s Submission in last week’s blog post, look for an email from me soon. Congrats!

Thanks for reading!

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