Journals for thoughts, journals for life

Sometimes, your thoughts can’t stay in your mind all the time.

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust. We all need to rant from time to time to get rid of all the things we’ve kept to ourselves.

Other times, thoughts are so private that it’s hard to share them with someone or in a blog. That’s when journals come to the rescue. I’ve been journaling for 23 years, and even when it seems that I’ve lost the habit of composing my private notes, I retake it, and my mind finds peace again.

There’s a place where the world can’t reach you and judge you: the pages of a journal. I find that introspection is therapy for the soul. When you write down your emotions and thoughts as you feel them or as you mean them, you create a new self. You get rid of all mental blocks and think clearly.

You’ll be surprised of all the answers you can find in your own words. You can be as bold as you like, and no one will be offended.

If you manage to maintain this habit for years, it’s useful to read past entries from time to time to remind yourself how you overcame tough situations. You can also remind yourself what things made you happy at a certain point and retake them.

What do you think?

 

Opinions that matter

The other day, I came across this post on Twitter:

This short video contains a piece of advice that is truly thought-provoking. Whose opinions really matter to you? The idea of making a list is brand new to me. I have never considered an initiative like this, and now I see great value in it.

There’s always a small group of people you trust. Whenever you are working on new ideas, you ask them what they think, and you find their feedback useful. You respect them, and they respect you. There’s a reason why their opinions matter.

In a digital world, where anyone can criticize your work mercilessly, you have to learn who to listen to. Not all opinions matter. It’s unfair to let trolls influence your every move and your every thought.

Those whom you trust are the ones that can offer you solid comments. You know you can only expect honesty from them. Listen to them and nurture meaningful conversations.

If you were to start that list right now, how many names would there be on it?

Tip: Choose the verb over the noun

One of my favourite chapters in Keep Going by Austin Kleon is “Forget the noun, do the verb.”

Let go of the thing that you’re trying to be (the noun), and focus on the actual work you need to be doing (the verb). Doing the verb will take you someplace further and far more interesting.

If you want to be a writer, first of all, you need to be writing something. It doesn’t matter what title you give yourself if you’re not actually spending your time with words.

A “verb”, in this context, is an action. Creating. Crafting. Writing. Editing. Those are the steps that take you places. The “noun” is a title that you give yourself or that someone else assigns you.

If you wait for someone to give you a job title before you do the work, you might never get to do the work at all. You can’t wait around for someone to call you an artist before you make art.

So choose the action over a random title. Your actions define your results at the end of the day.

What are your thoughts?

New Year: Planning your progress

The beginning of a new year is one of my favourite seasons. Everybody is genuinely trying to be a better version of themselves. I think this is a noble cause. We can affect our environment a little bit by bringing some positives vibes.

At the same time, we wonder how long we’ll be able to maintain our goals and turn them into a reality. While it’s a long journey that requires a lot of energy, I recommend focusing on solutions rather than resolutions to obtain realistic results.

Here’s a few more thoughts and my list of personal objectives for 2020.

Continue reading “New Year: Planning your progress”

Write for yourself

This is wise advice.

Writing is about finding your voice. Some will like it, some won’t. Some will tell you how you should be doing it. The truth is, you decide how to develop your own style. No one can tell you how to be unique.

Actually, no one can actually teach you how to write. Sure, you’ve taken courses that tell you about grammar and proper punctuation, but the art of writing goes beyond that. All you need to do to become great at this craft is writing a lot and reading a lot. That’s all.

The occasional workshop can guide you, yes, but you gain real experience with your hands on the keyboard and with your eyes on a book.

Thoughts on prolific writing

I recently read an article about becoming a prolific writer. The key is pretty nice and simple: Write a lot.

It’s a simple truth and couldn’t agree more with it. It makes sense to write as much as possible to offer multiple readings in multiple formats. One of the first forms of writing that comes to mind is blogging. While you’re working on your manuscript, your online presence should stay active in some way. Posting a couple of entries per week (or per month) keeps exercising your writing skills.

If you have an audience that enjoy hearing from you and your work, it’s also a way of keeping them informed on your most recent activities. On the other hand, if your blog is not popular yet, it’s always a good idea to start building an audience and tell them about your writing.

That article also reminded me of one of the many ideas that Joanna Penn has shared around multiple streams of income. It’s not enough to publish one book and hope it sells millions of copies. It’s working on new ideas to keep producing more books.

Consider different genres and different formats like audio books, workbooks, and ebooks. The more you create, the more sources of income you’ll generate.

What do you think?