Flash Coaching: Where To Start When You Don’t Know Where To Start

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The first thing I’m going to ask is for you to not get down on yourself because you don’t know where to start.

To me, not knowing where to start is just a sign that you have a lot to do. It means that you care about a lot of different things and that a lot of those things are very important to you. Those facts are not problems in themselves, and it certainly doesn’t mean anything bad about you.

I can hear your objections to my perspective: ‘No, I messed up! Again! Why do I keep doing this? I’m doing it all wrong! I need to get tough with myself.’

We can talk about some of that in a different post but for right now, can we just go with kindness so we can get you unstuck?

Seriously. Here’s the thing: You might need to make different choices in the future. You may need different plans or systems. Right now, though, you are where you are and looking backwards or forwards isn’t going to help you.

I know that you have stuff that needs to be done, or else you wouldn’t be here reading this post.

Step One: Write Everything Down

Well, you can type it if you want to. Just get it out of your head and into some sort of list. Do this as quickly as you can so your brain can have a little break.

Step Two: Look For Priorities

Is anything due right away? Is there any reason to do one thing before something else?

You don’t have to explain those reasons to anyone, and they don’t even have to make sense. But, if there is a reason, any reason, use it to decide your priorities.

Step Three: Find A Place to Start

I need these reminders, too. It’s not just you. <3

What about if you made your list, looked for priorities, and you still can’t see anywhere to start?

Good news! You can start ANYWHERE!

If you don’t know *where* to start, then it really doesn’t matter what you choose. The important thing is that you START.

You can start at the top of the list. You can start at the bottom of the list. You can roll a set of dice to choose tasks. You can tear your list into pieces, toss them into a bowl, and pull out tasks one by one.

You can set a timer and work 5 minutes on one task and then move to the next and keep going like that until you run out of time.

CAVEAT: Make sure to include rest as one of your ‘tasks’. Even if you have a lot of work to do, rest isn’t something you do when you are finished everything, it’s part of the cycle of work. Or, perhaps work is part of the cycle of rest. Either way, include downtime, please.

Step Four: Adjust As Needed

If, once you start working, you realize that there is actually a priority item, it’s okay to switch tasks. Sometimes, it takes the process of getting started to help you figure things out. That is totally fine and you can change your work plans to suit yourself at any point. The only rule is that you can’t be mean to yourself about not realizing it sooner!
The key thing here is to identify that it’s OK to just start working on any thing at any time and to just keep going. You don’t have to have a perfect plan or strategy. You don’t have to have all the answers.

All you have to do is decide to start. Or, as it says in one of my favourite quotes:

‘The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.’ ~Amelia Earhart

You just need to find ways to make it easier to decide to act. <3

Creativity Prompt: Mistakes

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What can you tell me about mistakes?

Is there glory in a great mistake?

Can mistakes turn out to be for the best?

What kind of mistakes are unforgivable?

However you see them, mistakes make for fertile ground for creative musings.

Set your timer for 7 or 13 minutes and write, draw, colour, build, or create something with the theme of ‘mistakes.’

When you’re done, you can post your results (or a photo!) here or you can post a link to your own site/FB/Instagram.

(This is not intended as a tool for you to use to be hard on yourself, this is a creative exploration of a theme. Be kind to yourself about any mistakes you’ve ever made AND be kind to yourself in the process of creating, please.)


Projects and the Like

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Here’s the latest:

The St. John’s Storytelling Festival starts next week and I’m hosting the story circle on the first night. Come hang out at the Crows’ Nest and tell me a story!  Click here for all the details.

I’m doing the DIY Postcard Swap this year. There’s still time for you to sign up!

I’m also doing Inktober. You’ll be able to see my drawings on my Instagram.

I am currently revising a 3 story ebook that I will be releasing on the 28th of October.

In the next 8 weeks, I will be teaching two online courses and 4 in-person workshops about writing/storytelling. More details will be coming soon!

So, whaddaya at over there?

Sunday Creativity Break

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 I know it can be really hard to make time for creativity in your week. You have a long to do list and lots of people expecting a lot of things. Adding a little ‘play’ time seems impossible.

Yet, I think that adding a dash of creative play can make every other part of your life a little easier. Even if it feels like ‘just one more thing’, it’s one more thing that just for YOU and I am willing to bet that you have far too little of that in your life.

So, for the next ten weeks (maybe longer if it stays fun), I’m going to give you a little creative play suggestion every Sunday and you can do whatever you like with it.

Have fun!

Week 1 Fun…

Start by printing one of the sheets from the page below and set your timer for 5 minutes. Make as many of the shapes into drawings as you can before the timer goes off.

Remember that messing up is all part of the fun!