Make a living, be an author, have a life.
Recently I got an email from one of my favourite kick-ass girls, asking: Lisa, how do you make a living, be an author AND have a life? This is one of my go-to girls who has totally got her shit together, so when I asked her why she was asking me for advice, she was like, 'hello?! Because you're DOING it and I want me some of what you've got.'
Shit. I AM doing it. When did that freakin' happen? Her email was like a mirror. A bit like the evil Queen's in Once Upon a Time - I am freakin' CRAZY 'bout that programme - 'cept, you know, I haven't tricked and trapped a past lover in there to tell me shit. No, I'm talking a mirror in word form, from a rockin' member o' girlkind, a sweet truth whispering, 'Here girl, take a look at yourself now, li'l miss awesome - not shabby, huh?'
I used to spend a LOT o' time looking to other women, thinking 'I wish that was me. One day, I'll rock out like them.' I still crush on awesome girls doing awesome shiz in the world, 'cept now I don't put them on a pedestal and think they're a sparkly-gorgeous un-reachable treasure that I'll never, ever get to be. I no longer want to BE them, which is good, because that's really like taking the direct route straight to I'm-not-good-enough City, passing Comparison Creek and Competition Corner along the way. No, now I want to learn from them, I want their wisdom, their insight. I want to know how I can try out what they're doing, and then do it MY way. I celebrate their awesomeness, and then quiz them as to how they got to be so awesome in the first place. It's what SASSY girls do, and SASSYville is a much sweeter place to reside. No comparisons, no competition, no beating ourselves up for not being 'enough', instead there's risk taking, courageous living and fear busting, with an ongoing, never-ending sharing and celebration of ourselves and of girlkind. Yeee-freakin'-haah.
I'll admit that I've never met an author who claimed it was super-easy to earn a living, be an author, and have a life all at once, FYI: that's because it's not, but it IS do-able. I am living proof. My messy, imperfect, sometimes sucky, sometimes fucking awesome life is one fabulous adventure that I love and adore AND get paid for. It allows me to head to the beach on a sunny day with my hot viking AND meet my deadlines. It means I get to work with awesome women helping them to become the author of their kick-ass story in life AND in book form. It means I get to read books. It means I get to write books.
It's the delicious loveliness of doing what I love, on my terms AND getting paid for it that makes me CRAZY-passionate about passing on the tools to help you to do the same, but in your own true-to-you way. In fact, I am currently hooking up with some of my most favourite people in the publishing industry - editors, authors and agents - to put together the brand-new kick-ass SASSY offering for writer-girl rockstars - more news on that VERY soon - and it's serving as an awesome reminder of how much I absolutely, positively dig being a part of this word-filled, publishing, story telling, book pimpin' industry in all it's forms - can't wait to share it with you!
So, in answer to my gal-pal's email, which I'm now sharing with you, these are the four BIG things that switched it up for me.
Create a morning ritual. Exercise, meditate, read. Create a morning routine that gets you mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally ready for your day. I light a candle every morning, chant the Shanti path, indulge in the gorgeousness that is ecstatic free flow yoga, kiss my hot viking husband and we ho'oponopono (for more info on this, hook up with Gary Plunkett - dude knows his shiz) - 'I'm sorry, forgive me, I love you, thank you'. By taking time out every day to connect with my heart, the divine, my spiritual homegirl, I gain an insta-hit of energy, focus and general awesomeness that puts me ahead of the game before I've even written a word.
Don't watch TV. I have one, because I LOVE TV, but I no longer sit for hours with it on in the background, or while I work. I choose what I'm going to watch and I ACTUALLY take an hour out to watch it. It's totally changed up my energy levels and productivity.
Schedule social media I don't mean I have automatic response systems that do it for me - I HATE that - it works for some people, but I like to keep my connections as real as they can be when fuelled by technology, no, I just mean that I pencil in an hour a day, usually half hour first thing in the morning, and half hour around lunchtime, to check in, start a convo or share a blog post. Scheduling time in my diary means that it actually happens, because it's important as a writer-girl to be visible to your audience, it also means, if you're like me, that you don't allow yourself to be suck you into a time vortex where you've spent a gazillion hours online and done zilcho work. Yep, it's totes happened.
Just say no. One of the biggest reasons I'm able to coach, blog, write, get love-time with the beau, be a successful author, do yoga every day is my ability to use one word: No. I often say no to all kinds of exciting invitations, opportunities, parties, and lunches. I say yes to a few - g-friend has to have fun too, but mostly I say no. If I didn't, I simply wouldn't get the shit that needs to get done, done. The payoff? I'm in action, I'm creating, I'm loving what I do, I'm being of service, most importantly, I'm walking my talk, my way. High freakin' fives to that.
What are you doing to make sure you rock out AND have a life? I'd love to know...