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Posts Tagged 'real artists don’t starve'

Breakfasts, lockdown, and breaking the procrastination virus

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

 

 

 

A simple life, with a husband and children—a life with people you love—that is the real life.”

~ Coco Chanel

A simple life, with a husband and children—a life with people you love—that is the real life.”

~ Coco Chanel

I know I set out to tell you every single thing I know about writing, but I’m also going to tell you every single thing I know about breakfast, partly because the dynamics and disruptions are so similar.

I am tempted to find everything that takes me from my writing as a distraction. This morning I resented being pulled away by my partner who was happy, and in a good mood and wanted to make breakfast for me. He wanted us to go together into the garden and pick fresh guavas from the tree.

‘So what’s the problem?’ I hear you ask. The problem was—if I chose to see it that way, which I did at the time—that I was in full creative flow. Stopping for breakfast was the last thing I felt like doing.  My writing was being fed. My writing was being nourished.  My writing was chomping down, after days of famine, on a plate full of porridge.

The last thing I wanted to do was to be dragged kicking and screaming to my highchair and fed. I was happy. I was productive. I was writing.

I had to do a quick mindset shift, or rather I chose to, because I don’t want to be a lonely isolated, unloved writer. “But we love your books,” I hear you say. “You are the queen of uplifting inspiration.” 

I am not unloved, but I want to share my life with an actual person. One that makes breakfast for me!

I know with Lorenzo in by my side life it is a lot, lot easier. It’s a lot, lot easier to do my work. Well sometimes.

The encounter and my mood that day challenged me to reprioritize what is truly important.  As I wrote in The Art of Success: Coco Chanel, she once said,

A simple life, with a husband and children—a life with people you love—that is the real life.

Chanel shared that one of her biggest regrets is that she didn’t spend more time devoting herself to love—instead she chased the wrong dream. She died a rich and lonely woman, by herself in The Ritz.

So I affirmed to myself, “This is good. This is fine. This is time to be together and nourish my mind.”

Later as we ate together my king said, “That should put more lead in your pencil.” And it’s true. Having a loving partner and eating good food should not be seen through the lens of distractions. Instead, it should be rejoiced as fuel for our creative soul. I write more about this in The Happy, Healthy Artist.

There are greater, more dangerous demons, masquerading as distractions.

Distractions are also created by multi-tasking, emails and other demands. Even seemingly reasonable requests like my king suggesting today I should create a blog about working from home.

It’s not an unreasonable idea. Especially as I write this chapter and the whole world is in lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis.  His suggestion may even be a salable idea. But I don’t want to write about working from home.  I want to write about creative unblocking. And then I want to create some art and put into practice what I’m sharing with you.

So here’s the thing that worked for me today. I have to say it’s a beautifully simple and effective strategy, but it’s also one I actually haven’t been doing.  I just simply said to myself, “I am in lockdown from 2 to 4 and I am not to be distracted.”

I took myself to a non-distractive place, which was sitting outside in the garden. And I wrote.  In this case, it was dictating into my manuscript something I had handwritten during a restless night of insomnia.  Dictating is the perfect strategy when you feel blocked because actually you have something you can do. You can just engage the other side of your brain and put some flesh on the bones.

That’s not to say I wasn’t tested. The thing about working from home is there are always distractions.  Especially when your home is a 10-acre property and you live with a perfectionist.  The wonderful thing about my perfectionist is that there is not a blade of grass out of place and everything is manicured—perfectly.

It’s a beautiful serene non-chaotic place to create.  The truth is that when I feel everything is getting messy and chaotic, it does my head in to be surrounded in mayhem. I find it hard to focus.

When my king approached my little locked-down bubble of writing mirth in the garden later that day and told me he was going to spray some weeds between business calls I felt guilty. I should be doing some housekeeping and cleaning. I should be helping!

My intention to be in lock-down from 2 to 4 protected me.  I just took a little mind spa break and I did a micro clean in 10 minutes which cleansed eyestrain and mental overload and mopped away any guilt. The old, non-quarantined me might have mopped the floors, cleaned windows or dusted with procrastination whip until I had cleaned the whole damned house.

But no, I had an important appointment.  I had a non-negotiable time blocked out in my calendar. And it felt great. Empowering. Freeing. But  I doubt it would’ve felt so great if I was hungry, famished, my blood sugar levels plummeting because I hadn’t eaten breakfast.

 

This is an edited extract of Word By Word by Cassandra Gaisford

Available for pre-order soon!

How writing can save your life, boost your resilience and empower your warrior-spirit

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

Even if you’re not an aspiring writer there are loads of mindset strategies in The Prosperity for Authors Series to help you deal with life, build greater resilience and persevere with your dreams.

In fact, recently I put some of the strategies I share both in book two, Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More and the first book in this series, Developing a Millionaire Mindset, to good use after a terrifying encounter with a violent intruder.

Curiously, and thankfully, writing saved me—both before and after the aggressive trespass. I had woken around midnight and decided to check Amazon for one of my romances The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride.

I had only been in my writing room for five minutes when I heard a van come up the long drive on our semi-rural property in The Bay of Islands.

Immediately I sensed danger. I knew instinctively it was the stranger who had come to our door the prior evening pretending to be lost.

Now, he returned again. He drove toward the house with his lights off, determined to hide beneath the cover of darkness.

Strangely, the Kiwis, New Zealand’s native, flightless and nocturnal birds that roam our property screeched loudly—as though warning me.

I heard the intruder swear. Terrified, I ran to wake my partner—and counted my blessings that he is a very alpha male with a black belt.

A long night involving the police ensued. And for three days this man with we later discover had a violent past and mental health problems continued to harass us —insisting we were hiding his wife and children.

It took some doing, but I refused to let him infect our lives, or impact my productivity any more than he had. Anger is such a destructive force. The best coping mechanism I know is to channel potentially toxic emotions into something I love—writing.

So I picked up my pen.

As I write this chapter just days after the event even though I can still feel the fear, the anxiety, the terror—it is less now. This event triggered buried memories of previous traumas involving obsessive, controlling men with a propensity for violence.

However, I have successfully ‘counselled’ myself by writing and journaling my way through my emotions.

As Catherine Jones writes in her aptly named book, Heal Yourself With Writing, creativity is therapy. “Journaling is a creative inner dialogue with one’s Self,” she says. And she is right.

Rather than lose further productive time I wrote my way through my terror and cleared space to create.

Rather than say, “I’m too traumatized, too tired, too uninspired to write,” I wrote anyway.

I focused on my goal for the day—in this case, to finish the edits for the first book in this series, Developing a Millionaire Mindset.

And I bribed myself with the promise of chocolate when I had completed my task.

Writing is my joy. My passion. My great love. And nobody, I vowed, would rob me of that. I would stay drunk on writing, I affirmed so that reality could not destroy me.

In time, I know I will use this experience for scenes in my fiction books and perhaps even pen a self-empowerment book to help others who may have experienced similar trauma. And of course, I have used this truly frightening experience in my life to write this chapter.

The experience also reminded me that I  should complete a half-finished manuscript, Keeper of My Heart—a romantic suspense about a woman running from a violent past and the handsome lawyer who protects her.

 

Mining for Gold

Is reality sucking the joy from your day? How can you stay drunk on writing?

 

 

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book One: Developing a Millionaire Mindset by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

Develop A Millionaire Mindset Today!

Making space for prosperity

Monday, June 19th, 2017

One of my daily practices is to ensure I clear my desk at the end of the day, and write a few notes regarding the focus for the next day, celebrate my successes by writing them in my journal and acknowledging the things I’m grateful for.

This creates joy, and space in my mind, and enables me to approach the new day feeling inspired and focused—assuming I’ve also cleared my mind at the beginning of the day by meditating, completing my morning pages and walking in the morning too.

If Morning Pages are a new concept to you I explain this wonderful tool developed by Julia Cameron, author of The Artists Way, a little more in the chapter Journal Your Way to Success in my new book The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book One: Developing A Millionaire Mindset)

 Here’s a wee excerpt:

 

JOURNAL YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS

I love my writing journal. It’s my partner in writing, there for me whenever I need it, my confidant and my supporter and my record of where I’ve been

~ Anne Gracie, romance author

Recently, while tackling a mammoth writing project, I talked myself into a bit of a funk. I knew that what I really needed was some positive reminders of my intentions. Instead of saying, “I quit”, and “I am so over this,” and retelling the story that allowed for failure, I went online and purchased a beautiful black sketchbook. Prior to this, I had noticed anxiety building—as it always does when I don’t have a special book in which to purge and reshape my thoughts.

With my gold pen, I wrote some of the most empowering and encouraging quotes from other authors who have also struggled to maintain a prosperous mindset while writing an epic book.

Top of my list was Jessie Burton’s empowering words, “Always picture succeeding never let it let it fade. Always picture success, no matter how badly  things seem to be going in the moment.”

These words reminded me that I was picturing failure. I was telling myself messages of failure. I was feeling failure.

Jesse Burton, the author of The Muse and The Miniaturist is very inspiring to me because she is so honest about her own battles with mental health—including anxiety. “In February I was publicly honest about how difficult it had been to handle, process and assimilate in real time some of the changes in my life. Namely, the strange and wondrous effects of The Miniaturist. I wrote about anxiety, my first tentative foray into putting that mental morass into words,” she wrote in one of her newsletters.

As Jessie highlights blogging and sharing your thoughts with your fans is another form of cathartic journalling—as is writing a book like this. “You could have talked more about your personal experience so that other writers can more easily relate to you,” wrote an advance reader of this book. You’ll notice, in this chapter, and throughout this book that I’ve woven in more of my experiences, the highs and the lows, as a result.

To boost your success mindset another form of journalling is writing Morning Pages, a strategy developed by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way.

The writing is just a stream of consciousness, writing out whatever you are feeling—good  (or what one of my clients calls the “sunnies”) or not so good (“the uglies”). 

“It’s a way of clearing the mind—a farewell to what has been and a hello to what will be,” Julia says.

“Write down just what is crossing your consciousness. Cloud thoughts that move across consciousness. Meeting your shadow and taking it out for a cup of coffee so it doesn’t eddy your consciousness during the day.”

The point of this writing is to work with your subconscious and let it work its magic in the creative, healing process.

Mining for Gold

Keep a writing journal for specific writing projects. It may not work for you, but you will never know until you try

Start where you are—commit to a daily practice of writing morning pages and journal for self-exploration

Dive Deeper. . .

You can find our more about morning pages here http://juliacameronlive.com/basic-tools/morning-pages/

 

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book One: Developing A Millionaire Mindset)

by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to follow your passion to prosperity, click here to go to your online bookshop.

23 ways to turn up the volume on your success

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Would you like to remove the psychological blocks keeping you from succeeding in your business?

Would you like to learn practical steps to make more money as an entrepreneur, that you can apply right away?

 

If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, you won’t want to miss the upcoming Be, Do, Succeed Global Online Conference. 

My friend Ande Anderson, MS, RD, Co-Founder of AVAIYA (AVAIYA is the creator of transformational films and courses such as The Truth About Prosperity, MPower: Empowering Women in Business & Beyond, Leap!, The Gratitude Effect, and more) – is hosting this FREE, business-changing event from June 21st – July 1st.

Ande will be interviewing me and 22 other success leaders that will share:

•       Cutting-edge tools and techniques to help you reveal and remove limiting beliefs standing in your way of entrepreneurial success

•       Practical, applicable steps that you can apply right away, to help you increase revenue in your business

•       And so much more!

There are 23 speakers in all including: Lynne McTaggart, Hale Dwoskin, Jeanna Gabellini, Debra Poneman, Morry Zelcovitch, Kristen Howe, Mark Waldman, Cheryl Wood, David Perdew, Ken Stone, Val Silidker, Arianne Traverso, Dr. Andrea Pennington, Cassandra Gaisford, Wendi Blum, Burge Smith Lyons, Bernadette Logue, Kelly McNelis, Jacquie Somerville, Morgana Rae, Dr. Kim D’Eramo, Michelle Villalobos, & David Cameron Gikandi.

And of course, yours truly! You can watch my interview on June 30.

Mark your calendar and go get registered right here. 

After you register, keep an eye out for Ande’s email for specific details on accessing the interviews.

And no matter what your current situation is…

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level…

Whether you’re just starting out in your business and need support and How To’s…

Or whether you have a job and you’d like to make additional income in your side business…

You’re not going to want to miss a minute of the Be, Do, Succeed Global Online Conference. This 11-day event is completely free to you!

Watch the inspiring video and go here right now to register. 

P.S. These video & audio interviews will be recorded and will be available at no charge after each show for a limited time so you won’t miss a thing. Sign up right now, while it’s fresh on your mind…

 

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Subscribe to this blog, and sign up for Cassandra’s newsletter for inspirational tips and strategies to live your best life. Click here to claim a FREE copy of Find Your Passion and Purpose>> http://eepurl.com/bEArfT

 

 

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