Category Archives: Random Life Crap

2020 – Managing New Year’s Expectations

2020 – Managing New Year’s Expectations

By Rebecca Besser

 

Today is New Year’s Day, the first day of 2020. On social media people are sharing their resolutions and plans for the upcoming year. That’s all well and good…if you can keep to them. But most people don’t. By the third week to the end of January, the likeliness is that most people will become depressed because they’re failing to meet the lofty goals they’ve set for themselves. Why? Because most of the goals are unrealistic or too big to accomplish easily or in a short time period, which people need to stay motivated. Most people will give up on what they want when they realize it’s going to take time and work.

So, what’s the point? I don’t get it. I’ve set goals at the beginning of the year before. I’ve also set goals mid-year and random other arbitrary points on the calendar. I try to make changes in my life when I see the need for that change. The day, the time, the year doesn’t matter…and it shouldn’t. And that’s why I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions (and that’s completely a personal choice).

Making one point in the year so important people put weight on all the value of change causes undo pressure. And when they fail, the depression arrives. So…why not set goals at your speed, on your schedule? It’s healthier. Not everyone is ready to make big choices for their lives at the same time. Human existence, experience, and need doesn’t match those of other people. And therefore you shouldn’t feel pressured to make those choices and changes on a calendar schedule.

But if the calendar schedule and peer pressure, or just the excitement of the possibility of something fresh and new like New Year’s, spurs you to make changes, make your choices and decisions wisely.

What do I mean by wisely? I mean be smart about the size of your goals and what it will take to reach them. Break down your big goals into small goals.

For example: If you want to lose 50 lbs., don’t expect it to happen in one month by starving yourself or doing some kind of fad dieting. Make small plans for each month that ultimately lead up to all the changes necessary for you to lose the weight. The smaller, slower changes will actually help you change your lifestyle and give you a better chance of keeping the weight off once you’ve lost it (however long it takes to get there).

And guess what happens when you break big goals down into smaller goals? You reach them faster and don’t get depressed because you aren’t seeing any change. You’re making changes. You’re accomplishing something. You’re doing what you need to. You’re changing you and your life.

Another example: If you haven’t been able to write as much as you’d like, and your goal is to write a minimum of 100K for the year, don’t set some crazy unrealistic goal of finding 3 hours a day to write. You’ve been struggling to find time in your day to write at all, so jumping to some big lofty goal you know you can’t meet without major stress isn’t going to help you reach your end goal. Challenge yourself to 100 words a day. Or 500 words a week. Chances are, once you sit down to do those minimum goals, you’ll start writing more than 100 per day or 500 per week. Pretty soon, once you start finding where you can work writing into your schedule, you’ll start finding more time to write, and you’ll start flowing with more word count than you’d originally planned. And once you find those times, once you’re into the flow of your project, you’ll reach your big goal easier because you feel accomplished slaying the smaller ones and going above and beyond your own expectations.

Keeping up a positive attitude and momentum is the hardest part of any goal, no matter the size. And a positive attitude and momentum are the things that are going to get you to the change you want.

I hope all of you that have made New Year’s Resolutions have great success. And I hope my suggestion of managing your goals and expectations inspires you to look at your big goals in a manageable way that will help you get there happily.

Happy New Year!

My Goals – Passion Planner

My Goals – Passion Planner
By Rebecca Besser

Last year I kind of took time off from writing; there were many reasons for it. And you might find that funny, because I still wrote and had publications in 2017. That’s because even when I’m not writing like I should, it doesn’t mean I’m not writing at all. Writers write—it’s part of who we are. Not writing makes writers stressed and grumpy.

In case you didn’t notice, I’m staging this to announce I’ll be writing more this year!

Since I know I’ve struggled with planning in the past, and I need something to keep me motivated long-term, I took serious action. I ordered a specialty planner. I ordered a Passion Planner, and I love it!

This planner has you set goals, figure out steps to reach those goals, and encourages you to make changes to meet your goals. And it motivates you for your professional and personal goals. It has daily/weekly schedule pages, monthly planning pages, and reviews at the end of each month to help your figure out what’s holding you back and what you need to do to push forward. I think I chose well for me.

As far as writing, I’ve set myself a minimum daily word count that will give me a minimum weekly word count. I’ve set my publishing schedule on my minimum word count goal. If I keep myself going at a steady pace for the year, I’ll finish multiple books—more than I’ve previously written in a year.

And I’m sure everyone’s thinking: “Duh, that’s how you do it!” But it’s not always that easy. A lot happens throughout the day, and sometimes it’s a very real struggle for authors to hit a set word count.

Previously, I just tried to write as much as I could, whenever I could. That worked for me for years. My life, however, has gotten busier. That leads to writing being a serious struggle, especially with stress. Stress reduces creativity for me. And then I get more stressed because I’m not writing. This leads to writing being hard and me not wanting to write. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m sure some of my creative friends can relate. I had to find a way to reduce the stress and find the strength of my creativity again, and I think I’ve done it!

Something positive I’ve discovered from setting myself a minimum daily word count, is I’m going over. The first week it was hard to meet my word requirements, but the second week, I found I was getting into the story and more words were pouring out of me. And, no, I didn’t count the extra words toward the next day’s count. One day I did skip because I was finishing something else, but I made up for it the next day and then some.

My goal is to stick with my self-imposed deadlines as well, which I’ve been doing well on so far. Not all of them have to do with writing, but most do in some way or another.

There have been two things I’ve fallen behind on, but I’ve finished one and the other is almost completed as well. I expected minor delays on some things. I know life isn’t perfect and won’t always go as planned no matter how well I plan it. So, with that in mind, I’ve given myself a “within the month” allowance. Meaning, as long as I complete all my plans for the month, within the month, I’m still going to count it as completing and meeting my goals.

It sounds fair to me, and makes things more “doable” in case life gets crazy for a week. That way, if someone at my house gets sick or my son’s goats decide to kid, I’m still good on my goals.

I’ve also noticed, with doing a detailed planner, where I can get more time out of my life if I would need to. This will help me implement new activity to meet more goals in the long run.

In the past, I thought planners were unnecessary and more work. Maybe something has changed for me. Maybe I’m now at a point in life where I appreciate writing things down so I don’t have to remember them.

Maybe it’s because I’m determined to meet my goals for 2018.

Regardless, I have faith in myself. I will accomplish more.

 

©Rebecca Besser, 2018. All rights reserved.

Self-Publishing – The One Author Show

Self-Publishing – The One Author Show
By Rebecca Besser

Life doesn’t always go as you plan. Take today for example… My plans were to go grocery shopping, write a blog post, and work on my taxes (it’s more involved when you’re self-employed). Guess what happened? My son’s pygmy goat decided to have twins…today (Saturday). Guess what that means? That I spent most of the day sitting in the cold barn. I have the smallest hands, so if the goat has issues, I’m the ones that gets to “go in” after it. There were minor issues, so I did a bit of going in and pulling. But both the babies are out and seem to be doing great.

Obviously I worked in writing this post. I also managed to do a bit on my taxes. But groceries will have to wait until another day. Not to mention all the other little things I’d had planned for the day that weren’t big enough to make it on the actual “to-do” list.

That’s how life goes, especially for an author with a family. Especially an author with a family that’s running a small farm. There’s always someone needing something… Your child’s sick, your spouse needs you to run an errand, you have to make a call about something, you have to check on animals multiple times to make sure everything’s okay, you have to help with your child’s activities, you have to go to your child’s school for one thing or another, you have to try to take care of yourself…you have to handle life.

What does that mean for an author? It means your schedule gets blown to shit sometimes. What does that mean to an author who self-publishes? Your book(s) get pushed back until you get time to do the writing, editing, cover, formatting, etc.

I had a book planned to come out in October. It didn’t. I intend to have it available by the end of February. How did that happen? The beginning of October is our county fair where my son shows animals. So, that’s a week of limited time for anything other than that. Then, there’s recovering from everything that got pushed back because of that week. Then my son injured himself and was on crutches for a little while. Then there was Thanksgiving and my son was sick. Then I was sick. Then we were in a car accident. My son had a birthday. Then my son and husband were sick. Then there was Christmas. Are you seeing how just living can suck the life out of life? LOL

I’m not complaining. I’m just letting you know that authors are humans too, with lives. Unfortunately an author’s life can’t always revolve around books, no matter how hard they try to make it revolve around books.

But, since I realized all my flaws in planning, I’ve made changes to remedy that. (More about that in my next blog post.)

Regardless, with all that going on, a self-publishing (sometimes) author like me gets behind. Because writing a book takes a lot of time. Editing a book takes a lot of time. Creating a cover for a book takes a lot of time. Formatting a book takes a lot of time. And when you self-publish, all the quality of the work is on you (even if you have someone help you with any step(s) of the process).

When you’re doing it all on your own, it takes a lot of time that has to be worked in and around…life.

 

©Rebecca Besser, 2018. All rights reserved.

Judgement – There’s No Escape

Everyone at some point in their life will be wrongly judged by someone. It might be a random thought in a stranger’s head when they glanced at you in passing that you never knew about. It might be from people that knew you once upon a time and can’t see that you’re different now because of the passage of time and experience. It might be from people who know you merely in passing, but think they know who you are even though they’ve never had a real conversation with you. It might be because you won’t bend to someone else’s will and stand up for yourself, your life, and your priorities. Or it might be from random people because of your job, your skin tone, or some other stupid superficial crap.

None of those judgements have anything to do with you. They’re all about other people being their asshole selves because they suffer from deep insecurities or fears.

I’m the recipient of a lot of judgements, unfortunately.

Why?

I’m odd, silly, and strange. I love to spend time alone. I’m a horror author. Add to that I’m a woman who goes against the grain of most social norms (Aquarius & INTJ = me). You could say it’s in my nature to stand out…and be proud of the fact I’m different.

Most of the people I really like, love those things about me. And I love the interesting quirks that make them, them. Honestly, I get along with most people because I like diversity. I find people different than myself insanely interesting.

I’ve found that about 98% of the people who don’t like me are women I stand up to. They’re women who have tried to manipulate or control me mentally or emotionally and I simply wouldn’t allow it. Not doing what other people want and not being the person other people think you should be is wrong, I guess, because it has always made me the bitch. I could literally compile a list of about a hundred or more people I’ve come across in some aspect of my life that could fit into the category of “manipulative controller” that lash out when they don’t get their way.

I’ve never regretted standing up to those people. If standing up for myself makes me a bitch, then a bitch I am.

Then, add in the judgements I receive because I’m a horror author… I’m an author of dark fiction, zombie fiction, thrillers, and suspense. I write stuff that haunts people’s nightmares.

Because of this, some people think I’m a bad or twisted person.

I’ve had people introduce me as the person who writes weird or strange stuff. I’ve been told I can’t come to certain community events as a vendor because the content of my books is too dark. I could go on and on about the prejudice against what I write and me because I write it.

Usually, overall, judgements don’t bother me. I really don’t care what people think of me. But, I’m human, so sometimes it annoys me or hurts.

Darkness is part of life, and you can’t have light without darkness. Everyone has darkness and light inside them. Most people deny the dark part of themselves because they believe it makes them bad. I embrace mine and use it in a creative manner for entertainment. Writing is my therapy.

I give my light to my family and I give my darkness to my creativity.

I’m balanced.

I’m happy.

And I’m okay with who I am no matter what other people think.

I hope you are too! But if you’re not, I hope this post makes you feel less alone when you stand against the judgement of others.

When and if you do find yourself at the receiving end of judgement, remember…people who judge you are assholes suffering from deep insecurities or fears. Don’t let them bring you down.

 

©Rebecca Besser, 2017. All rights reserved.