Posted in blog, Monday Blogs, Motivational Posts

ūüĒ•Pivoting Goals Is NOT the Same as Failing #MondayBlogs

Hey guys! I’m finally back out of my rut! Real-life got in the way, and, uh, I had to work on some mental health issues but welcome back to Claire’s Cre8tive Club! The hub for porudictives, Cre8tives, and/or Geeks!
So today we’re talking about pivoting goals and why/when you should and how it’s NOT the same thing as a failure even though sometimes it might feel like it.
Hit that like button if you can totally relate to feeling uneasy about changing a long-term goal!
While I”m naturally a very indecisive person (see my channel rebranding video); I’m not talking about changing goals on a whim. I’m talking about goals you’ve been working on for months, years or maybe even your whole LIFE that *just* hasn’t manifested yet.
If you’ve been dedicated that much time, effort and maybe even money into your goal that’s still just a dream … when does it become SENSIBLE for a MIND SHIFT PIVOT?
I’ve found myself at such crossroads twice this year. And it’s really taken a toll on me mentally. Because at first it didn’t feel like growth. It felt like a fail. It felt downright unfair. I’m not one to give into the “why me” syndrome but at times when comparing how hard I worked to where I actually was – it felt extremely unfair.
I was a kind, hard-working person; why wasn’t I getting ahead? And, when is it time to change life directions? Well, I did a little soul-searching and I wanted to share my thoughts about changing long-term goals. Because when I realized I’ve been trying to be a morning person since 2014 — almost six years now; it’s likely not going to happen. But then I remembered just how long I’ve been a night owl. Since high school!
So let’s see, 17 years of being a Night Owl since Junior year of high school in 2002, about 17 years, versus 6 years of totally re-wiring my brain to convert from team Night Owl to team Miracle Morning 4:00 am Club. And I know what you’re thinking: “Gee, Claire, why not try 5:00 AM or 6:00 AM?”
Yup! I tried that too! Sometimes I could get up at 5:30 AM and still feel like a major win, but it still wasn’t satisfying to me because it wasn’t 4:00 AM!
I know, I know. I totally have a super bad habit of being an “all or nothing” kind of girl. And I’ve tried to work on that too. I know it’s not about all or nothing. I know every moment matters. But I find I’m unable to change that mindset. I really have been working on it the last month. And it’s been helping. But it’s hard to change who you are overnight!
But back to pivoting life goals; here are some tips on how to feel that changing major goals can be good, healthy and even motivating!
1. Think of it like a business plan and you’re the CEO of your own life.
If your goal is to workout before work in the morning, and you’ve spent years trying to mindshift into a morning person but just hasn’t been able to meet your annual goals … what would any boss do to that employee that constantly under-preforms?
Well, chances are, they’d be fired. Sadly, that’s the way the world works. So think of that as a separate entity of your mind; and give yourself permission to FIRE that goal. You will feel a huge weight off your shoulders as you HIRE a new goal to feel motivated in that failed goal’s place.
But sometimes it’s hard to let go of an employee.
To help move on during internal company transitions; give your old goal a proper “exit interview” so YOU can feel a sense of closure. And maybe don’t think of it that you failed that goal; but rather, that goal wasn’t moving the company’s business model forward … i.e; your lifestyle, in a better direction. By giving it a proper send-off, you can also give yourself permission to move on and grow from the mistakes or perhaps what about that goal didn’t work for you.¬† Write down these thoughts and reflections in some type of journal as a way to truly let that employee go so your Biz can move on!
2. Keep a record of all the times you’ve tried before.
You don’t need a complete diary or memoir (unless you want to!) but write down a few milestones of memories that your goal DID go well. When you glance down at all your achievements were successful, this will help you learn some lessons from your goal. And give you a reminder that it all wasn’t a total waste of time. I think, at least for me, that’s why it feels like such a fail. Because maybe you don’t have anything physically manifested from your efforts and time. So, it may truly feel like a waste.
BONUS TIP: When you do find another goal to replace that former employee, try keeping a brief track record of when you achieve that daily goal. Maybe just choose a color pen to represent that goal, and either write a checkmark or an X if you didn’t do it that day.
That way, you can feel the progress happening or not, even if the results aren’t yet visible to anyone else. Like working out for example or studying a new language.
Whatever your goal, by tracking it every day or at least once a week, you can give yourself a bit of a progress report. This may help motivate you to go forward because you’ll be excited when you see all of those checkmarks!
3. Call it an experiment.
One way to really help make a ‘failed’ goal not feel like a total failure is simply rephrasing it in your mental chatter. By calling it an experiment, it almost sounds natural that it didn’t work. After all, the very definition of an experiment is a TEST. So what if that goal wasn’t for you? You tested it out and now you know. And by realizing it wasn’t for you, it helps you look for a new experiment to test on!
Remember what Thomas Edison said about experiments: “I have not failed. I’ve just found¬†10,000 ways¬†that won’t work.‚ÄĚ
Cliche as that quote might have become, it is true. Keep failing until you’ve found the one that works! Or find a new experiment to try if your passion for the old one has expired. Which is totally natural. Sometimes, we just get into different things at different points in our lives!
Well guys, I hope that helped you interpret an experiment so changing goals doesn’t feel like a fail.
In conclusion, it’s okay to change your goals, no matter how long you’ve been working on them! It doesn’t make you pathetic or anything negative as maybe you first feel when you realize it’s just not working anymore. And it’s okay if someone else you admire has made better or faster progress than you on the same goal. It just means you’re human and that maybe that goal wasn’t your jam after all. Nothing wrong with changing life directions.
So go ahead, put your best foot forward and try to hire another goal for yourself! You deserve to move forward instead of keeping dead weight bringing your company down.
Have you ever changed a major life goal and felt less than stellar about it? How did you move on? Share in the comments, you never know who you might inspire!
Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button to jon me in the next post, and I’ll catch you guys next time! Remember to cre8te often and be kind always!
Have a great day,
Posted in Monday Blogs, Writing Posts

#MondayBlogs: How To Be #Creative Every Single Time!

Welcome to Claire Cre8tes! My shiny new channel that’s all about #AmWritiing, productivity, creativity, and Geek culture! I can seriously talk about writing all day long! But ain’t nobody got time for that! So let’s stick to today’s topic! If people actually knew who I was, they would ask me: where do you get your ideas?

 

Well I actually have the opposite problem where I have way too many ideas! It creates a very real struggle of being able to focus on one project and complete it before I finish a project.

 

[bctt tweet=”Having too many ideas creates a very real struggle of being able to focus on one project and complete it before I finish the first idea.” #amwriting #creative #passcreativityon]

 

So do I have any ideas on how to beat creative block? Oh boy, do I! My most favorite tip is coming up, so stay tuned for that! And don’t forget to share this post on Twitter, you never know who in the #AmWriting community can use a bit of creative motivation today!

 

I’m going to cut to the chase here: there is nothing divine or mysterious about inspiration! No greek goddess has descended from another era or dimension to give you your epic ideas! As awesome as they feel when you do get a brilliant idea, it is both satisfying and at the same time completely terrifying that they came from you. Yes, you!

 

[bctt tweet=”As awesome as they feel when you do get a brilliant idea, it is both satisfying and at the same time completely terrifying that they came from you. Yes, you!” #amwriting #creative]

 

That same person who thought it was a good idea to put that embarrassing thing in your mouth when you were three years old!

 

It’s a terrifying notion that great ideas can come from you, because you might either be wondering if you’re good enough to execute these ideas or if because they did come from you, are they actually good ideas?

 

My greatest advice is to just give it a try! Who knows if it’s a great idea or not. Certainly you won’t know until you try, show it to a few people, and ask them!

 

[bctt tweet=”My greatest advice is to just give your idea a try!” #creative]

 

It’s also equally important to be you! You’ve heard that motivational quote: just do you.¬† I know you have! If you have even been on the Internet, like ever, I know you’ve heard it! But that cliche quote applies to writing, too.

 

If you simply try to write ideas based on sellability* it won’t be as easy to write as your passion projects, that’s almost an absolute guarantee! So it’s important to find a genre, a story or a character you can’t get enough of writing about. Your passion will be able to be read off the page. But be careful, because likewise, you’re boredom can also be sensed by the readers as well! Think of readers like Jedi Masters, they can sense when the author has stopped caring!

 

[bctt tweet=”Think of #readers like #Jedi Masters, they can sense when the #author has stopped caring!.” #amreading #creative]

 

And if all else fails, as positively cliche as it is, my #1 tip aside from just to be you, is remember that book you read that made you want to be an author in the first place! I.E: remember why you started! For me, it was the first Harry Potter book in 1997; it would have been in the 6th grade. And it made me want to write a book that inspired people, too. And sure it took me 20 years later, but I have!

 

Basically when I am feeling the most stuck, I pause what I’m working on and start something new. I get inspiration from hearing other authors talk about writing. I turn to Twitter for the #AmWriting community. I remember why I started.

 

[bctt tweet=”Basically when I am feeling the most stuck, I pause what I’m working on and start something new.” #creative #creativeproblems]

 

And funny thing, when all else fails and I try to give up being an author and go to being normal: I find I hate being normal and go back to writing. So sometimes taking a break is also all that is needed.

 

What about you? What writing tips do you have to get rid of creative block?  Share in the comments!

 

Thanks so much for joining me today, and I look forward meeting you in the next one!

 

Happy writing!

 

Posted in Monday Blogs, Uncategorized

#MondayBlogs Fall: A Season to Let Go (Of Creative Block)!

Hey guys! Thanks so much for joining me today. I am back on my regular schedule! You know, the main reason I’ve been so absent this year is two reasons:

 

1. Is confidence. My book did not do well at all and even got some extremely negative reviews on an Advanced Reader Copy review site and it really hurt my creative confidence. It made me question if I have what it takes to be an author. Furthermore, it made me not want to be creative at all!

 

 

2. Mental illness made me question the point of everything, I know there’s no shortcut to anything that matters, and I know how super important it is to be consistent on social media every week! But not only was my depression and anxiety making it extremely¬†difficult to wake up and get out of bed each and every morning; it also produced an annoying but ever-present voice in my mind ask:¬†why¬†does¬†this¬†matter?

 

 

Deep down I knew I wanted to post, but the couch is so very comfortable and there’s so much to watch on Netflix that I didn’t really stand a chance!

 

Because I really DO love talking about writing and the creative life! Not only is it super inspiring, but I love helping others feel inspired too! In fact, that’s why I started to begin writing in the first place! I wanted to create inspiring stories that empower the reader! To make the reader feel special. And that’s why I took the negative reviews so hard. I felt like I failed. But¬†there’s¬†more stories to be told! More books to be written!

 

And I think in my fog of mental illness, I forgot that. So here I am, starting over.

 

 

I’m going to try and let¬†go¬†the negative thoughts of others. I’m going to try and let go the pressures and stress that my co-workers and bosses dumped on me. And I’m going to let go of the very strong worry of publishing another failed novel.

 

I’m going to start over. As a student. I’m going to pretend I’m back in college ten years ago in 2008 and I don’t know anything about writing. It’s time to re-master my craft. From grammar basics, storytelling strategies to character development and plot twists. I’m going to pretend like I’ve forgotten everything I think I know about writing and start anew.

 

 

There’s something kind of thrilling about starting over, don’t you think? Because when one let’s go of their bruised ego, maybe that means that anything is possible!

 

 

It might be 80 degrees around here and hardly feels like the first week of fall in my shorts and sandals, but mentally at least, I’m ready for it to be fall. I’m ready to start over as if I was starting a new semester in school. So much has changed for me this year, both in health and career, in friendships and changing of interests. I’m not sure if I’m going backward or forwards¬†in my life, but the important thing is to keep moving. As the cheesy saying goes: if nothing is changed then nothing is gained. Or, something like that.

 

So what about you? What are you going to let go if you could? Share in the comments below, and let’s let go, together!

 

As always, happy writing!

 

Posted in Geeky Rants, Monday Blogs, Uncategorized

#MondayBlogs: 20 Years of Hogwarts My Home. Thank You @JK_Rowling!

This weekend Twitter reminded us it was 20 years ago this past Saturday of the US book release that Harry Potter¬†first crossed the Great Lake (the Black Lake in the films) and Twitter was feeling extremely¬†nostalgic with many #BackToHogwarts posts. Barnes and Noble, Simon &¬†Schuster and the New York City Public Library (my novel¬†has a scene that takes place there, BTW!) and other news pages all were tweeting #HarryPotter20 fandom vibes. It made me reflect on how instrumental J.K. Rowling’s magical masterpiece really was in¬†my¬†life and I dedicate this post to Harry and the fans that made it a wonderful journey to be a part of.

But 20 years is still a very long time. I had been there since the beginning. It was back in middle school. Would have been the 7th grade. 13 years old I was. And I found it totally by accident.¬†Little did I know, my life would never be the same. I remember very clearly the day I found the Boy Who Lived. But it felt like, Harry and his extraordinary world, had found me. Let’s take a trip in my Pensive, a.k.a. memory lane, and see where my first steps into the most wonderful Potterhead fandom began…

So it was an English assignment, and it was one of the toughest ever. We had to pick out a BOOK in the¬†LIBRARY¬†in only THIRTY MINUTES! Now I’ve never been much of a reader. So this challenge was a great task for me. I remember scouring the stacks of this library looking for … sigh, a¬†book. Well, I browsed and browsed and browsed the children’s / MG books of 1998 and found nothing. Then I browsed the rest of the¬†library.¬†Teacher¬†was looking at me, so I pretended¬†to be interested in some of the spines of books so she thought I was busy. But I wasn’t busy, I was bored!

There was a strange book with a boy riding a broom on the cover. Huh. I walked by. I was frustrated when my friends found books with fifteen minutes to spare. They started to check out their books and even started reading already! I was running out of time. Teacher even reminded us our time was almost up.

I¬†sighed,¬†and snatched the spine of the book with the boy riding his broom. I stared at the title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. Uh, okay. I didn’t have time to read the back blurb. No¬†idea what it was about, but it was a book, I wasn’t going to get in trouble, and I was happy enough. I checked out the book and showed it to my friends. They LAUGHED at me and said that was a kids book. I stared at them: uh,¬†weren’t¬†WE¬†kids?

We headed back to the classroom just in time for the next period. I managed to complete the first part of that assignment, yay!

A couple of weeks into the assignment and I was really enjoying the book! Like really, really enjoying it! Loving a book that didn’t feel like a forced reading assignment was a new sensation to me. It flew by and it was fantastical. I remember sitting at our reading times during one English class, and actually set the book down on the table on¬†it’s¬†spine and¬†declared to myself loudly, proudly in my head: “I can do this.¬†I write a story like this.” and ever since then; it’s been my dream to be a writer!

I remember when the books started to REALLY take off. It was the third book in the series that the rest of the nation was starting to catch up to the ‘Potter-Mania’. But by then I was well obsessed with the series. I was already in some roleplaying forums online (back then I was obsessed with an RP site called¬†Twilight-Sky¬†before it became¬†a clique and full favoritism/cyberbullies), I was researching more about the Harry Potter world and Hogwarts. I even got in trouble with my family because my older brother caught me using the computer interacting with Harry Potter fans and saw the “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” and called my mom ASAP just to get me in trouble. “Mom, Mom, Claire wants to be a witch! Mom!”¬†That brat!

It was very hard before people knew what the books really were about to explain I was not interested in ‘goth’ or the ‘dark arts’. But I didn’t really care. Even though the argument led me¬†in¬†tears and made me feel strange for liking such a book, I knew it was worth it. Because with those books, I felt¬†apart¬†of something. I was part of an online community that was like no other. My real life friends also slowly picked up on the series and we formed our own ‘Hogwarts’ houses. Of course: I was in Hufflepuff.

At first, I was offended because I was chosen last for the house and got stuck with it, but then I came to love it. Keep in mind, this was before we knew about Newt Salamander and Cedric Diggory. Hufflepuff wasn’t cool yet. We formed our houses in book three. But I wore my literal badge we made with pride.

It was the third book when it slowly started to become an international sensation. And the fourth book when they made the first movie. And then no longer was I laughed at. No longer did my family think I had a secret interest in witchcraft. They understood. They finally got on the Harry Potter bandwagon and wow did that bandwagon explode!

One of my friends stopped liking Harry Potter when it took off. She didn’t want to ‘conform with the masses’ or whatever. I shrugged. I didn’t care if it was getting so popular — it made me love it more!

Dressing up for the midnight showings and midnight book releases. Getting anxious because the next book was taking¬†FOREVER¬†to be released! Roleplaying online what we thought was going to happen. Shipping Harry with Luna and Hermoine with Draco. Pretending we were going to the Yule Ball too and dreaming which side-character would ask us to the ball (I was practically in love with Lee Jordan and crushed he didn’t get hardly any screentime). Predicting what cruel trick Snape would do next before we knew his true backstory. Getting BLOWN AWAY by the twist at the last two books. And making new friends who shared a love for the fandom. Debating which house was the best, what our Quidditch position would be, and if we would be brave enough to sign up for Dumbledore’s Army or not.

My friends and I were also obsessed with the James Potter years, creating our own stories about their misadventures in Hogwarts. It was brilliant and even though we were well into high school, we felt like we were still kids. And with how popular Harry Potter had gotten, it became, cool. No longer did we feel like dorks. We can wear our passion with pride.

Yeah, the 90’s and early 00’s were a wonderful time to be alive as a Harry Potter fan. Granted, it still is! We’ve still got a massive fandom of almost three generations. We have the Harry Potter worlds. We have the movies that are immortal on the silver screen (and no¬†slaughtering unicorns required!) and plenty of Merch to make us feel like a real wizard, just like Harry. But it’s not quite like before the books finished. I suppose, though, that’s why they call it nostalgia.

To be honest I still haven’t seen the last two Harry Potter films. I haven’t read the Cursed Child. And I haven’t re-read the HP books in a very long time.

It’s not that I’m over Harry Potter. Not even close! And I still declare myself a Hufflepuff with pride, even on my Tinder profile! I know the reason I haven’t seen the last two HP films: I don’t want it to be over.

I know it’s silly. But I treasure my Harry Potter memories. There’s so many! It’s why I became a writer. It’s how I met so many wonderful folks online. Some of them I even met in person from other countries! But I just don’t want the journey to be over. I know it never will¬†be,¬†because I’ll always have those memories in my heart. But I worry that if I watch the last two films, that it’ll be like, growing up in a weird way. Saying goodbye to Hogwarts forever, somehow. And I’m not ready for that. But I know that’s a silly way of thinking. Because Hogwarts will always be there for me! No matter how old I get.

Because as JK Rowling herself said:

“Whether you’ve come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

I simply love how supportive Jo is of her fans. I adore how she recognizes how deeply impactful the books are to us, and she doesn’t mock us. She doesn’t tell us that it’s not real or we need to grow up. No. She welcomes us home. And if you’re a Harry Potter fan, no matter on what degree, we all¬†have shared that home together.

And that is where the true magic really lies. It lies within us.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to watch the last two Harry Potter films. Maybe it’s time to appreciate the gift that J.K. has given us, and move forward. Not grow up. I could never do that, not really. But onwards is a good place to start. Because as Dumbledore once wisely said:

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”
-Albus Dumbledore

Thank you, J.K. Rowling, to be brave enough to publish something so completely different back in the 90’s. Thank you for giving me the gift of an interest in writing and accepting my imagination instead of being ashamed or afraid of it. Thank you Harry Potter fans for 20 years of a magical journey. Thank you to the new generation who will love the books as much as we did. And thank you for reading this post today. It was an emotional one, but I felt like my #HarryPotter20 needed to be shared.

What about you? What’s YOUR #HarryPotter20 story? I know everyone has at least heard of Harry Potter – but have you ever felt a personal connection to it? Have you ever called Hogwarts your home? Share in the comments!

I hope you all have a magical journey back to Hogwarts this week!

Thanks, Potterheads! Stay Geeky!

~A Geek Named Claire

Posted in Author Lifestyle, Monday Blogs, Uncategorized

7 Reasons Why Back To School Is Fantastic for Authors & Creatives! #MondayBlogs

https://media.giphy.com/media/XmUQpFFkYcfcY/source.gif

For a few weeks now, there’s a great chance that your inbox has been spammed with Back to School promos.
Sorry.
Here’s one more Back to School post for you.
But this one isn’t cringe-worthy like the annoying Target and Staples ads. It’s like we get it: you sell office supplies!
But here’s why that’s a great thing, even if you’re not a teacher and don’t have kids like me. For creatives, this can be the best time of the year! Here’s why:

https://media.giphy.com/media/uLjo3IuxwQIHC/giphy.gif

1) Sales, sales, sales!

Well¬†this one is a major no-duh! Oh,¬†but how I love great sales! Target, Walmart, Staples, Office Depot, Office Max — they all have ah-maz-ing sales this time of year! So sharpen your pair of scissors for coupon clipping and let the sales hunting begin!

giphy

2) Stock Up

With all these amazing sales you can stock up! Stores like Target and Walmart love to target (no pun intended) “going back to college” so you can find some steals on coffee makers, basic kitchen stuff and also STORAGE ORGANIZATION! Why wait until the end of the year to do your master filing? Get a head start now!

https://media.giphy.com/media/PYqsktawfMfKM/giphy.gif

3) Did Someone Say New Notebooks?

Is it just me, or is there something MAGICALLY INSPIRING about a new notebook? Even if you’re not a writer, a new book just SCREAMS endless possibilities. The world is your fucking oyster. Just got to know what you want to do first. And a notebook can help inspire you to define your goals. And this is extra perfect if you’re into Bullet Journaling — or BUJO as the Interwebs passionately¬†calls it.
Bottom line: everyone can use a notebook or three, and now is the time to get them!

https://media.giphy.com/media/oYIovcN99I56E/giphy.gif

4) Never Worry About Losing Your Fave Pen!

Don’t you hate it when your co-workers or family members steal your pens? Can you say rude? Well with the Back to School sale, you can stock up on cheap pens to have on hand to pass out, so you can save the special pens just for you!

5) Stock up on Healthy Stuff too

This is like a second¬†new-year’s¬†where “new year new you” is thrown back. Did you fail your¬†new-year’s¬†goal? That’s okay! The year’s not over yet! So stock up on vitamins, protein powders, and all the healthy things to get you pumped to end the year on a strong note! You can often find these sales with the ‘Back to College’ section. Just because you’ve graduated school, doesn’t mean you can afford to flunk out on these deals!

https://media.giphy.com/media/xdgSxjyWTr26I/giphy.gif

6) Tech Can Sometimes Be on Sale

Although more common sales¬†in¬†the beginning of summer for the ‘Dads & Grads’ sales, a lot of times laptops, cell phones¬†and¬†tablets can be found on sale trying to get the college-bound student prepared in style.

https://media.giphy.com/media/spyzAwjuiYH0k/giphy.gif

7) Feel Nostalgic

Okay, even though you might not NEED anything to stock up on, doesn’t it get you a little nostalgic for the college days?¬† Do you ever find yourself wondering what you would have done differently? Or what advice would you give someone just starting school if you could? Or are you happy with how your school experiences¬†turned out? Share in the comments if this time of year leaves you feeling nostalgic for the school days.

https://media.giphy.com/media/xRFfDqzC2WgLe/giphy.gif

Do you love this time of year? Or are you sick of all the Back to School ads? Share in the comments down below!