I’ve been learning Spanish for a couple of years now, with moderate results. I go to class on a Wednesday evening and wake up thinking in Spanish on Thursday mornings. One of the first phrases that comes into my head most Thursdays is “Tengo mucho que hacer.” I have a lot to do. Ain’t that the truth. I’d be surprised if many self-published writers don’t have the same experience. The challenge is to live non-book life, maintaining relationships with family and friends, while at the same time, earn a living (not from book sales yet, alas!), try to learn how to market your book at the least possible cost, then implement what you have learnt. Then there is the challenge to keep writing, because the received wisdom is that you should already be writing your next book while trying to sell the first one. I feel exhausted just writing this down!!
One part of my working life is doing dog walking, and the great thing is that quite often while I am doing that, ideas pop into my head. They could be ideas for a new article, or a new way of doing things better. I immediately put a reminder of the idea into my phone to make sure I remember it. I also carry a small notebook and mini-pen in my ratty old dogwalking jacket. Last week I had an epiphany. I remembered learning about Unwritten Rules for our behaviour many moons ago. The gist of it is that we have unconscious rules that can either help or hinder us. I realised that one of my Unwritten Rules is that “If it’s written down, it gets done.” I write out a work schedule for myself for the week ahead every Sunday evening. It just dawned on me that if I WROTE DOWN the additional work I aspire to do on that same list, it would get done. That includes regular blogging and at least one promotional effort a day. And so it seems. So simple. Doh! Why didn’t I think of that before?! I’m a writer! And is there anything more satisfying that ticking things off a list and feeling as if you just might, maybe, be making progress? What are the Unwritten Rules you could hack to improve your life?