Asrai Devin- the Maven of Mischief

Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

Tag Archives: goals

Keep calm, stay in straight lines

My books have been up for sale for a while now. At the beginning I was checking my sales every two minutes. refresh, refresh, refresh. Like a monkey on caffeine with access to one button.

Now I check once in a while. Checking obsessively doesn’t make me sell more books. They are selling, slowly. People e-mail about them, which excites me “when’s the next one coming out?” That makes me happy. Five, seven, fifteen books sold today? Eh, big deal.  Selling books is a long term thing for me, I’m slowly building numbers. Connections get me excited. You liked my book? I want to be your best friend and stalk you. Okay I’ll try not to, but I can get stalkerish with people who say nice things about me or who write well.

Anyway, I don’t get excited about slow days in sales, sale dips. I am always slightly amused by people who do. You can’t control it, why obsess? Write your next book, it is the best marketing there is.

Pirating is another thing I don’t obsess about. I am watching a discussion about DRM ri.ght now. I have far too many other things to worry about in my life than if someone pirates my book, go ahead pirate my book. Pirating happens because someone lacks respect or lacks money.  For the former, it’s not a lost sale, they probably wouldn’t have paid anyway.  For the latter,  they might pass me onto a friend, leave a review or buy my books someday in the future.

I had the brief thought, “If they had only asked me I would have sent them a free copy.” I never believe people when they say that.

Back to the DRM discussion. I feel the author’s panic coming through the words. I’m always drawn to this type of drama. Like it’s feeding me. Worry about not enough, worry that the universe won’t provide. if she just trusted, if she just knew.

I was impatient last week. I wanted to have my books selling thousands of copies per month, I wanted to have my little real estate empire started, I wanted to hurry time. And I worried that we’d never get there, that the universe wouldn’t provide.

I’m calmer now realizing that we’ll get there. Eventually. That the universe will provide. That there is enough. And that worry doesn’t not prevent that which we worry about. In fact, what you focus on, you get more of.

So everyone Keep calm, stay on course and trust in the universe. Abundance is your right and it is coming. If you let it. Waiting is the hardest part of manifesting. But everything takes time to birth, it takes time to go from seed to fruit, from idea to novel, from the beginning of your journey to where you want to be.

Why in the world can’t I type because properly when I’m typing faster than 30 wpm? Why why why? becuase always like that. Spell check is my friend.

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It’s all in your perspective

I spent the morning shopping with my mother and sister in law. I stay out of shops, because in an effort to reach our long term goals we are on a strict budget. Meanwhile, my sister in law places no such limitations on herself. I try not to shop with her because I always spend more than I planned. It was difficult to walk out with nothing. I have money in the bank I could drop on things we don’t really need, but that I want.

“The more we have the more we want.” from Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely,

Why is some people are happy with their lot in life? While other people, people we consider much more “well-off” than us are so unhappy?

Life is often a decision making ordeal. We have to decide which soap is better, which entree is better, which route to take.

We are wired to compare. We are really good at comparing ourselves. We compare ourselves to our peers. We compare ourselves to our siblings. We compare ourselves to our parents. And we want to come out on top.

Ariely has a little story about family practice doctors who compare themselves to surgical or Wall-Street consulting “peers”, who make considerably more money then the family practitioners. Or the wife who compares her husband’s salary to her sister’s husband’s salary. You know someone is going home from that unhappy.

It is why we love to watch rich people who have severely dysfunctional lives. We can look at them and say “They have money, but at least my family enjoys my company and my children will grow up knowing the value of a dollar.”

How do we stop from comparing to others and making ourselves unhappy in the process?

Decide what is important in your life.

Sure buying the salamander wall art I saw would really great on my wall. But it really isn’t going to further my other life goals. In a few weeks, I would barely notice it any longer on my wall.

Change who you are comparing with

Sure those doctors arent’ making as much as their doctor peers. But they are making more money then the rest of us.

Change the point of comparison

All choices are trade offs. A woman compares her husband’s salary to another’s, and finds he could be making a lot more money. Except his work hours would increase from 40 to 55 per week. Is the extra money that important that she’d give up 15 hours per week with her husband? Maybe not.

Let go of comparing all together

All choices have trade offs. For instance, if you are comparing your child to a friend’s child of a different age, you are going to find a differences, and places where your child just isn’t at the same level. Does it matter? Your child can’t draw as well or didn’t get the lead in the school play, but she excels at the piano and she is reading above her grade level. And they are both happy children who have parents that love them. Which is the most important part of a child’s life?

Pratice gratitude

Being mindful and grateful for what you do have puts great perspective on your life.

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#Row80 checkin for this date

1) Write 750 words 5 days a week.

I have written in some form everyday, but a few days it was work on How to Think Sideways course by Holly Lisle, which is totally awesome. I’m loving it.

Had to abandon my WIP, the one referenced in my Lucky 7 meme. I made it a special world, but then did no world building, so I have to fix that somehow, I really love the characters and plot. A shiny new idea came to mind.

But again, not tracking word count. Blah.

2) blogging at least twice a week, not including Row updates and my interspiration link mashups for Saturdays.

my monday serious post and Friday Fun are working. I don’t have a backlog built up yet, but I’ll get to that. I’ve been reading too much about niche and panicking about whether or not I need a niche.

3) go for a walk once a week and go to the park with child(ren??) once a week.

went to the park last night with sunshine boy  and sunshine girl was at Karate

4) get the yard cleaned up. nuff said, the paining done.

It snowed on the weekend so cleaning the yard was put off.

Funny story with the painting. We did the floors in the living room sometime ago and on Sunday, while sunshine boy named, the girl and I decided to paint. I told her if she got paint on the floor I’d be ticked. She painted a while, we wiped up numerous splatters and found that it was easy. She got tired and quit and I was nearly finished and I ran out of paint. She went and grabbed the paint bucket and all of a sudden I heard “I didn’t mean to.” (DUH!) I turn and she’s on her hands and knees and half the leftover paint is in a pool on the floor and she’s crying.

Poor kid, she’s 9. I scooped up what I could, we used all the rags in the house scooping the rest. And I laughed hysterically. It was either that or cry.

5) Connect with others by using the @USERNAME when I tweet links to people’s blogs.

I tweeted a whole bunch yesterday, but last night and this morning, I haven’t checked my RSS feeds so maybe later today. I schedule my tweets for afternoon to early evening. Getting good responses from people I’ve tweeted links for, and I’m finding that I’m following a lot people’s blogs whom I’m not following on Twitter, so that is getting fixed up.

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I commented on this really great post about the power of diligence when it comes to writing (and anything you pursue).

My comments were about being impatient for the external rewards of “success”. I know success is one of those undefinable things, but here is what I want that will make me feel like I’m successful:

– hundreds of blog visitors. Thousands would blow my mind, but I’ll start with something my brain can comprehend: thousands. I do have a lot of subscribes, and I even have people coming to my blog by searching my name. my name! That gets me excited.

– $500 a month in books sold. I think I need more books out and I need to get what I have out re-written so it comes across better. $500 is my starting goal, as I need to build my novel listings and short stories. I think a consistent paycheck of $500 a month would help convince me (I wrote my family first, but it’s really me that needs the external validation) that this writing thing is going to pan out and be a viable livelihood.

Without that knowledge that this could really work, in those moments of self-doubt, I want to remove all my books, delete my blog and my email accounts and close up shop for writing. Then I’ll just go get a safe job and be safe, secure and slightly unfulfilled for the rest of my life. (I should print that off as a reminder).

In the first link on diligence there is a link to a post by  Cal Newport (he wrote Study Hacks and How to be a College Superstar- both of which are awesome books), the main message is “Get so good, they can’t ignore you.”

It’s hard to get that good, it’s hard to do the repetitive stuff everyday until you can’t be ignored. I just want to be celebrated RIGHT NOW. (I also want to be rich off my writing, starting next week).

But, if I don’t do the work I can never be celebrated. And a lot of people we celebrate were never acknowledged as success during their lifetime (occasionally, it did come in their later years).

So, back to the grindstone it is with these things in mind:

If we keep practicing, we will get good enough that we can’t be ignored.

I really do love writing and will continue to do so, even if I make $500 or have 500 blog hits per year.

Are you the patient type who can easily spend their time putting in their 10,000 hours of practice to reach excellence? Or would you rather find a magic lamp tomorrow and suddenly have success tomorrow?

I wrote story like that once, terrible story, but the girl who had three wishes, didn’t want success to just come, she wanted her own genius to be recognized, because she was talented she just didn’t have the experience put in yet.
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#Row80 Check in

My first Row80 check in. Goals have not been on the top of my mind this week.

Let’s see.

Goal #1 750 words, 5 days a week. I wrote 7 days this week, no idea on my word count as I forgot to keep track. It’s not a habit of mine, as long as I write I’m generally happy.

Goal #2 blog twice a week. Going well, been doing random life posts on Mondays and Fun on Fridays and the occasional writerly thing scheduled for the middle of the week.

Goal #3 Go to the park and for a walk. Went to the park on Thursday with Boy, while Girl was at Karate, even though it was freezing with wind.

Goal #4. yard clean up in progress. Our new place has an enormous amount of trees and thus a great big deal of leaves.  We did 6 bags of leaves in the fall before the snow fell, the rest got shoved in a pile, we did 13 this spring and I have probably 3-5 more to do. Although some are going in my new compost bin, as soon as there is time to build that. And y’know lack of wind. (Okay there is never lack of wind, it’s the prairies).

Goal #5. Retweet by using mentions. I think more than half my tweet this week were with mentions of users, many people thanked me. I read this post. I read this post yesterday, titled The Twitter Thanking Crisis. Basically a lot of people tweet messages that seem like thank-yous, but are actually self-promotion. Some good tips and some ranting in the post.  Any thoughts on the topic? Do you engage in some of the activities she writes about? (I do, but they aren’t the only things I tweet, so I think I’m okay).

Happy Easter. My children got a bit of candy and Just Dance 3, which the boy is less than thrilled about; he loves the first one, but this one has songs he’s unfamiliar at this moment, a month from now will be a different story.  I will say it’s way more complicated than the first one, they don’t always show you the next move, relying on you to remember.

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Check in day, check in Day. #Row80 goals and shinies

I’m feeling whimsical and giddy tonight, thus my post title. IT works best if you say it in a sing-song voice.

Okay, I’m going to try to focus right now. See it’s working. I’m recalling my goals.

Editing: i’m still on the fence with the editor thing, if I do hire one I need to wait until I get my writing money in. Or do I? I’m nervous. I need to send some stuff off for quotes. Tomorrow: I will suck it up and do this.

Writing: eh, I’ve spent too much time with this fantasy so I’m writing it. It’s *gasp* Fan Fic. I just need to get it out of my head so I can move on.

Exercise: trying for a Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday work out schedule.

House: going very nicely. I have some projects I’ve done in the past week or so that shall be up on House Tuesday, but due to the total lack of much to say about anything, I’m only doing House Tuesday every other week, to stretch it out a bit.

Blog: I am still working out a change in my voice, my writing style for this blog. Just the topics are not coming to me very fast, so it’s a work in progress. I understand the high concept, but I have not been putting it into practice the past two-three weeks now. Stats are down.

Rethinking my Pinterest deletion. Just have to be careful about Pinning and visit the site and see if they encourage repinning, then I can pin. Everything else will be bookmarked via Delicious. There are lots of people who are seeing huge increases in traffic from Pinterest. which means, note to self, must find a way to make pictures more frequent and fit into the high concept mode, because pictures are central on Pinterest and becoming more important in social media period.

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Negative motivation

When we put off unpleasant tasks, we often try a number of ways to motivate ourselves to get the task done.

One of the most common ones is negative self-talk. We tell ourselves we are bad for not doing it. We shame ourselves, we should be doing this. Maybe it comes from the idea of conditional love, that we are not good people if we don`t get this task done.

One of the worst verbs is “should”. As my daughter would say, “it’s evil”

When you should yourself, does it make you get up and do the task you`ve been dreading?

Probably you want to do it even less.

What if you talked to yourself a different way?

First off, do you really need to do the task yourself? Can you delegate it someone else?

If the answers are the task needs to be done by you, start thinking of ways to make the task enjoyable. Whether you give yourself a reward afterward, put on some music while you do the task or involve someone else.

Still having trouble getting up and getting that task done?

Estimate how long the task will take. If it will take a couple hours break it down into 15-30 minute chunks and set a timer. For most tasks I find myself putting off, such as stacking the dishwasher, it only takes about 10 minutes maximum to get it done. Get up and just do it. Sometimes, that`s all you need.

#Row80 Check in February 8, How do you want to feel

Okay the check in bits.

Goals: editing. I got good (if frustrating) feedback from my first round betas. So I am working on fixing that. After I get it sent off for a second round, then I shall go back to working on this ambitious idea I have.  Or writing smut. Or fan fiction. I haven`t decided what.

Blogging: I was doing well, until my hubby`s days off hit and we had truck running around to do. Will hop back on the horse when he goes back to work. but we do have a shiny orange truck. Hey I see my last two check-in made to draft status but was never posted. Good job me! :P

Exercising: I am getting back on track.  And I am trying to get some outside time with my son, but it got cold here and again. And windy, freaking prairies I tell ya!

Housecleaning: it`s kitchen week and since the kitchen isn`t cluttered with stuff I can get rid of, I clean off all the counters once, glare at people as they mess them up and never do much else. I need to make up a list of cleaning stuff to do during this week.

Earlier in the week I stumbled upon (not via stumble upon, just through a blog) Danielle LaPorte`s Burning Questions series and this week was about How do you want to feel?

The best one I read  was Ì want paying bills to feel like writing thank-you notes.`I want that too. This blog had some good feelings.

But anyway some of mine.

I want my day to feel like a filled up heart.

I want kissing to feel like melted chocolate.

I want my next success to feel like I touched the heart of the universe.

I want my body to feel like it just had a good stretch, massage and then soak in a hot tub.

I want smiling to feel like biting into a pineapple.

I want my friendships to feel like slipping into a tub of hot water. easy, accessible when I want.

I want my nervous system to feel like nursing a newborn baby.

I want my money-making to feel like playing with puppies and also, wearing your most comfortable pair of jeans.

I want the end of the day to feel like silk pajamas, hot chocolate and a laying on the perfect mattress.

I want my challenges to feel falling in love, a little exciting, a little scary, and I will jump in with both feet.

I want my love to feel like a warm bed.

I want my writing to feel like stretching my body.

I want my ideas to feel like reading tarot cards an unfolding mystery.

I want my house to feel like an open canvas.

I want my life to feel Unwritten.

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#Row80 Checkin January 25

This week in the life of Asrai: husband got a truck loan, so I get to drive the new truck, because he’s selling the old truck and neither of us feel safe with the kids in the micro-car. It’s a Kia Rio.

I finished Dragon Ages: Origins and become Queen!! of Ferelden. I <3 Alistair.  I need to stay away from fan fiction involving Alistair or Bann Teagan. It’s romantic word-crack.

And my son wound up with a chest infection and on antibiotics and now I have a cough. So, I’m whiney. On with the goals.

Writing goals:

Edit 5 days a week, 1 hour a day  After editing is done, write 250 words 5 days a week or 1250 words per week.

I’m not even tracking the hour anymore. But I am beginning to hate the book I was editing so I decided it was time for beta readers and I’ll go onto the next book. I haven’t looked at it since October.


Get outside 5 days a week.

Since we are all dying, we walk to and from school because it’s super close and it’s super warm this week. (Yeah thanks weather and furnace, couldn’t have gone out THIS week).

Exercise with EA active 4 times per week

I’m several work-outs behind. See above whining for why I’ve fallen behind.

Plan meals (gotta get our budget under control).

All meals planned for this week. Sweet.

Read one book and watch one movie a week as per the fifty-fifty challenge.

Almost done Carly Philips book “Kiss Me If You Can“. Not sure if I’ll do a fiction or non-fiction next. I’m trying to alternate but I’m reading this one and Indie Journey at the same time. I guess it should be a fiction I start next since I started the fiction one first … okay I’m babbling.

Go to bed by 11 PM

It’s 11:30 right now, so I’m not making it today. I’ve been playing with pintrest and Goodreads (applying for the author program).

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Creating new habits: The world around you

There is a story in Switch about a factory that used a flammable chemical in their process. Not surprising was there were a number of fires. The head of the company sent a memo asking workers not to set fires. I never figured out if it was a true story os just a point.

Often we believe that problems occur because of people either in their rational minds or emotional ones, and if they just tried harder theyd change. But sometimes it is the world around us that just needs to be changed.

1) Change the environment. We all follow the path to least resistance, so make things easy. Or at least visible. A sticky note, not turning on the TV or computer until you’ve done X amount of work, going somewhere you don’t have Internet so you can work.

2) Habits. Flylady talks a lot about making habits or routines. I have a bad habit of vegging after supper and leaving the dishes until morning. Instead I’ve been unloading the dishwasher first thing and loading it right after supper.

3) Use peer pressure. The best way to keep a gaol or resolution is to have at least one partner doing it with you. If you promise a friend to meet at the gym every day you are less likely to skip gym sessions. Or for writing check the #Row80 and #amwriting hashtags for writing sprints. We succeed in groups. #WAna1011

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