First World Writing Problem: My Never-Ending Manuscript

About three-ish years ago, I started a manuscript all about how to start a business. Around 18 months ago, it was almost finished. Then, I suffered the dreaded flash drive crash. I lost it. I had no back-up (like an idiot). You would think that I would have learned my lesson having suffered a similar fate about a year prior to that with some client files stored on a flash drive that dropped dead. But,no.

Anyway, I had to start my manuscript over. I created an outline and that’s what I did. The problem? It’s become the never-ending manuscript. See, the previous version was finished at around 15k words. Like, it was ready to have the loose ends tied up. This one? Nope. I’m at over 30k. I still have three sections to complete.

I know that doesn’t sound like a BFD to anyone because most writers deal with writer’s block. I don’t. I suffer from the opposite: idea diarrhea. I keep thinking of shit to go back and add to previous sections because I want people to really get the most information possible out of this book. And the idea diarrhea is starting to piss me off. Because with the way my brain works, the book may never end.

Idea diarrhea

It’s also an overstimulation of my poor brain. I had a great day yesterday (and the day before and the day before and, well, just keep going back for a couple of months). Last night, I thought hey I’ll just sit down and work on this…there’s only three more sections!

Within two hours, I was fucking pissed. Not at anything in particular other than myself. I like my writing. I like my book. It was just overstimulating to keep going back and adding to different things and. I was totally worked up and stressed up and had to stop working on it.

This morning, as I piddled around the house (we’re doing our Thanksgiving tomorrow) listening to a Tony Robbins podcast, I had yet another idea to add. It was a good one. I never did make it to my laptop to jot it down. I’ve since forgotten it (and that’s probably not a bad thing).

By the way, this WordPress update fucking sucks.I’m writing my initial post in Word to copy it over because if I backspace onetime in WordPress to correct a problem, the whole fucking post disappears. It’s also not properly spacing between words. Get your shit together, WordPress.

Buzzword Killer: Biohacking

“Biohack” your life for a better experience! Be faster! Be better! Be happier! Be more productive! Blah. Blah. Blah. I mean, sure the word sounds cool. And if using a cool word gets you excited, by all means please do it. I’m all for whatever helps you as an individual. 

But I want to dissect this buzzword “biohack” (or “biohacking”). The root of the word is bio. You know, life. We all know what “hacking” is in the sense of life. I’m sure all of you have heard of Life Hacker. Maybe you’ve watched the TruTV show Hack My Life. Even if you’ve not read / watched those, you’ve found a shortcut that you use to make your life easier. 

Biohack = Doing What Works for You

Some of the articles I’ve read on biohacking list some crazy shit. Well, what I would find to be crazy. For some people, it might work perfectly well. And that’s kinda the point I want to make with this. Don’t get overwhelmed by a buzzword especially if you look into it because people seem to be raving about it and getting up at 5 am, running 12 miles, and drinking black unsweetened coffee with grass-fed butter and coconut oil (okay, I get up early most days and I like the butter coffee shit) and that shit isn’t anything that interests you…or that you dread it. (Although if you’re struggling with time management, stop hitting snooze. Get up earlier – self-discipline!)

Try out productivity methods, morning routines, afternoon routines, aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, hot baths, or hanging upside down from a tree by your toes (be careful) if that’s what interests you. Find the little things you can do in life that make you look forward to your day and that make you feel better. 

My Routine

Out of the blue, I was asked about what I do in the mornings to prepare myself. I don’t mind discussing it. I have CPTSD and AFib. Working from home can be a repetitive and monotonous experience. I enjoy it most of the time, but there are times I don’t. It can be hard to separate yourself out when you live where you work. Amirite? So, my “biohacking” (routine) looks like this:

  1. Hour of Power, as Tony Robbins calls it. I get up, take my supplements, drink some water, feed the dogs, and workout in some way. Sometimes, I go to the gym and sometimes I just do yoga at home. I meditate after. I also answer the Morning Power Questions.
  2. “Bulletproof” coffee. You can make it yourself. You don’t have to buy it. I buy a ghee / coconut oil blend I use to put into the coffee. Make sure you do your research before doing this. Some people get an upset tummy if they get too much oil. Don’t make yourself sick. If you don’t like coffee, don’t do this. I love coffee. I like it as dark as my soul. 
  3. I drink my greens. Good nutrition is an important component of my life. I get dressed if I’m still in workout apparel. You feel better if you get dressed. It’s science
  4. While either drinking my coffee or my greens, I plan my day. I have a Panda Planner. I also have three notebooks. I’ve also used OneNote. I also have a project management software I rely on during my day. I think about my end goal. What do I want to get out of this day? I take 1% of my day (15%) to plan out the other 99%. My plans are also based on my monthly goals which I set with a group of ladies every month. I write down, in advance, all appointments and such that I must attend. I work everything else around it. I also think about Brendon Buchard’s four questions that help high performers continue to perform at a high level.
  5. I work when I am most productive. I embrace the deep work concept to some degree. Because I have AFib and CPTSD, some days are better than others. I am usually focused in the morning and early afternoon. If I have a lot of appointments or errands, I rest during the day and do something fun…and I work in the afternoon / evening when everyone is settled. 
  6. I drink a fuck ton of water during the day. Turns out, that AFib causes your body to use more water. I drink close to 100 ounces of water today (and no, I don’t force it). It helps me feel better. I also take certain supplements three times per day (for AFib support). 
  7. When I get stressed, I am learning to take a break. My favorite break is to take a hot bubble bath in the middle of the day. Sometimes I go out into the backyard and just hang out. I’ll work on my loom. I just try to recharge. 

Those are the things that work best for me. What works best for you? Leave a comment!

How to Write an Upwork Proposal Clients Can’t Turn Down

I get a lot of questions about Upwork and about freelancing in general. By the way, save yourself some hassle and don’t call yourself a freelancer. Just call yourself self-employed or a business owner. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration by doing that. People hear the word “freelancer” and they translate it to “unemployed.” Anyway, the most common question I’m asked is: how can I write an Upwork proposal that clients can’t turn down? (By the way, you can listen to this on YouTube or on Spreaker; while you’re there, make sure and subscribe, would you? And share with your friends).  Read more

Write. The. Book.

New writer on Facebook to a group that’s supposed to be helpful: Should I write the book? (gives details of a novel that is historical fiction)

Wannabe writer 1: No, you shouldn’t. You’re not a history teacher. You have no business writing that.

Me: Write the book. I’m a paralegal with textbook credits in books used for doctorate students. Don’t worry about experience – write the book.

Wannabe writer 2 replies to me: Hers is different because it’s fiction. She shouldn’t write it because she doesn’t know what it’s like to be poor and live back then.

Me: I said it once and I’ll say it again. Write the book. Don’t worry about these other people who don’t have experience and shouldn’t tell you what you should (or shouldn’t) do since they don’t have experience. I don’t care if it’s fiction or a textbook. You have a world of knowledge at your fingertips. Write the book.

Yall, stop trying to tell people they shouldn’t write books if they don’t have direct experience. There are interviews, research books, and websites that can help them create their book. Just because YOU feel inferior doesn’t mean you should place your feelings on others. That’s called projection.