Epic Fails

I recently blew up everything.  

In August I decided to just do what I would do if I could not fail.

  • I finished and submitted True Blue Lies. (A mystery/romance)
  • I finished a full-on Teachable class on Journaling and set up the elaborate promotion system to sell the class for the month of  September.
  • I finished and submitted wild and crazy poems to 15 journals.
  • I got my first tattoo.
cubist Old Fashion Typewriter

And by September 30 the results were in!

The only thing that worked was the tattoo.  Pretty happy with it.

Every other project failed in a very big, very public, very spectacular way.

The response and the results came to exactly zero.   

It is said that the only things we regret are the things we never tried. Had I not tried the online class,  I would have always wondered, what if?  If I hadn’t submitted the manuscript, I would have wondered, what if?  If I hadn’t submitted the poetry . . . You get the idea.  I would love to always win,  always be successful, wouldn’t we all?  But how much emptier life would be if we never tried in the first place.  We must keep trying and practice not only our art but our resilience.  The big win is learning that it is not the response to your slam poem, it’s the win of standing up to read, and not dying in the attempt.  It’s learning that you become a better writer every time (and I really mean every time) you run through another edit of your book.  The win is knowing that organizing new ways to promote your art is exciting rather than debilitating.

To that end, I’m giving my blog a break.   

Follow my ideas and discoveries on my newsletter (sign up on the web site – www.Catharine-Bramkamp.com  or on my FB Page – https://www.facebook.com/ChangeYourOwnMind  

Thank you.

What About Journaling?

Can you journal?

As humans, we are all storytellers, and how we record our stories is often a function of available technology. Video, text, recordings, are all legitimate and interesting ways to tell a story. However, if you want to change, you need to write it all out.  To truly and beautiful change your own mind, how you think and how you react, the best system is to write by hand.  Old fashion, effective.

Old fashion typewriter

Should I share my journal?

By every god, no.  If you write thinking someone else will read, it will change your work, and not for the better.  You want the truth, you want change, you don’t want an audience.

 I know everything about Journaling 

I take classes, seminars and re-invent my approach all the time.  We come to the page differently every day.  Maybe you become adept at spinning all your journal writing to be positive and transformative.  Great!  The next big step is to use your creative time to invent something brand new.  

What if I don’t have time to journal?

I hear you. We are busy. You can make an effective change by journaling for ten minutes a day. In my journaling classes, we review how to find that ten minutes and how to maximize it so you reap all the life-changing benefits of journal writing in the available time you have.

Want to change your life this September?  Join us at the Story-U campus.  

Click to enroll now  – enrollment closes September 30 –  https://story-university.teachable.com/

At the End of Summer

Of all the writing advice, the most difficult to do, the scariest thing to try: leave the phone behind.

When it comes to creativity, you probably already employee all these creativity hacks:

  • Show up every day to write, at roughly the same time, because the Muse keeps appointments.    
  • Protect your writing time and treat it like a job.  
  • Jettison negative people from your life.  If you belong to a club or have a group of friends who are killing your creativity, you leave.  Have you left yet?  Of course, you have.
  • Take up an alternative hobby, if you write, play music.  If you play music, dance.  If you dance, keep a journal.
  • Sign up for a community college extension class in the theory and uses of Greek pottery.
  • Break down your goals into manageable chunks of time and effort 
  • Keep a journal.
  • Deep study a new subject.
  • Read deeply.
  • Sleep well.

But what about the phone?

We need our phones.  There are friends to check on, FOMO to nurture, puppies to capture, kitten to share.

Add to your writing hack list:  leave the phone behind.

Yuba river

I left my phone behind on one of our last summer mornings.  

My husband and I climbed into the truck and bounced down a very long one-way dirt road to Purdon’s Crossing, part of the Yuba River. 

 We hiked down to the water’s edge and spent the morning on hot rocks, in cool water, under green pines, next to a dog with a horrible high yipping bark that kept up for an hour and a half.  

First: no one missed me.

Second: it was like getting time back. 

It was a perfect summer day with no filters, no photo ops.   He drove, I gazed out the window.  We talked. I relished the wind in my face and messy hair because at the river, no one cares.  I was in no danger of submitting to a casual photograph. Not once did I need to suck in my stomach.   

 I had time to concentrate on the light, the sounds.  I focused on climbing down a face of rocks to the water’s edge then took my time strategizing how to ascend those same rocks without tipping backward and killing myself. It was not climbing the face of Half Dome, but for me, it was challenging enough.

What I gained was a 1,000 more words for my book project.  A 1,000 words that often take hours to squeeze out of my brain, suddenly presented themselves Sunday afternoon. 

 I wasted an entire morning not only without the phone but without an agenda or even a goal.  I thought I was doing absolutely nothing. 

Turned out it was time well spent.

 Get a jump on your own writing hacks, take a class!

Enrollment closes September 30 –  https://story-university.teachable.com/