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To have Grit: Tenacity in the World of Writing

I don't really know what happened. One day I was going to the gym everyday, reading as a member of a book club, working 8-5 five days a week, and the next I was quitting my job to move to a new area, traveling to Phuket, HaLong Bay and Hanoi, getting completely rejected from the PhD programs I applied to, accepted into, of all things, an MBA, and starting my own business. Somewhere along the way, all my routines fell apart.

I had a strict system: work, gym, write, make sure to have 30 submissions out at the top of every month.

Then things started to fall apart just a little at a time. People I knew were getting nominated for writing awards, a talented lady from high school was writing a book and getting hundreds of comments in support, a woman I look up to changed her career from writing due to lack of sales... All of these events and happenings plus my own PhD failures and my poetry's inability to interest a traditional publisher culminated into a loss of motivation. In this loss, I was struggling to decide if I would keep writing at all.

In the end, I lost my carefully crafted, relatively mundane, routine; I lost sight of my goals. Only now, months later, am I starting to re-organize and prioritize my goals. Starting an MBA has actually been a huge help with this, in that there is a large focus on management and goal setting. While this is geared towards a more professional workplace setting, I found that various aspects were helpful for me to try and get back on track that I thought I could share with you! We have this TED Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth, 'Grit: the power of passion and perseverance' which paired nicely with this article from Positive Psychology '5+ Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset Using Grit & Resilience.'

The idea is that super talented people don't have much of anything on those who are actually passionate and force themselves into uncomfortable scenarios in order to grow within their field. Even high achievers, those people that strive for straight A's in school or want to be in the highest position within their company aren't as likely to succeed as simply those people that push themselves over and over to get something done. There is no fixed mindset of 'Oh, I failed, guess I'm not good at this,' instead it's much more like 'I failed, time to do this again.' Fun fact, that ability and wanting to continue to grow in whatever it is you are doing and not limiting yourself is called a 'growth mindset.' Well worth a read. I actually found this to be inspiring. I don't want to look at what other people are doing anymore. I want to do what I want to do in the realm of writing, without feeling like I'm shit at it because of other people's success. That's petty as hell. In an attempt to get a better idea as to what my motivations and goals are in terms of writing (and my business), I plan to do a Self-SWOT analysis, set-up SMART goals, and try to create my own personal mission statement. This is what the structure of a self-SWOT analysis looks like btw:

Photo is from here (plus you can learn more about SWOT there as well)

Now, I'll be honest, I haven't done it yet as... I was updating my work, Where Nightmares Roam, but it is on my to-do list for later today. Let me know if it works for you or if you learned anything interesting from this post! Also, reminder! Nanowrimo is starting in a few weeks!

Best, Mea

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