Shocking news out this week: we are not perfect beings. I know. What the fuck? I want to speak to the manager.
We have meltdowns, some more publicly than others (see my latest Huffington Post article on NYTimes bestselling author Ayelet Waldman’s most unfortunate Twitter rant because they failed to choose her for their 100 Most Notable Books of 2014), and hopefully some of us learn, or at least learn to move the hell on. Want to know what helps me focus when I just don’t care? Let’s deconstruct.
THE FOUR AGREEMENTS
In working with authors and clients, I recommend reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz — it’s a short little book full of practical wisdom. For writers (or any kind of artist-person or well, person-person), the most important agreement is this: don’t take anything personally. People think I have a third eye when I say that. Crazy woman! How can we not take it personally when someone calls us stupid or says our book is awful?
But I don’t. Because it says so much more about that person and their perceptions and life experience than it does about me. Maybe it’s a way to fool ourselves, but so what? It works. Maybe it’s the same as Madonna’s blunt lyric in Human Nature: “I’m not your bitch, don’t hang your shit on me.” All I know is, it’s a way to cope with the sting and move on, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.
QUOTES AND SHIT
I avoided sharing quotes for THE longest time, because I felt that inspirational BS was just that — a bunch of rainbows and unicorns that amounted to jack. And for what it’s worth, I still think that. However, I now share poetry quotes and the occasional empowerment or feminism quote that resonate with me. Quotes that you don’t see very often (I hope). I also share quotes from my own work, or from other writes that I enjoy. Call it ‘soft marketing’ or whatever — mostly it’s about sharing my work and the work of others — quotes that makes us think.
I’ve found the best quotes on Pinterest and Goodreads — Pinterest is easy because many quotes are already in a visual format. Simply pin and share, or schedule them in using Hootsuite or Buffer. However, you do have to be careful. Sometimes, a quote is mis-attributed or not attributed at all which, as a writer, is a total no-no. I only pick quotes that are given attribution, and heads up, if it sounds too modern for say, Einstein or Darwin to have said ‘hustle,’ it is. Skip it.
Facebook and Twitter love videos. You’ll get more shares from those than just about anything else. But what to share beyond a cat video?
I don’t like sharing what everyone else is sharing. Everyone loves Buzzfeed and Upworthy and they are great sites, no doubt. But I want cool stuff, things that 50K other people haven’t already seen. Where to go?
Here are some cool alternative sites with neat stuff (I especially like aplus.com):
So on those days when you’re not feeling perfect, visit a few of these sites and feel good, get tingly, and share something that makes you focus on something besides that zit the size of Mount Rushmore on your chin or the fact that your boss is a jerk. None of that will matter next week, right?
Keep moving forward and stuff.