Affirmations & Intention Statements

Interview with novelist Ben Aaronovitch

Thoughts on results of my latest #PitMad submission

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
Although I'm not averse to reading positive stories, I've definitely got the typical British stoicism running through my veins: don't complain, make the best of things and keep a stiff upper lip when motivating myself.

The problem with being long-suffering is that it turns into self-indulgent masochism. Keeping my nose to the grindstone might be virtuous, but with my sense of smell destroyed, I can longer appreciate how much my situation stinks! We all need immense amounts of patience to be writers but as George Jackson cautioned:

Patience has its limits. Take it too far and it's cowardice.

I'm becoming increasingly impatient with the time it takes to interest literary agents in representing me to secure a traditional publishing contract, so I'm planning a return to self-publishing. To do so effectively means entering the hoopla of blogging, tweeting and posting on social media, which I don't wanna do!

giphy.gif


Life is too much "Look at me...me, me, me" these days, with people getting momentary amusement from often meaningless twaddle. In selling myself as an author and marketing my books as commercial products, I hope to pen online content that entices readers prepared to devote time to my stories. I'm unsure how to do so.

I've been discussing various aspects of commerce with my best friend, who lives on South Island of New Zealand. She runs a jewellery importation business, sourcing stock from Turkey and India, selling rings, bracelets and necklaces directly to customers at markets and through online ads. Trade is up and down, sometimes she does well, other times it's a lot of effort for little profit.

Like me, she's very determined/stubborn/tenacious, but, unlike me, she believes in a higher power. Not necessarily an all-powerful god, more tapping into a universal force that radiates benevolence when contacted. She does so through intention statements, writing down what it is she wants to achieve. She recently suggested that I do the same for my writing career.

I'm familiar with positive affirmations and have collected pithy sayings, quotes, proverbs and verse for twenty years, amassing several thousand of them, but I've never done anything so cosmically optimistic before as listing my wants and needs.

How To Write An Intention Statement And Set An Intention For The Day

Just about the only way I motivate myself is to say Do It! I adopted this catchphrase in 1972 after reading a book by counterculture social activist Jerry Rubin.

Do It: Scenarios of the Revolution.: Amazon.co.uk: Jerry. Rubin: 9780671206017: Books

A story won't exist unless I do it. It won't get published unless I do it. I'm pragmatic in this way, but maybe writing down what I intend would help to define my books and their future.

Do any of you use affirmations to comfort and motivate yourself?

Have you written an intention statement?

Did it help?

It worked for Octavia E. Butler:

Octavia E. Butler Wrote The Story Of Her Success Years Before It Happened

56ab97371a00001001ab1957.jpeg








 
Although I'm not averse to reading positive stories, I've definitely got the typical British stoicism running through my veins: don't complain, make the best of things and keep a stiff upper lip when motivating myself.

The problem with being long-suffering is that it turns into self-indulgent masochism. Keeping my nose to the grindstone might be virtuous, but with my sense of smell destroyed, I can longer appreciate how much my situation stinks! We all need immense amounts of patience to be writers but as George Jackson cautioned:

Patience has its limits. Take it too far and it's cowardice.

I'm becoming increasingly impatient with the time it takes to interest literary agents in representing me to secure a traditional publishing contract, so I'm planning a return to self-publishing. To do so effectively means entering the hoopla of blogging, tweeting and posting on social media, which I don't wanna do!

giphy.gif


Life is too much "Look at me...me, me, me" these days, with people getting momentary amusement from often meaningless twaddle. In selling myself as an author and marketing my books as commercial products, I hope to pen online content that entices readers prepared to devote time to my stories. I'm unsure how to do so.

I've been discussing various aspects of commerce with my best friend, who lives on South Island of New Zealand. She runs a jewellery importation business, sourcing stock from Turkey and India, selling rings, bracelets and necklaces directly to customers at markets and through online ads. Trade is up and down, sometimes she does well, other times it's a lot of effort for little profit.

Like me, she's very determined/stubborn/tenacious, but, unlike me, she believes in a higher power. Not necessarily an all-powerful god, more tapping into a universal force that radiates benevolence when contacted. She does so through intention statements, writing down what it is she wants to achieve. She recently suggested that I do the same for my writing career.

I'm familiar with positive affirmations and have collected pithy sayings, quotes, proverbs and verse for twenty years, amassing several thousand of them, but I've never done anything so cosmically optimistic before as listing my wants and needs.

How To Write An Intention Statement And Set An Intention For The Day

Just about the only way I motivate myself is to say Do It! I adopted this catchphrase in 1972 after reading a book by counterculture social activist Jerry Rubin.

Do It: Scenarios of the Revolution.: Amazon.co.uk: Jerry. Rubin: 9780671206017: Books

A story won't exist unless I do it. It won't get published unless I do it. I'm pragmatic in this way, but maybe writing down what I intend would help to define my books and their future.

Do any of you use affirmations to comfort and motivate yourself?

Have you written an intention statement?

Did it help?

It worked for Octavia E. Butler:

Octavia E. Butler Wrote The Story Of Her Success Years Before It Happened

56ab97371a00001001ab1957.jpeg









If your books haven't attracted an agent then write something that will. I know my books will probably never find an agent because they don't fit into an appropriate shelf in a book store, or the agent doesn't know who to send them to because the books are about religion, not the inspirational kind, but the mundane one; and there is no publisher or shelf that can accommodate "mundane religious books".

That's the reason I can't find an agent, not because I can't write. What do your books have that an agent can't find a shelf to put them on or a publisher who will take them?

And like I said, once you've discovered that, you either change them or you write something else that will fit on a shelf in a book store. That's what I'm doing, and thoroughly enjoying my new phase as a writer. Mind you it's also thanks to being here with Litopians who have, maybe unknowingly, encouraged me to do that.
 
I've heard of writing your goals down and visualising yourself there. It's worked for this guy who self publishes. I think this was the book (I've read and enjoyed a few of his):


He's really helpful if you want to self publish.
 
My NZ friend sent me a book that she swears by. Although I've read a lot of self-help books, I opened the package with some trepidation.

My friend's go-to book is called I'm Rich Beyond My Wildest Dreams: I am. I am. I am. How To Get Everything You Want In Life. No kidding, that's the title. Written by father and daughter team Thomas L. Pauley and Penelope J. Pauley, it describes a system to get exactly what you need from life.

Amazon.com: I'm Rich Beyond My Wildest Dreams: How to Get Everything You Want in Life eBook: Thomas L Pauley, Penelope Pauley: Kindle Store

There's lots of talk of God, which would normally be a turn-off for me, but my friend advised me to not be put off by that (she's not religious either), but to think instead of some other beloved deity—like my long-dead cat Pushkin—who ruled my life for a decade. I've read half of it so far, wincing a bit, while also thinking "That might work." It's well-written, drawing the reader in with lots of teases and hints and "aw shucks" humbleness to make it sound like they don't know it all.

I'll let you know what I think of it when I finish. To be honest, I can do with all the positivity I can get. It's hard to self-motivate, to carry on believing in me as an author and my books as commercial stories, when there's no acceptance or real feedback from literary agents. Writing books that aren't read reminds me of that conundrum about how if a tree falls in a forest, and there's no one to hear it fall, does it make a noise? Do my books really exist without readers?

Just this morning, I came across a similar self-actualisation technique following a link in a writer's newsletter to this article about vision letters:

The world's most successful people swear by penning a 'vision letter', here's how to write yours...

As an experiment, I've tried writing out a list of intention statements, just five of them in a document on my desktop. I consult it from time to time—it's almost like seeing a positive life coach version of me! :D


 
Someone telling me how to self help would get short shrift. It seems like a contradiction in terms.
Everyone wants different things thinking they will make them happier but I have yet to meet someone who is fully content.
I live in Thailand and quite like the philosophy behind Buhdism but most priests I know are no different to normal people.
If you want to reach a state of pure contentment I think a full frontal lobotomy might be the way to go. By nature we are discontent which is what makes us do things and why humans progress. Imagine if everyone was content with their lot; nothing would get done. We would all sit around grinning at each other and what a nightmare that would be.
 
Someone telling me how to self help would get short shrift. It seems like a contradiction in terms.
Everyone wants different things thinking they will make them happier but I have yet to meet someone who is fully content.
I live in Thailand and quite like the philosophy behind Buhdism but most priests I know are no different to normal people.
If you want to reach a state of pure contentment I think a full frontal lobotomy might be the way to go. By nature we are discontent which is what makes us do things and why humans progress. Imagine if everyone was content with their lot; nothing would get done. We would all sit around grinning at each other and what a nightmare that would be.

George Bernard Shaw would agree with you:

george-bernard-shaw-quotes.jpg
 
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Interview with novelist Ben Aaronovitch

Thoughts on results of my latest #PitMad submission

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