Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Thought it was about time I posted on here. January passed in a bit of a blur for me - work was exhausting and frustrating, zapping a lot of my energy, but at the same time that situation fuelled my motivation to focus on more positive, creative projects. It helped that on my journeys to and from work (I travel by train) I read ‘Carnegie’s Call: Developing the Success Habit’ by Michael Malone. I couldn’t have picked a better time to read a book like this.

The opening quote; ‘If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and transpires your hopes.’ (Andrew Carnegie) sets the tone for the book. Michael interviewed successful Scots for the book, exploring the motivation behind their success and obstacles they had to overcome; providing inspirational insights into their lives. I particularly liked the little exercises at the end of each section, suggesting ways in which you can make positive changes and ultimately ‘develop the success habit.’

This book helped me maintain a positive frame of mind when I felt a bit overwhelmed at times by the craziness of work and kept me focused on the important things I want to achieve in life (mainly relating to writing) but it also reminded me to focus on the important aspects of my day job and why I chose to be a careers adviser in the first place (to help clients, hopefully in some way encouraging and motivating them).
You can purchase Michael's book here

I don’t always make New Year resolutions but this year I’ve set myself a goal to send more of my writing out. (Far too guilty of writing a story, maybe submitting it once, then deciding it’s not good enough or just having a mental block about not sending it out!) To help keep focused on my goal I bought myself a special diary where I’ve written inspirational quotes (from last year’s calendar) at the start of each month, marked in deadlines for competitions and submissions, and also make a note against the date I send something off. I’ve also left spaces for noting any successes I have for the month. It helps that the diary is full of lovely art work by Victoria Frances.

My success for February was winning Runner Up in the Words with JAM Bigger Short Story competition which means my story will be published in their anthology, coming out in June. I’m really excited as this will be my first print publication (every other success has been online).

A big part of my goal is the determination to let go of self doubt (which feels like the ‘after story’ version of writers block), where that question: ‘But is it good enough?’ keeps popping into my mind, disrupting what I really want to achieve. If I’ve enjoyed writing a story, and it evokes some kind of emotion in me, then it’s at least half way there I reckon!