#075 - How to overcome an addiction to email and social media

Jul 04, 2016, 01:12 AM

Sounds a bit far-fetched perhaps, but I promise it's true.

The idea for my first ever novel—ELIXIR Project—came to me in a dream the night of October 8th, 2014. The next day I woke up and typed a few short notes on my phone.

It was a very loose idea at first, but the more I thought about it, the more the clarity came. It took nearly 8 months before I mustered up the courage to go from notes on my phone to a word document. I started writing the story on July 11, 2015.

As a 6-time traditionally published non-fiction author, writing my first fiction book was soooo slow. I enrolled in a fiction writing class, read half-a-dozen other fiction books in my genre, and justified hours upon hours of procrastination as "research" time.

I wanted to quit many times. Who would know the difference anyways? No one expected me to write a young adult fiction novel. Besides I could slip out the back door and pretend nobody even saw me.

Except that I know. And I have to look in the mirror everyday and stare straight into the face of deep regret. The chronic pain of regret is far more costly than the acute pain of plowing forward. And so I wrote. Quitting wasn't a viable option.

It took me a little over 10 months to write 42,000 words. With just a month left to meet my editor's deadline (June 22, 2016), I knew hitting my goal of 75,000 words was nearly impossible. I suddenly became aware why it was taking so long.

I was addicted to email and social media—using it as a means of distracting me from writing my novel.

Answering email and interacting on social media gave me the illusion of accomplishing something. I felt like I was being productive, only I wasn't doing the real work. I craved an email, just so I could justify jumping away from the novel and helping someone else in need. Or I enjoyed engaging with others on social media because it allowed me to add value to someone else and get immediate feedback, rather than doing the tough work of writing a novel.

After I became aware of my toxic tendencies, I made significant changes to my mindset, patterns, and personal rules surrounding my work. Sure a deadline helped, but in the next 30 days, I wrote another 43,000 words, surpassing my goal and finishing the manuscript at just over 85,000 words.

Remember, I am a VERY slow writer—a "crafter," not a "drafter." This means I go back and edit often when I write, something that's not helpful for speed or momentum.

Regardless, in the writing process I learned so many things about myself, productivity, and addictions. In this week's podcast episode, I give you the raw truth about how to eliminate distractions and addictions and get your real work done. Don't expect motivation or flowery language.

I give it to you straight because I know you don't want to live with regret either.

The world needs your brand, book, or business and delaying isn't helping anyone, especially you.

In the episode I reference a wonderful tool called Focus@will which combines neuroscience + music to boost productivity and tune out distractions. Click here for your FREE trial. http://bit.ly/FocusAtWillNow

Important Announcements:

#IgnitingSouls16: Are you coming to our annual Igniting Souls Conference? It's in Columbus, Ohio on October 22-23 - Our theme is Becoming Unhackable and you can't afford to miss it. Click the link for speakers, schedule, deliverables, testimonies, and more. Tickets are almost sold out. http://www.ignitingsoulsconference.com

ELIXIR Project VIP Launch Experience: It's free. It's application only. And it's where my heart is the next 6 months...investing in whoever makes the cut. All the details will be released next week. As a subscriber, you have the first shot. Stay tuned.

How to take back control of your calendar: Free web class. In just over 60 minutes discover how you can regain control of you life and become a Master in the Art of Living. Watch it now. Limited-time replay. Includes free webinar ...