July is a big month for me. The Scatterbrain's Guide to Improving Your Life with Kaizen launches today.
I have written about kaizen a lot on this blog and I think it's a philosophy which suits most people. The concept is that you make small, continuous changes. Simple, right? Of course, it's trickier in practice than in theory and this new Scatterbrain Guide provides strategies which can help you make dramatic improvements with minimal effort.
I'm also starting CampNaNoWriMo today! I aim to write 70,000 words of my current novel in July, hopefully ending up with a complete draft. I actually wrote 20,000 or 30,000 words of the novel in question at the beginning last year, but it didn't work. Its reincarnation is told from a different point of view and the plot has been streamlined. I think CampNaNoWriMo will give me the kickstart I need, because having a big goal leaves little time to worry and obsess over how bad the novel is and how I'm a terrible writer. I struggle with letting go when writing first drafts. Once it's written, I can turn my critical eye to it and set about improving the draft.
More generally, I want to develop a clear strategy for my freelance writing (and related services) career. Being a more prolific short story writer will be an essential part of the strategy, but I would like to earn a living through working with words so that I can come off ESA and won't have to deal with the pressures and stigma of receiving benefits. I believe that would help my mental health and being self-employed means I can work around my mental illness and don't have the stress of being disciplined for having too much time off work, which led to me resigning from my last job. Wish me luck!
In addition, I am plugging away at my mental health blog Resurfacing and Rewriting, which I hope will support, encourage and inspire other people with mental health problems — though many of the posts are relevant to everyone. So far, I have had one comment which wasn't spam! Having said that, I have had a lot of encouragement via Twitter (my handle is @HayleyNJones if you would like to follow me), which has taken over Instagram as my preferred method of procrastination. The project is very important to me and I view it as part of my life's purpose because I want to help break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.
So July is POWER MONTH and I plan to power through, giving my current projects a big kickstart/leap forward. I'm quite excited! Although a lot has changed for me so far this year, I haven't progressed as much as I intended. For the first time in forever, I feel like I have control of my life and I want to move forward — as fast as I can.