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Create Journal Thrive

Why You Need to Show Up (Even When You’re Not Feeling It)

Here’s another myth and misconception: creators would be creating whether or not we were getting paid to do it. This argument is most often used in an attempt to devalue a creator’s work. “Why are you charging X? You’d make it just for fun anyway.” The things is… no. I would still create, absolutely, but not at this pace, with this focus and intensity. For creators who do this for a living, it’s why you need to show up even when you’re not feeling it.


“Most of us have an expectation that we should feel in the mood to do something. We should be excited, rested, focused. And when we do it, it should be easy, comfortable, fun, pleasurable. Something like that.”

Leo Babauta


This job is not easy. It is not always fun. That’s the reality even when I’m not struggling to manage my spoons. There are days when, just like any other job, I have to psych myself up to go to work. I need to remember the big picture. Sometimes I just need to think about the bills that need to be paid.

Most of the time I can find my excitement for a project, and let that carry me along. After all, I chose to write this particular book for a reason. Commercial prospects aside, there was something in it that interested me. There was something that I wanted to say. If I can reconnect to that, things go smoothly.

But like everyone else, there are also days where I’d rather sleep in, read a book, or binge something on Netflix than go to work.

Why You Need to Show Up

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About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, game designer, and owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

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Create Journal

There’s No Such Thing as Luck

This is for the folks in the back that still don’t get it. People in creative field, whether they’re writers, artists, or performers, do not become successful because they’re lucky. There is no such thing as luck. To say this implies that their hard work, dedication, years of practice, and overall hustle counts for nothing.

Most people who were in the right place at the right time were there be design. Few actors just stumbled into the perfect role that shot them into fame and fortune. They went to audition after audition after audition. Not many writers go from zero to New York Times bestselling author overnight. It may have taken them years to write the book, and rejection after rejection until a publisher took a chance on them. Artists, well, we still live in a world where collectors and speculators rule, and few are appreciated or find financial stability in their lifetime.

This is not to say the privilege doesn’t exist. That’s a whole other ballgame. Knowing the right people can open doors. Unless you’re related to someone with power, though, networking takes skill and effort. Many people get opportunities that others don’t, based on color, gender, religion, political affiliations, orientation, and identity. Even so, getting a foot in the door isn’t a guarantee. Staying in the room requires having talent, putting in the work, or at least appeasing the people that got you the shot. All of which is the opposite of luck.

There’s No Such Thing a Luck

If you enjoyed this post, you can buy me a coffee. Consider subscribing below, so you can read my daily ramblings about the writer’s life, minimalist, being a spoonie, and the intersection of all of those things.

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About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, game designer, and owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

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Journal Thrive

Use Clarity of Vision to Make Change

I was reading a blog post by Michael Hyatt that essentially said you need to know the problem you’re solving for before you can try to solve it. He framed it as “vision first, strategy second”. This ought to be common sense, but it’s not. Use clarity of vision to make change.

If you’re taking a trip, the first step is deciding where you’re going. That’s the vision. Then you figure out how you’re going to get there. That’s the strategy. When you know the problem you’re solving for, then you’ll focus your resources on that.

Where most of us run into trouble is when we lose sight of the vision. We forget where we’re going. We lost sight of the mission. The world is full of distractions, and it’s too easy to succumb to them.

A lot of people never had a vision to begin with. They ramble along day-to-day, and work with whatever they stumble across by accident. The current situation in the world has forced a lot of people to set aside their vision for a while, or abandon it completely, in order to adapt.

It’s time to think about what we can do with current reality. We need to start considering what comes next. Then we can figure out how to work with what we have, where we are, in whatever way we can, to begin that new journey.

Use Clarity of Vision to Make Change

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Journal Thrive

These Bullet Journal Project Pages Were a Mistake

So I’m into the second week of using a weekly dashboard plus project pages. One ribbon bookmark on the week, the second on the spread for whatever I’m currently working on. Now I’m confused and overwhelmed. I’m starting to think that these bullet journal project pages were a mistake.

To be fair, I can’t actually tell if the project pages are the cause of my anxiety disorder flair up, or a casualty of it. When I had project pages in a separate journal, I would only have that journal open. The idea was to have 100% of my attention on that project for that period of time. When it was time to switch to something else, I’d turn to the relevant page in the project journal.

Having multiple projects in one book never tripped me up, though. I periodically considered using cheap A6 notebooks with paper covers, one for each project. It’s an idea I got from He Who May No Longer Be Named. Packs of 10 cost €2, and when the project is complete they can be filed or even thrown away. There was an appeal to making notes disappear when the book was done, so I could focus on the next thing. It never seemed necessary, so I never tried it.

Somehow, having the project notes a few page flips away from my weekly dashboard completely overwhelmed me. Instead of focusing on what needed to be done this week, and within the week what had to be dealt with today, all I can think about is the sheer volume of tasks awaiting me across several projects currently in motion.

To remedy this, I’ve gone back to daily journal entries. “Today I need to do tasks 1 through 7, in this order, period”. Bullet pointed lists. Which seems like extra works, the thing this new method of working was meant to avoid. It might just be temporary. Once my anxiety settles down, or I get used to this new process, it might go smoothly. The weekly is still working fine, after all.

These Bullet Journal Project Pages Were a Mistake

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Create Journal

Blogging the Work in Progress: Make It Interesting

It’s been a while since I’ve written about anything I’m currently writing. Not the novel, not the paying work, none of it. I want to be blogging the work in progress. All of it. I know I should, if only for marketing purposes, but I can’t find the right angle. The major problem is that I find most author blogs that chart the course of a WIP to be incredibly boring. The author blogs that are interesting tend to feature said author talking about anything else.

There are a couple of books out on blogging for authors, which I won’t name here yet. First, I’m still mulling over my feelings about Amazon affiliates. Second, I haven’t read the books yet and can’t speak to their utility. Plus, this being 2020, I could come across some hate speech (in the middle of a book about writing and blogs, ffs) or discover that the author is a frothing anti-science fascist. It pays to do research.

My other social media replacement, RSS feeds through Feedly, is packed with author blogs. I’ve been keeping notes on the types of titles I actually click on, the sort of content that interest me. I’m idea mining for the blog. I love doing this. I just want to be better at it.

Blogging the Work in Progress

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