Burn the Boats



There’s a fantastic quote that says, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats.” It’s most commonly associated with motivational speaker Tony Robbins, but it actually goes back to The Art of War, where it is attributed to Julius Caesar.

This quote has become very important to me in these past few weeks. After six years of employment, I finally quit my full-time job so I could focus more of my energy on writing. Risky? Heck yeah. But I’ve reached a point where I need to be honest with myself about what I really want out of life. And this is it. This has always been it.
So, how will I be using these extra hours? Here’s my plan.

I generally divide writing into two categories: creative and business. My mornings (4am – noon) are for the creative things. These include drafting, editing, outlining, researching, brainstorming… basically anything that gets me from a blank page to a finished manuscript.

12 – 2 is for ‘real life’ things. Cleaning, paying bills, being an adult human (ick.) 2 – 5 is for the business side of things, which means scheduling events, formatting manuscripts, answering emails, and anything else that needs to be done.

And then 5 – 6 is my ‘fill the well’ hour. I’ll be spending more time writing than I’ve ever
had the luxury to do before, and I don’t want to burn out. So, I’m designating an hour every day to do the things that stoke the fire. (Yeah, I know, I’m mixing metaphors.) I’ll be listening to music, crafting, drawing, dancing, or whatever else I feel my soul is hungry for that day.

Also, as I kick things into high gear, I’ll be trying some new things (a lot of new things!) with my social media, so expect to see that. Some ideas on my list are:

  • Weekly Facebook Live events
  • Bookish question of the day
  • Character Takeover weeks
  • A snail-mail newsletter
  • Prompts for other writers

Will they all stick and become regular stuff? I doubt it. But for now I’m just going to keep tossing new and exciting ideas out there and see which ones we all agree are the most fun.


Oh, and one more thing, as you probably noticed in the picture, I shaved my head. I did it on my first day as a full-time writer. Three reasons: 1.) It’ll be one less distraction. 2.) The #NoHairDontCare look is fierce and I’ve always wanted to try it. 3.) It’s a daily reminder that I have burned the boats.

Time to take the island!

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