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Beliefs Archives - Page 3 of 5 - Laree' Griffith
  • Beliefs

    How To Give Yourself A Fresh Start

    Are you waiting for the new year to get a clean slate and start fresh?

    I’ve got one question for you: Why not start right now?

    What if you just decided to give yourself a fresh start every week, and instead of calling any setbacks along the way “failures,” you call them “experiments”?

    If you begin using the tool I’m going to share with you right now, by the time January rolls around, you will have had eight fresh starts already! (This assumes you started using it when I published this article, which would be the final week of October 2021.)

    Just think of the momentum you will have toward your big dream or goal come New Year’s Eve. 

    This practice is super simple and not new. There are actually many different versions of this. The one I’m going to share is the one that is built into the planner I’ve been using for the past couple of years, the Full Focus Planner. The main trick to making this work for you is committing to using the tool. 

    It’s called the End-of-Week Review and Preview and it is specifically designed to give you a fresh start every week. It also helps you shake off any yucky feelings or interactions you might have had during the past week so you can start with a fresh slate. Here’s how it works:

    Weekly Review

    1. Celebrate and acknowledge your wins.

    Start by writing out your wins for the week. Come up with at least three. When you celebrate, it releases all those feel-good endorphins that help reinforce how we show up to accomplish our big dreams and goals. 

    What happens when we don’t take time to celebrate? We train our brain to believe that whatever we’re striving for must not be that important or exciting. This might eventually cause us to lose interest in the projects and dreams we once felt so fired up about. 

    1. Write down what worked, what didn’t, what you will start doing, and what you will stop doing.  

    When I do this step, it refers to my weekly “big three,” which are the three objectives I wanted to accomplish that week to advance toward my bigger quarterly or annual goals. 

    I look at what I will keep doing, improve upon, start, or stop.

    Keep close tabs on your inner critic on this step. You don’t want to use this as a tool to beat yourself up. Rename anything you consider a failure and call it an experiment instead. So, instead of “That didn’t work; I failed,” it becomes “That experiment didn’t work; time to try again.”  

    Be okay with any missteps or resistance during your week that show up in the subtext of your answers to these questions. Remember that nothing has gone wrong. The resistance and mistakes cause some discomfort but will ultimately make you stronger. Think of it as weight training for your mind. 

    Weekly Preview

    1. Write down a weekly overview of your upcoming week. 

    Write out important events, deadlines, and tasks. I make separate lists for my personal life and my business. 

    1. Write down your weekly big three.

    These are the next three objectives to advance your goals and projects. You can even write down just one main thing if that works better for your situation.  

    1. Add these to your calendar. 

    You want to aim to schedule your big three first. It’s the same strategy as Stephen Covey’s BIG ROCKS example. Put the big rocks in the jar first and then pour in all the little pebbles. If you fill up the jar with all the little pebbles first, there will be no room for those big rocks – the important things. 

    Tips for a More Powerful Practice

    Make this a ritual you look forward to. Do it in a setting that inspires you and makes it fun. I like to listen to classical music or lo-fi beats with a glass of wine and the planner I told you about. I give myself a full hour, but you can totally do it in 15 minutes. 

    Another tip is to keep your big three or your one main thing visible during the week so that it does not become another victim of out of sight, out of mind by Monday night.  

    So, why wait for New Year’s Day to give yourself a fresh start? Do it now and do it often; it’s way more effective than just writing down a bunch of “new year, new me” resolutions.

    I realize everyone’s life is different. Though I may have made this process sound easy, some people may find it challenging to fit into their lives. If that is you, book a free consultation with me. I would love to help you come up with a process that will help you move forward every week. 

  • Beliefs

    Reclaim Your Playground

    Why do so many people stop themselves from experiencing happiness, fun, and joy?

    From the book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware, number five was “I wish I had let myself be happier and enjoy life more.”

    We tend to live our lives thinking we have to experience burnout, prove ourselves worthy, reach the goal, get to the next milestone, put in the time, and check off all the things on the list before we are allowed to experience any fun or happiness. 

    We mistakenly believe that we have to earn happiness and joy when these are things that are available to us right now.  

    Notice in that dying regret the person didn’t say, “I wish I had more happiness and enjoyed life more.” They said, “I wish I had let myself….”

    Living in a state of joy is not a reward or something you earn. You’re not a circus animal doing tricks for treats.

    You’re an amazing human being who has things you want to accomplish and create so you can live a beautiful, meaningful, fulfilling life. 

    Rest, fun, and joy are required to create that life. 

    What is your personal desert?

    Dave Crenshaw, who wrote The Power of Having Fun, notes that there’s an area between where we are now and where we think we should be before we allow ourselves anything that resembles joy. He calls it “the desert” – an extended period of deprivation in your life that may or may not also feel chaotic. 

    The desert in your life is created by a culture of WISH, which stands for “worth it someday, hopefully.”

    A personal desert might look like these kinds of statements: 

    • “When I become famous, I’ll celebrate.”
    • “When I retire, I’ll have some fun.” 
    • “When I finish my screenplay, I’ll reward myself.” 
    • “When I finish raising the kids, I’ll have my own fun.”

    It’s easy to believe that someday, if you just keep trucking and exhaust yourself to death like everyone else trying to cross their own deserts, it will somehow, someday, maybe bring a payoff so big that all of that suffering and martyrdom will have been worth it. 

    In the book, Dave also reveals the antidote to the culture of WISH; he calls it the culture of WIN, and this stands for “worth it now.”

    We want to start scheduling things you love to do every day, not as a reward or because you deserve them but because they are vital to your creativity and motivation. Your success depends upon having scheduled moments to recharge and have fun every day of your life because your life is worth it right now. Don’t wait for when you finally burn out from exhaustion or start having mental problems. 

    So, how do we start to bring more fun, joy, and happiness into our lives every day? 

    Create Your Fun List

    Write down a list of small, medium, and large things that bring fun, relaxation, and joy and that help you to recharge. One small note: Don’t put things on this list that you are addicted to or that are harmful to you or others. This is to build you up, not tear you down.

    For example:

    • Read a book on the beach
    • Have lunch al fresco
    • Play your favorite video game
    • Get a massage
    • Have a special treat 
    • Play your guitar
    • Try a new recipe
    • Buy that kitchen gadget you’ve been wanting 
    • Take a bubble bath
    • Watch a favorite show
    • Plan quarterly retreats
    • Flip through a magazine with your favorite beverage
    • Work on a hobby
    • Garden
    • Connect with a friend

    Once you have your list, categorize it into how long each will take, and you can also put an estimated cost for each activity. 

    Under 15 minutes would make it a daily thing you could do. If it takes more than 90 minutes, you could make it a weekly or monthly thing. If you have some things on that list that take more than a day or two, schedule them yearly. 

    Of course, these are just guidelines; everyone’s list is going to look wildly different.

    Remember that these are not rewards but necessary things to schedule daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. 

    Schedule Pockets of Joy

    I like the way Dave describes this in his book – it’s scheduling an oasis or pockets of joy throughout your day, your week, month, year. 

    Take your list and schedule in one of your pockets of joy that is 30 minutes or less. Pick a time like right before you start on a big project, before or after a meal, right before or after work, or right before bedtime. 

    Next, schedule a weekly pocket of joy. This would be an activity that would take an hour or more. Schedule that activity on your calendar. 

    You’ll want to check in after about two weeks and evaluate. Did the activities you chose work out? Did they give you energy? Did you give yourself enough time to do them? 

    Make adjustments and swap in a new activity. It’s an experiment, so you can’t do it wrong.

    Create the Feeling You Want

    Fun is actually a feeling and it’s your thoughts that create your feelings. This means you get to choose thoughts that produce the feeling of fun for you. 

    What is the payoff you believe is on the other side of your personal desert? 

    I would love to spend a month in Tuscany. Can’t do it right now but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy Tuscany right here at home. 

    I can certainly create the feeling it would bring me through watching travel and cooking shows, trying some regional recipes myself, living like an Italian. I remember when planning my first trip to Italy, it was so satisfying and gave me such a wonderful feeling and if I’m honest, in a lot of ways it was even more exciting than the actual trip was.

    Bring the Fun With You

    When my daughter was in the children’s hospital for a month, there was fun scheduled every four hours. Not by me but by the hospital itself. They had some form of entertainment, a clown, visiting pets, an art room, a magician, or some other fun activity that the kids could enjoy and get a little break from all the needles and nurses.  

    I was really moved by this, and though I hated seeing my daughter in the hospital during the holidays, there were a lot of joyful moments because of how they built in fun and joy as part of the treatment and healing process.

    When I was in community theater, we had work parties where everyone came to the theater for half a day to help build the set for the upcoming play. We would share pizza, stories, music, and then then all go out for appetizers and a drink afterward. Work parties are a great way to bring the fun to bigger projects. 

    Try these tips and you will most likely find that having more fun makes you smarter, more creative, and improves your health, mental wellness, and relationships. 

    Don’t be one of the people who leaves this world wishing they had let themselves experience more joy and happiness in life. 

    If you want to really dig into this topic, check out Dave’s book, The Power of Having Fun.

    If you’re ready to rewrite your script I’d love to help you! Check out my one-on-one rewrite coverage and coaching programs here.  

  • Beliefs

    Five Tips for Creative Introverts

    I recently spent some time on a couple of introvert forums on Facebook, and I noticed that the conversations seemed to be focused on how to shape their lives around being an introvert so they don’t get triggered or pushed out of their comfort zone.

    It’s sad because people were saying things like “I could never do this or that because I’m an introvert – that would totally trigger me.” One person said, “I love my job, but it’s really not a good position for an introvert.”  

    They’ve put themselves into a position of constantly looking for evidence as to why they shouldn’t do something or pursue something, even if they really want to experience it, because it might trigger or amplify their introverted traits, as if it were a bad thing to get knocked out of their comfort zone once in a while. 

    Think about Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Julia Roberts, Gandhi…all of these people are introverts. If these people had created their lives around avoiding being triggered, or if they had chosen to live in ways that amplified their introverted personality traits, we would have all experienced a tamped down version of their gifts, or maybe not have experienced them at all had they not chosen to live their biggest, most daring lives despite being introverts. 

    In some ways, it may have been to their advantage to not grow up with the labels of “introvert” or “extrovert” so they couldn’t use that label against themselves. 

    I’ve lived my life through the lenses of being an introvert and a highly sensitive person, but like a lot of people with these personality traits before there was a commonly-used name for them, we were just considered shy, oversensitive, and socially awkward.

    I would hide out at home, dread social events, dating, and particularly large gatherings. I hated talking about myself or having the spotlight on me at any time. I was the backstage person, always behind the scenes, and I still am. Fame has never appealed to me in any form. I love being by myself and I can be alone for weeks. 

    When I’m around a lot of people, I get exhausted easily. It feels like I’m inhaling everyone’s energy and as if I have to process it for them. It’s like being plowed over by many horses on a racetrack as opposed to just being hit by one big Mack truck. 

    So, I prefer small gatherings and even then, after about four hours, I feel the need to get out or be by myself. I will often sleep really well after a social event because it emotionally drains me, whether it was a good or bad experience. 

    Before the terms “introvert” and “highly sensitive person” became mainstream, I sincerely thought something was wrong with me, that these were defects and I was the only one who was like this. Come to find out, according to a Myers-Briggs global study, 54% percent of the population has preferences for introversion. 

    Yet, in many countries people feel pressured to behave in extroverted ways when it comes to showing up in the world. 

    I think this is why introverts and highly sensitive people struggle – they think that who they are is not good enough. This, of course, is simply not true. 

    Google “celebrity introverts” and you will find some very successful creative artists, entrepreneurs, and world leaders. 

    You’re not a hostage to your personality traits. You don’t need to tiptoe around them and they don’t get to determine how big and bold of a life you choose to live.

    So what if you do get triggered? What is the worst thing that can happen? You might have to sleep in the next day; you might need to take some extended down time. You might need to spend a day in bed, reading inspiring books and sipping hot cocoa. How horrible! 

    The point is that you can handle the effects of being triggered.  

    You want to learn to manage being introverted so that you can live fully in the life you want to live, not twist your life around your introverted personality so you don’t get triggered.

    It may sound a little like tom-ay-to/tom-ah-to, but just that small tweak of how you look at it could make a huge difference in the results you get. 

    If I’m twisting my life to suit my introverted personality by denying myself the experiences and impact I’d like to make in the world, it’s going to create results that are much different than if I look at life through a lens of how I can manage my introverted personality so that I can pursue and create and make the impact I want in this one life that I have to live.

    There is nothing that is not available to you just because you’re an introvert. Many of us need to stop using these personality labels against ourselves.

    Here are five tips for introverts to live a big, beautiful, creative life. These are actually great tips for any creative life. 

    Setting Boundaries

    Set a time frame for social outings. Here’s what I mean by that: If someone asks you to come to a party, a family gathering, to go out on a date, decide beforehand how long you’ll stay.  

    For me, two to four hours is usually my limit before I start feeling exhausted. Having set this boundary, I feel like I can then relax and really be present because I already have my exit time in place. In many cases, I find myself wanting to stay longer because I’m having such a good time, so I leave myself the flexibility to do that, too. 

    The beauty of setting the boundary is that you stop being obsessed with your exit plan and start enjoying whoever you’re with and wherever you are in the moment. Give it a try and see how it works for you.


    Make your home a sanctuary. It’s the one place you can depend on to energize, rejuvenate, and recharge. If it’s dirty or filled with clutter and things you don’t use, it’s going to do the exact opposite and create unnecessary stress.  

    Your environment also consists of the books you read, the music you listen to, the shows you watch, the artwork in your home, your garden, the items you use or don’t use every day. It could be your neighborhood location, where you shop for groceries…it’s the container of your everyday life. Do your best to curate it with the intention of giving yourself the space and energy to revitalize and recharge and also to unwind, rest, and reflect. 

    Make Self-Care a Top Priority

    Obviously, this is important for everyone. But if you’re an introvert or highly sensitive type, lack of sleep, eating too much sugar or processed foods, drinking too much alcohol, and even just being dehydrated could become devastating to an already-triggered nervous system.

    Lack of sleep is probably my biggest trigger. Things always seem 10 times worse than they really are when I didn’t get a good night’s sleep.

    Dehydration – this one took me a long time to realize. But it’s a game changer. Next time you feel tired or mentally exhausted, drink a glass of water. According to studies, approximately 75% of Americans are significantly dehydrated and dehydration is the number one cause of daytime fatigue. Just a 5% drop in your fluid level can lead to a 25% drop in energy. If you’re not a water drinker and can’t remember the last time you had water, this could be a life changer for you. 

    Staying Motivated

    Introverts usually don’t have trouble getting inspired, but we do struggle to stay motivated and that is where having clear goals and intentions becomes important. Know what you want to achieve; have goals not based around being an introvert or an HSP type but around what you really want. 

    Take the time to really think about what you want to experience in this life and commit to going for it. Having a coach or an accountability partner or group can be very helpful in motivating you to move toward those dreams and desires that are important to you.

    Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone on Purpose

    Make a point of doing things that are out of your comfort zone every week. Start with small things like volunteering to help at an event instead of just attending the event, or taking a class on something you’ve been wanting to pursue. 

    When I first started stepping out of my comfort zone and really decided to stop hiding from life, I joined the community theater. Talk about discomfort, but it changed my life and gave me the courage to take a step and then another step into my creativity.  

    Write a list of all the things you would love to do without considering your personality or current set of circumstances. Pick a thing, no matter how outrageous, and break it down into the smallest doable steps. Do something every day or week from that list. 

    The point is not to reach the goal – that’s the icing on the cake. The point is to stretch yourself and become more resilient in your life so that you can live the biggest, boldest life possible. Because why not?

    If you’re ready to rewrite your script I’d love to help you! Check out my one-on-one rewrite coverage and coaching programs here.  

  • Beliefs

    How To Bring On A Breakthrough

    People talk about breakthroughs the same way they talk about waiting for inspiration – as if it’s something magical they have to wait for. 

    That’s simply not true. 

    In this Tiny Talk, I’ll teach you a process you can use to have consistent creative breakthroughs instead of waiting for one to randomly fall on your head. 

    What is a breakthrough?

    It’s when you get new results by deciding something different and implementing it. 

    You can have breakthroughs in your old belief systems, ways of thinking, ways of creating, old thoughts and habits, the way you make decisions, the way you relate to others. 

    We do this in three steps:

    1. We make decisions about something we want, a goal, or a way of being or thinking.
    2. We implement that decision.
    3. We evaluate.

    The more you go through this cycle and the faster you go through it, the more breakthroughs you will have. The more breakthroughs you have, the more growth you’ll experience and the faster you will get new results. 

    Making Decisions

    A lot of us get stuck in the phase of making decisions. We just can’t seem to make them very quickly because we’re afraid they might not work, and in some cases, we’re afraid they will work!

    We start dramatizing all the choices and convincing ourselves we have to make the perfect decision because we believe that will get us to our goal faster. 

    The truth is you can’t get out of indecision unless you stop being afraid of choosing the wrong thing. In fact, you have to be willing to choose the wrong one.

    Failure is part of the breakthrough cycle; it really is, and the ability to be okay with that is the fastest way to the end result you are seeking. Commit to having your own back no matter what. 

    When you make a decision, you want to do so from the mindset of a person who has already achieved the result. Of course, you’re not going to nail it right out of the gate, but the more you practice making decisions as if you have already achieved the goal, the closer you will be to getting there.

    It’s going to be a bit of a struggle, it’s going to take practice, and it might be really challenging, and that’s okay. It’s how you get to the breakthrough.

    People who try to take shortcuts end up right back where they started because they’re taking a lot of action from a place of zero growth, and it’s the equivalent of beating your head against a brick wall.

    Choose a framework that has provided success in creating the result you want and use that to make the decision-making process more manageable. For instance, if you’re trying to do a rewrite or create a first draft, there are many ways you could do it. Find a process that is already out there that has been successful and make your decisions within that framework.

    Taking Action

    The second part of a breakthrough cycle is implementing the decision you have made within that proven framework.  

    It might sound exhausting to have to decide and implement constantly, but what’s really exhausting is making decisions repeatedly and continually questioning your decisions after you make them without the benefit of ever implementing them.

    It’s indecisiveness that drains your energy. 

    Just making a tiny little decision that moves you forward is what is going to give you momentum and pull you into that breakthrough cycle.

    Even if you don’t get the result you want, you will just make another decision and keep it moving.

    If something doesn’t work, you try something new. 

    But just taking a lot of action is not the same thing as implementing. With each failure, you need to make new decisions from that place of someone who has already achieved the result.

    Evaluating Outcomes

    The final step of the breakthrough cycle is evaluating. You look at what worked, what didn’t, and what you will do differently based on the result you got from the decision you did make.

    Be as specific as you can so your next decision will be closer to that energy of deciding from the place where you have already achieved the result. 

    This might be difficult to process but I promise if you put it into practice, it will make complete sense and you will be living your life in constant breakthroughs, which means quicker and better results. 

    The best way to get really good at this is to have a coach or a solid process to follow to help you evaluate your decisions. 

    Practice; be okay with failing. It just means it’s time to make another decision and ask yourself where it is you need to grow, which will help you make the next decision. 

    Decide, implement, and evaluate = breakthroughs 

    90-Day Coaching Program

    Making a habit of showing up for yourself is the most important benefit of any coaching program or course, and it’s the fastest way to build confidence in yourself as a master of your craft.

    I’m very excited to offer this three-month one-on-one coaching package for those of you who want to finish up a rewrite or develop an idea into a first draft.

    I have 10 spots for the final quarter of 2021. It would be an honor to help you get your projects out into the world where they belong.

    Sign up by October 10th and get free page-by-page coverage on one of your projects. Find out more here.

  • Beliefs

    The Musekeeper

    I have found that my environment often represents what the inside of my brain feels like.

    Sometimes it’s just a matter of cleaning up my external environment to obtain more focus and creativity. But let’s face it; it’s not always enough. That’s because sometimes it’s the other way around – my mind is cluttered and my environment is just reflecting that back to me. 

    You might struggle with completing your projects because you have so much clutter in your mind that you can’t think on purpose or in alignment with what you want.

    That’s what today’s Tiny Talk is about: a simple process to help you clean up your mind so you can access your creativity. 

    Unless you have a full-time Musekeeper, this is one of the best tools to help you get unstuck, and move forward on your projects or any other area in your life.

    A cluttered mind causes feelings of overwhelm, pressure, and stress. None of that is great for a creative life.

    Creativity needs lots of space. 

    One of the most incredible things about being a human is that we can actually watch ourselves think. We can question our thoughts and we can create new ones and get better outcomes. 

    Think of your pets – they don’t ever question their thoughts. They just react to whatever is happening around them. They don’t have a conscious choice.

    As a human, the ability to be aware and examine our thoughts is the most powerful tool available to us. It allows us to walk through life with intention and purpose, to think, believe, choose, and create the results and feelings we want in our lives. That is the ultimate freedom.

    Before I share this process, I want to make sure it’s clear that there’s nothing wrong with having negative or undesirable thoughts. Nothing has gone wrong!

    This tool will allow you to leverage all of your thoughts, both positive and negative ones. 

    I call this exercise “The Musekeeper.”

    Step 1: Choose an area in your mind to clean up. 

    Think of your mind as a house. You could have a room for creativity, one for finances, health, relationships, leisure, learning, business.

    Pick one room at a time because you can’t possibly clean a house all at once. The same is true for your mind. 

    Choose the room that feels most overwhelming or something that makes you want to procrastinate going into that room or avoid it altogether.

    Step 2: Do a thought dump by writing down all your thoughts about that particular room in your mind. 

    You can also do a thought download on a particular goal, or an emotion, something you’re struggling with, or a new project. 

    Let’s try an example that many of you probably relate to.

    One of the rooms in your mind might be “creativity,” and in that room might be several sections: 

    • Undone projects
    • Disorganized projects
    • Half-baked ideas
    • Things that need to be marketed
    • Skills to develop

    Start with one “section” and do a thought download. Your thoughts can be good or bad, and they might look like pros or cons, but they are just thoughts.  

    Imagine you are just dumping them on the floor like an episode of Marie Kondo’s show where she had them take out everything in the closet and put it in one big pile. 

    My thought pile of “unfinished projects” might look like this: 

    • They will never be good enough 
    • I’m wasting my time
    • I don’t want to spend any more time on this project
    • I don’t feel attached to these
    • It will feel good to complete them
    • Someday I might want to revisit them
    • They make me feel guilty
    • They don’t count until they’re finished
    • I want to let them go
    • I got what I needed from them
    • I’m going to finish them for the sake of finishing them
    • I cringe when I read them
    • What’s the point? They will never get made
    • How will I know when it’s finished?

    Step 3: Take each thought and run it through these three questions:

    • Does this thought support me? If not, time to get rid of it. 
    • Would I choose this thought on purpose? Imagine someone gave you a big, huge book of thoughts and you could pick any thought you wanted. Would you pick that thought? If not, get rid of it.
    • Does this thought belong in my future? Is this thought something that “future you” wants to be thinking? If not, get rid of it. 

    Now you can take the thoughts that are leftover and put them back into your mind intentionally, and even get some new ones from that great big book of thoughts that will serve you, support you, and will definitely belong in your future.  

    This doesn’t mean those other thoughts will never be back. I guarantee that they will. Nothing has gone wrong.

    Just like with your house, dirt, mud, and life itself will track through your just-cleaned mind and you will get a few unwanted visitors. That is life and it’s all part of it. We’re not trying to get rid of the negative; we just need a process for cleaning it up regularly.

    This process is what I do as a coach – help people examine their own minds to see what might be getting in the way of what they want to accomplish. If you would like additional help in this area, book a free chat with me. It would be my honor to help you with this. 

    Ready to get on the playing field? As a creative life coach and screenwriter, I can help you take your idea from concept to final draft so you can finally get your work out into the world where it belongs. Book a free consultation and find out how we can work together.

    Are you stuck in a marketing rut or just have no clue how to start putting your work out into the world? I’m taking on 10-12 clients for my second One-on-One Marketing Mentorship workshop. You can check out all the details right here. Sign up before Oct.10th and get free coverage on your script!

    I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of the Marketing Mentorship program. With Laree’s guidance, I developed a polished portfolio of marketing materials and a solid marketing plan tailored specifically for my manuscript.  I enjoyed the individualized nature of the program and how Laree’ took into account my experience level, personal goals, and needs. It enabled me to approach the marketplace with confidence, target the right individuals resulting in multiple read requests and valuable connections. I highly recommend it!

    ~ Esther Shihabi

  • Beliefs

    23 Reasons to Keep Putting Your Work Out Into the World

    Today’s Tiny Talk is actually a spin on a newsletter I sent out several months ago called “23 Reasons to Keep Marketing Your Screenplay.” I had so many writers respond and tell me how much it inspired them.

    I was thinking about it again recently and it just feels like there are people who really need to hear this right now, including myself!

    It’s easy to start beating ourselves up this time of the year because we think we should be so much further along than we believe we are. 

    That’s really just a bunch of baloney and even if it were true, it doesn’t serve you one bit. 

    But putting your work out into the world is about so much more than just selling your screenplay, winning that contest, having someone hire you, or landing a manager. 

    All the gifts and growth happen between where you are now and where you want to be. And where you end up is probably beyond any expectations or goals your mind could ever conjure up. You don’t want to leave all that gold behind and cave into cynicism by deciding that your work is not worth putting out there. 

    Ultimately, your life will be so much richer, more joyful, and it will give you the best chance of actually reaching your goals – and even beyond to things you never imagined were possible for you – by simply choosing to believe that putting your work out into the world is a gift that just keeps on giving. 

    So, here are 23 reasons and beliefs to keep you on the path of putting your work out into the world where it belongs. 

    1. When you reach out and share your work, doors start opening. And, not just for you, but the people you collaborate with, so it’s a win for all involved.
    2. Why spend your time thinking thoughts like “This won’t work”? You can just as easily reframe it to “This might work! If I don’t try, I’ll never know.”  
    3. “I can choose to believe that marketing my projects can feel simple and enjoyable.” 
    4. “I’ve done hard things in my life before. I can certainly stay the course and market my projects.”
    5. “I don’t have to do everything all at once or even today. Today, all I need to do is make a list of 10 people I’m going to contact to tell about my project.”
    6. Tiny, courageous actions, like meeting people, telling them you’re a screenwriter, or offering your projects and services, can lead to very big things.
    7. When you reach out and tell people about your projects and skills, they might hire you, they might know someone looking for a creator with your skillset, or you might know someone with the skills they’re looking for. There is no downside to putting your work out into the world and making new connections. 
    8. If they say, “I’d love to read your screenplay!” that’s great! If they say, “No, thanks,” that’s okay, too. Either way, you get to be proud of yourself for reaching out. 
    9. They might say, “Actually, I have a different project that might interest you….” Maybe it’s one that could change everything!
    10. Hearing “no” builds resilience and makes you stronger. Think about it – the worst that can happen from a “no” is a feeling, and we can handle our feelings by changing our thoughts.
    11. When you get a “no” answer, you still gain something valuable. For instance, you gain a contact, a friend, or maybe information you didn’t have before. That is amazing and it comes from just being vulnerable enough to share your work. 
    12. Every “no” means you’re that much closer to a “yes.”
    13. Sharing your work with the world takes practice, and you get better every time you do it. 
    14. Putting your work out into the world can be about something so much bigger than yourself. Put your work out there for those who have no voice – the incarcerated, the forgotten ones, and for those who have been ignored by the rest of the world. 
    15. If something hasn’t happened yet…it doesn’t mean it won’t.
    16. When you put yourself out there, there’s is a chance between 1% and 100% that you will get a yes. There is zero chance you will get a yes when you don’t put your work out into the world. 
    17. When you get good at being uncomfortable, you can become a master of not just your mind but of your craft. Both require pushing your boundaries.
    18. Marketing your projects is a small investment with the possibility of a high reward, and it takes very little time.
    19. When you put your work out into the world, doors open that you can see – and some you can’t see. It’s not our business to know when and exactly how. We just need to keep taking the next step from a place of belief that our efforts are worth every minute. 
    20. When you start taking action, you’ll be amazed at where it may lead you as well as to whom. 
    21. Imagine how boring your screenplay would be if you had a character who just sat around wishing for things! Go after what you want.
    22. Sharing your work with the world is simply believing and taking the tiny courageous action to say to others, “Hey, I’ve got a great idea, a promising project, something I’m really excited about. Can I tell you about it?”
    23. You can think of all the reasons it will never work. How does that serve you? Instead, you can choose to think of all the reasons it just might work. And that perspective will serve you for a lifetime. 

    Get out there and market your projects!


    Are you stuck in a marketing rut or just have no clue how to start putting your work out into the world? I’m taking on 10-12 clients for my second One-on-One Marketing Mentorship workshop. You can check out all the details right here. Sign up before Oct.1 and get free coverage on your screenplay or pilot!

    I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of the Marketing Mentorship program. With Laree’s guidance, I developed a polished portfolio of marketing materials and a solid marketing plan tailored specifically for my manuscript.  I enjoyed the individualized nature of the program and how Laree’ took into account my experience level, personal goals, and needs. It enabled me to approach the marketplace with confidence, target the right individuals resulting in multiple read requests and valuable connections. I highly recommend it!

    ~ Esther Shihabi

  • Beliefs

    How One Writer Changed The Lives Of Many

    So today’s Tiny Talk is a bit different; I will be interviewing the founder of the Open-Door Playhouse podcast. She talks about her journey to creating the podcast and how it has profoundly changed the lives of so many creative artists when their craft was shuttered due to the COVID crisis. 

    A little over a year ago, I answered an opportunity to help produce a podcast that a writer was trying to get launched. The writer was Bernadette Armstrong, and she is not only a writer; she is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, director, and filmmaker, and now a theatrical podcaster. 

    Her mission is to get her work out into the world while taking as many people with her as she can. She’s a powerhouse and the mother of many cats.

    Today, September 15th, 2021, is the podcast’s first anniversary. 

    The interview you’re about to listen to was actually recorded for her podcast. Still, I thought I would share it with you on my podcast, too, because Bernadette personifies what it means to get your work out into the world where it belongs – and that is my war cry, if you haven’t noticed! 

    It’s what Bernadette practices and is committed to every day, no matter what life throws at her. Our work is so much bigger than just us. You never know whose life will be changed by your work or the opportunities you will create, not just for yourself but also for others. 

    Before I play the interview with Bernadette, I want to share with you a letter she received from one of the writers she connected with through Penn America, a prison program for incarcerated writers that Bernadette collaborated with. 

    Writing is both a passion and a hard-to-reach thorn, waking me in the dreary hours to jot down a thought or idea. Writing should serve a purpose, challenge and enrage, change paradigms.

    As long as there’s one person on this earth who remembers you, it isn’t over.

    Here’s what Daniel Lambert had to say about hearing his work on the Open-Door Podcast:

    I just listened to Replacement Player and am absolutely blown away! I had no idea what to expect, but am thrilled with the level of professionalism and skill everyone involved demonstrated. Please express my gratitude to the actors; their timing and inflection were spot-on with how I adapted it, almost as if I was performing it myself.

    Thank you for reaching out to me initially and having the vision to pick up Replacement Player. I have had plays staged and read, but this is my first professional accomplishment! 

    Prior to prison, I had great professional career success that I was very proud of and worked my ass off for. None of those can match the pride I feel having been published.

    A personal note: I had to have Michelle stop the podcast because I became overly emotional about two minutes in. I was reading the script while listening and I was struck that something I helped design, under the worst possible conditions, would be enjoyed by people I’ll never meet. To a man, we all have a fear of success in prison. When you’re told that you’re less than, not good enough, and underserving repeatedly, it takes a mental toll on you. We are constantly scrutinized and criticized throughout our day, made to feel dirty. Scott and I proved them wrong.


    Oh, man, I get teary-eyed every time I read that! 

    Whenever that voice in your head tells you not to bother, or your projects will never amount to anything, or What’s the point? The entertainment world is rigged! –  remember this heartfelt letter from Dan and remember this interview.  

    Bernadette’s story is the ultimate example of the powerful results of one woman’s decision to create something bigger than herself, something more powerful than COVID, through collaboration with other creative artists. 

    Open-Door Playhouse is always looking for new projects. It’s not just for playwrights, so if you’re a screenwriter or fiction writer or a wonderful poet, send in your work for consideration. It’s a great way to get your work out into the world as you continue to pursue your bigger projects. 

    Ready to get on the playing field? As a creative life coach and screenwriter, I can help you take your idea from concept to final draft so you can finally get your work out into the world where it belongs. Book a free consultation and find out how we can work together.

  • Beliefs

    How to Choose Your Next Project

    Should I develop this idea or that one? Should I finish this script or rewrite this other one? Do I work on a TV pilot, a feature, or do I write a stage play?

    Welcome to this week’s tiny talk. Let’s discuss how to choose your next project or idea. 

    Many writers come to me for help figuring out what projects they should be working on. It can be exhausting to decide where to focus when most of these projects require six to 12 months, sometimes more, to see through to the end.  

    There’s always that little voice that says, What if I pick the wrong one? 

    It reminds me of trying to figure out what to watch on TV. Many new shows come out every day, and we still have a huge list of old ones we have not yet watched.

    Like anything in life, we have to learn to manage our minds around decision-making, especially in this world of endless choices. Aside from putting all your ideas into a hat and picking one, here are two approaches you can try. 

    I’ll start with the pragmatic one and then share a simpler version that’s based more on “I feel it in my gut.” If you’re working with a writing partner or manager, I recommend using the pragmatic approach. 

    I learned this first approach from creativity author, Todd Henry, and I’ve tweaked it to be more specific to my clients.

    You want to first identify your primary goals. If we’re talking about screenwriting projects, you want to get clear on what you plan to do with the project once finished.

    Do you want to write a script that can win a contest? Do you want to write a script that could attract a manager? Write a script that an indie or smaller production company could option?  Maybe you want to be a TV writer and focus only on that. Perhaps you want to write a script and shoot it yourself.

    Or, it could be that you just want to write a screenplay because it’s on your bucket list, or you just want to see if you can do it. You want to try writing a screenplay to see if it’s something you want to pursue further. 

    So that’s the first step – write those main goals down.

    Now take each idea and ask if that project aligns with one of your main goals. If it doesn’t, that’s okay; don’t toss it yet. Rate each idea or project on a scale of 1-10 in terms of how it aligns with your goals. 

    The second step is to take each idea and project and ask if it’s practical or not. Do you have the resources to complete the project? Do you have the time, the skills, the energy, the money to do it – and do it well

    If you find yourself saying, “Mmm, maybe,” you can look at that idea again a little later, but for now, simply rate it on a scale of 1-10 for practicality. 

    The third step is to ask yourself how excited you are about the project or idea.

    Would it be fun to work on? Is it something you have a lot of energy for? Again, rate it on a scale of 1-10 for how excited and passionate you are about the project.

    Now you should have a pretty good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your project and how they align with your main goals. 

    This brings us to step four. This part is kind of fun and re-engages your creative mind with the cold, hard data. 

    Say you have an idea that’s not too practical but aligns with one of your main goals and is interesting to you. How could you adapt the idea to make it more practical to execute? You may want to write the next Titanic, but you don’t have the resources James Cameron had. What can you do to make it just as compelling but on a smaller scale?

    If your project is aligned with your goals and is practical but not very interesting, how can you make it more interesting or exciting?

    If it’s easy to execute but you’re just not passionate about it, maybe it’s time to let that one go. 

    Go through each of your ideas and take a look at how they add up and repeat this process for each one. This creates a system for evaluating your projects and effectively discussing them with others if you have a writing partner or a manager who has a say in the projects you choose. 

    It’s the method I often use with my clients when they’re trying to prioritize developing their ideas and finishing projects. 

    Now it’s time for the more heart-centered approach to project-picking, and it’s the one I tend to gravitate toward. 

    You could skip all of the above and just ask one question:

    If I were on my deathbed five years from now, would I regret not having done this project?

    If the answer is “no,” why is this project on your list? 

    If you would regret not having done this project, why? 

    The answer to these questions will give you deep insight into the goals you have chosen, to see if they still align with who you are and where you are at this point in life. 

    My goals have changed drastically over the past decade. I often found myself working on projects that were meant to fulfill a goal that I no longer cared about. I was trying to finish them from a place of pride, shame, or guilt. 

    That is never a good reason to choose a project. 

    I hope this tiny talk about choosing ideas and projects helps you prepare for your next creation. 

    In the show notes, you’ll find a link to book a free consult, and we can work through this process together. It’s what I do, and I love it!

    Ready to get on the playing field? As a creative life coach and screenwriter, I can help you take your idea from concept to final draft so you can finally get your work out into the world where it belongs. Book a free consultation and find out how we can work together. It’s what I do, and I love it!

  • Beliefs

    Living In the Stretch

    I recently had an “a-ha!” moment in my own life and realized that the lovely and well-intentioned thought of “Just one step at a time” was keeping me stuck. It was also keeping me blind from seeing where all the gold really was.  

    That’s what I’m going to talk about in today’s tiny talk. There’s this place called “the stretch” and you definitely don’t want to miss it.  

    For most of my life, I’ve been super focused on the result, the end goal, getting to the finish line, the next milestone, the next rung on the ladder. Taking it “one step at a time” but focusing so much on just getting to that step as quickly as possible. So much so, that I completely ignored and rushed past the spaces in between the steps.

    Sometimes I would skip steps altogether only to face a monster that was so big, I would run all the way back to a previous step, or sometimes even further if the monster was scary enough.  

    The place between these steps is called “the stretch.”

    It’s in the stretch where all the joy, hope, fear, scary things, amazing things, and opportunity can be found. It’s where the best relationships are built; it’s where we swap old beliefs for new ones. 

    It’s also where it can get extremely awkward and super uncomfortable. 

    In the stretch, you get to practice and hone your skills until what is clumsy, painful, and uncomfortable becomes normal and you’re ready to take your bow. You’re then ready to move on to the next step and the next set of adventures that move you toward your ultimate goal.

    In the stretch, everything you need to make it successfully to the next step awaits you.

    So, we want to focus our attention on the stretch between the steps. Spend some time there and find all the treasures and tools that are going to help you go the distance. Refuse to rush through and instead, choose to live in it. 

    If you do rush through to the next step, you will have missed that very important skill, that connection, that thought or habit that needs to be upgraded, that wonderful relationship or experience that will inspire you, the opportunity that could propel you into something you never dreamed possible. 

    In the rush to the top, we also end up slowing ourselves down because when we get to the next rung, we often can’t handle the discomfort that comes with it, so we end up self-sabotaging or falling back to where we started, or maybe even running back, searching for the thing we missed.

    The key to the stretch is to live in it, to stay grounded in the practice and discomfort until we start to feel it become too comfortable. 

    The best way I have heard this described is in the idea that everyone’s brain has its own thermostat which governs the capacity to have or achieve what we want. The brain always seeks to be comfortable. 

    You can think of it like this: If someone opens your front door on a winter day and leaves it open, you’re going to get uncomfortable. Your house’s thermostat is going to kick on and bring it back to whatever temperature you have it set for – the temperature you’re comfortable with. This whole process is automatic these days. 

    Your brain is like your home’s thermostat and will always try to keep you at the level at which it’s comfortable. It’s why many of us writers don’t finish scripts, don’t market scripts, don’t enter contests, don’t share our work with others, don’t attempt to elevate our work or create relationships. 

    All of that can be very uncomfortable because your brain is on autopilot and always wants to retreat back into what is most comfortable. 

    How do you embrace the stretch?

    You have to consciously spend time in the uncomfortable.

    You know those video games where you go on an adventure, and pick up gold coins along the way, then you run into a little monster and have to slay him before he slays you? The further you go, the more skill you acquire, the bigger the rewards…but also, the bigger the dragons.

    Living in the stretch is not a lot different. You practice and practice until you get competent at slaying the dragon, and then go on to your next big adventure. 

    Stay in the stretch until it becomes comfortable. That is when you know you’re ready to move to the next rung. You’re feeling a little too comfy.

    Instead of flying through all the things, trying to cheat or finding hacks to go faster, learn to be okay with getting really uncomfortable – it’s the fastest way through, in all reality.

    While you’re in the stretch, you want to pay attention to the thoughts you are having. Notice the mind chatter and ask yourself a few questions:

    • What thoughts are you having?
    • Are these thoughts possibly holding you back? 
    • Where are you getting stuck? 
    • How are you applying the things you’re learning? 
    • Who might you connect with in this stretch to help you to the next level? 

    Really take on the stretch, live in it, see what it’s trying to teach you and how you can grow.

    There is also lots of fun to be had in the stretch. Breakthroughs, new relationships, new mentors, new ideas…so much goodness to be found here. It’s not all discomfort and dragon slaying. You don’t want to miss any of it. 

    How do you grow more comfortable in the stretch?

    Live in the practice until you become comfortable in it. 

    Study the works of those who came before you in whatever it is you’re struggling with. 

    Ask yourself lots of questions and challenge your brain to start creating new beliefs about yourself that are going to serve you and move you forward.   

    If in the stretch you find yourself thinking you’re not good enough, too old, or whatever it is, challenge those thoughts and find better ones. If you don’t, you’re going to get to the next step and self-sabotage, get knocked back a few steps, or worse, give up. 

    Living in the stretch will slowly adjust the thermostat on your brain’s comfort level, but only if you consciously direct it to do so.

    I’ll end this tiny talk with this great quote from Bruce Lipton. It’s kind of mind-blowing how robotic we humans can be. 

    “The function of the mind is to create coherence between our beliefs and the reality we experience. We generally perceive that we are running our lives with our wishes and our desires. But neuroscience reveals a startling fact.

    We only run our lives with our creative, conscious mind about five percent of the time. Ninety-five percent of the time, our life is controlled by the beliefs and habits that are programmed in the subconscious mind.”

    We say we want one thing, but we’re actually programmed to think a certain way that is probably different. 

    The solution is to increase the amount of time we run our lives from our creative conscious mind, and we do this by purposely living into the stretch, not trying to rush through it.

    Get curious about everything in the stretch; it’s all there to serve and grow you, and remember, it’s also where the most joy and most wonderful breakthroughs happen. Intentionally get uncomfortable until you get really good at slaying that dragon, then pick up all your bonus points, have a village farewell party, and move on to the next ladder rung.

    There is no rush. 

    Here are some self-coaching questions you can ask yourself while in the stretch:

    • When I think about getting to the next milestone, at what point do I get really uncomfortable?
    • What thoughts are creating discomfort for me about reaching my goal? 
    • Are those thoughts serving me?
    • What other thoughts can I think that would serve me better?
    • What keeps me from being comfortable with this skill?
    • What specific steps can I take to increase my comfort level with where I am right now? 
    • What skills do I need to pick up in this stretch? 
    • Am I practicing these skills or just thinking about them intellectually? 
    • Is there someone who can help me find some of my blind spots – a mentor, friend, coach? 

    Ready to get on the playing field? As a creative life coach and screenwriter, I can help you take your idea from concept to final draft so you can finally get your work out into the world where it belongs. Book a free consultation and find out how we can work together.

  • Beliefs

    Part 5 – DIY Obstacle: Not Enough Time

    This is the final part of my five-part series on how to deal with low motivation and stuckness.

    We’ve covered:

    • Distraction Actions
    • Indecision
    • Fixed Mindset 
    • Perfectionism 

    Today is about the DIY distraction, “Not Enough Time.”

    You can read all the books and take all the courses about productivity and time management, but if you don’t have the proper mindset around time, you will go right back to your default ways of thinking. Or worse, you can do all the time management things and come out the other side feeling burnt out and left with a lack of joy in your life because of how you think about time.  

    We end up sacrificing all the things that are important to us to be more productive. Our physical health and mental health suffer. We get lots done…but we end up with high anxiety levels and doing “time-saving” strategies that are not sustainable. It ultimately results in a routine that can’t last, leaving you to crash and burn.

    We tend to look at being busy as a badge of honor or we play the victim to it. When we think about time, we need to stop thinking of it as something we’re racing against or something that has control over us and instead look at it through the lens of intentional thinking and self-care. 

    This is your one life here on earth.

    Before diving into time-saving strategies and productivity methods, you want to shift the way you think about time to be more intentional.

    Here’s what intentional thinking about time looks like.

    We want to go from:

    • Busy to flow
    • Frazzled to aligned action
    • Unproductive stress to control over our time
    • Anxiety and overwhelm to creating the results you want in your life
    • Barely holding it all together to more time for yourself

    That’s the first part. To start thinking in alignment with those intentions, we also need to change our default thoughts about time. There are time-shrinking thoughts and time-expanding thoughts.

    Time-shrinking thoughts sound like this:

    • There’s too much to do.
    • I don’t have time.
    • I wish I had more time.
    • I’ll never get it all done.
    • My time is not my own.
    • There’s so much on my plate.
    • Time keeps flying by.
    • I don’t have control of my time.
    • If only there were more hours in the day.
    • I can’t keep up.

    Take notice of when these thoughts creep in. For me, a lot of these thoughts automatically come up when I’m trying to balance my work with other things in life, like self-care and relationships. 

    Where are they familiar to you? Having an awareness of where these thoughts are coming from is key to developing a healthy relationship with time. They are just thoughts; they may seem accurate, but they’re not.  Even if you do feel like you’re all over the place, it’s not serving you to identify with these time-shrinking thoughts. 

    Take control of what you do have control over. You have options, and you can choose.

    So, here are some time-expanding thoughts:

    • There is no hurry.
    • I get to choose what is important to me.
    • I am worthy of down time.
    • I am a person who focuses and gets it done. 
    • I have all the time I need.
    • I don’t have to do it all.
    • I trust the way my life is unfolding.
    • Just one thing and one moment at a time.
    • I’m exactly where I need to be right now.
    • I’ve got this.
    • Time is just math.
    • I make decisions and go all-in.

    These are the kinds of thoughts that will promote a healthy relationship with time, and they’re intentional, not victim-y. You have to open up your mind to a different way and gently bring it back to the truth. These time-expansive thoughts are always available to you. 

    We all have the same 24 hours each day. Purposely lean toward what makes you feel more expansive, more in flow, and tell yourself the truth about what you choose to do or not do with your time.

    Pick a few new time-expansive thoughts to become your default thoughts and practice them. Just knowing these things is not going to help you; you have to practice and retrain your brain or three days from now, you will go back to default thinking. 

    Here’s a couple of tips to help you do just that:

    • Write down your new time-expansive thoughts, perspective, or approach you want to practice today. 
    • Remind yourself of them again at lunch or before you go to bed. 
    • Set a pop-up reminder on your phone so that you can be reminded of these new intentions in the middle of the day.  

    This is how you are going to switch out your time-shrinking thoughts with time-expansive thoughts. Stay in your own lane and brain. Don’t buy into the anxiety around you. 

    How do you want to think about time?

    The more factual you are with your words, the less drama you’re going to have around time. “I value my time. I make good decisions. The important things will get done.”

    When you really get this, productivity and time management can work for you, not the other way around; you’re not trying to be the perfect productivity machine. Your goal is not to create more time so you can fill it up with more items on your to-do list. No, it’s about making more time for you.

    We fall into a trap around time and many other mindset obstacles because we want things to change outside before we agree to think differently. It never works that way. 

    You need to think differently now, and when you do, you will find that options will appear when it comes to time management that you were never able to see before or that were not available to you because of how you were specifically thinking about time.

    There is no shortage of time management and productivity advice. But without this mindset piece, none of them are sustainable for long. 

    And that’s what I wanted to share with you about this DIY obstacle “Not Enough Time.” 

    I hope you enjoyed this five-part series on how we can overcome low motivation and that feeling of “stuckness” caused by obstacles that come up anywhere between starting and finishing a goal or project.

    Obstacles don’t ever go away. You just get better at dealing with them. Focus on your wins, not the fact that more obstacles are coming. Don’t let yourself indulge in thinking that gets you nowhere. 

    As I said in part one of this series, we often surrender to obstacles because it’s much easier than managing our minds and our brains around them. 

    If you would like some coaching around motivation and getting unstuck, I can help you with that.  

    Shoot me an email or book a free consult and let’s chat about how you can take the next steps to get your work out into the world where it belongs and, most importantly, how to stay happy and healthy in the process. 

    Bye for now!

    PS. The last day to enroll in the final quarter of my 2021 one-on-one coaching/mentorship program is September 1st. Sign up before that to get your hand-curated welcome package, inspired by your project! Make yourself proud and get it done in 2021. Get more details and sign up here.