Benefits of Review

Katie Corbett headshot

By Katie Corbett


There is value in going back and reviewing things you have made earlier in your life. I have had a novel in the works since 2009. Yesterday, I took some time between doing a load of dishes and preparing for Thanksgiving to read over that very first draft ever. Needless to say, my writing has improved a lot since then. But I did learn several valuable lessons from that experience.

 

I learned that reading my old writing could be enjoyable. I compared it to looking at baby pictures: sort of cute, slightly embarrassing, and I’m definitely grateful no one else will read that book.

 

It was fun to see how much my writing has improved since then. I have gotten much better at dialogue, more readily able to show instead of tell, and my plot points have gotten tighter.

 

Even though that first draft is basically garbage, I know that my novel wouldn’t be what it is today without that writing. I needed to write to figure out who my characters are, what kinds of things they would do, and how they would interact with each other. That first draft definitely helped me flesh out a lot of those points.

 

Have you taken the time to go back and look at previous work? What insights did you gain from the experience? Can you think of ways in which that previous work has impacted you now? I would love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment.

 

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The Joys of Asking for Help

Katie Corbett headshot

By Katie Corbett

 

Sometimes, it is important to ask for help. I am in a stage of my life where I am paring down and making my life less complicated. As a result, there are certain things I am no longer taking on, or certain projects I am passing along to other people.

 

I have found it helpful to think of who is in my corner, and ask those people for support when I need it. Whether I’m looking for some objective advice, seeking out someone to hire for a project I no longer have the time or energy to complete, or searching out a friend to have new experiences with, finding people for each of these things has been both fun and rewarding.

 

Have you outsourced anything in your life? If so, how did it work out? I’d love to hear about your experiences, so feel free to leave me a comment.

 

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The Power in Slowing Down

Katie Corbett headshot

By Katie Corbett

 

I received some sage advice from a good friend this week. She said that when you are facing difficult or unusual circumstances, it is a good idea to slow down. The advice comes from military pilots. Often, new pilots want to speed up when there is turbulence to get the experience over with as soon as possible. Experienced pilots know that they need to take it slow Through that situation.

 

This past week, I have been slowing down a bit. I am taking a break from reading through a novel I am writing, and also taking ample time to think about and prioritize relationships in my life.

 

As a result, I am gaining more clarity. I also think I will be more prepared for the work ahead.

 

Have you taken periods of time to slow down in your life? What have been the results? Feel free to leave me a comment with any thoughts.

 

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Getting Back to The Basics

Katie Corbett headshot

By Katie Corbett

 

During this time of transition between jobs for me, I have been getting back to the basics of what I enjoy. It has been very freeing, giving myself permission to let go of the things that no longer serve me, or that I no longer want to do.

 

I have found it helpful to think about what I have enjoyed doing during times of happiness and fulfillment. This has assisted me in figuring out what I want to keep, and what has to go. I have also thought a lot about what I turned to when things are stressful. Often times, it is the same as the thing I enjoy when I am most happy.

 

For me, that hobby is reading. I enjoy reading fiction books, as well as looking for new books to read. I also really like to talk about books with friends. As a result, I have continued to read throughout this time, and I have joined a book club.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you are at your happiest? What things keep you afloat when tough times arise? I would love to know, so feel free to leave a comment.

 

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Friday Ain’t Over Yet

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By Katie Corbett

As I continue to recover from being sick, I am rediscovering the idea of doing what I can, and not worrying about the rest. For example, this blog post is publishing six hours later than I would like. Will any of you notice? Probably not. So I’m just going to take this space to give you a friendly reminder to just do what you can, and not worry about the rest. I would like to say thanks to anyone who is reading this, because you have come along way on this journey with me. I have been publishing for a long time, and even though I didn’t get this post out as early in the day as I hoped I would, I am publishing anyway. I don’t want to break my Friday publishing streak just because I was sick. Have a great day and take care of yourselves, readers!

A Thought Experiment

Katie Corbett headshot

By Katie Corbett


Someone I know recently brought an interesting thought experiment to my attention. If you aren’t sure what you want to do, ask yourself: “If no one else existed in the world, what would I be doing right now?” I have tried this over the past week, because I have been feeling overwhelmed, and I’m also a recovering people-pleaser.

 

While there are times when it is necessary to do something you don’t want to do simply because it needs to get done, it can often be hard to relax if you can’t let go of what you think you “should” be doing. I found that this experiment helped me think about what I truly wanted to do in the moment, and enjoy some peace and serenity.

 

What questions help you combat stress and overwhelm? If you have found one that is helpful, let me know.

 

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Stay Ahead of the Game: Notice Trends Around You

Katie Corbett holds the book "Shoe Dog"

By Katie Corbett

 

Keeping an eye on what is going on around you can help you take advantage of opportunities. It can even help you create new ones.

 

Phil Knight, who shares his founder’s story of Nike in “Shoe Dog,” created such a successful company because he paid attention to things that were in vogue around him and figured out how to meet previously unmet needs in the footwear industry. Here are some questions I ask myself so that I continue to observe and recognize trends.

 

  • What needs are people expressing around me?
  • What do people want?
  • Have I seen, come across, or heard about an unmet need more than once?
  • Have multiple people expressed this need to me?
  • How do my skillset, personality, and experience put me in a position to meet this need?
  • WHAT is the need?
  • How can I help?
  • How do I want to help?
  • What would I need to do to meet this need?
  • What is the first step to getting started?

 

My garment project stemmed from seeing a need around me. I asked others if they had the same need I felt, and they answered with a resounding “Yes!” From there, a product idea was born. Even though I put that project on hold for the time being, the need definitely still exists. I might come back to it again someday.

 

My story illustrates that it is important to keep in mind that you could have a need that intersects with the needs of others. Keep paying attention to your own needs as well as those of others. You might be surprised about what opportunities come your way as a result of your vigilance.

 

Do you have a story about how paying attention to trends helped you find a new job, volunteer role, or other opportunity? Let me know in the comments.

 

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You Are A Victim of the Rules You Live By

Katie Corbett holds the book "You are a Badass"

By Katie Corbett

 

Whether it is true or not, we make decisions based on assumptions we make and ideas we impose on ourselves. These rules can keep us from enjoying life and achieving at our highest potential.

 

This became apparent to me when I read, “You Are A badass,” by Jen Sincero. I decided to take some time and look at what rules I live by that hold me back. here’s what I discovered.

 

I catch myself thinking that networking takes a long time. The truth is that if you network efficiently and stay organized, it only need take five minutes a day.

 

I sometimes think that by reaching out to people, I am bothering them. Experience has taught me, though, that if I approach conversations with friendliness and a desire to get to know the other, nobody seems to mind.

 

I used to catch myself thinking that people don’t want to hear from me. I’ve realized that if I reach out and someone doesn’t want to hear from me, they won’t respond, and those who do want to connect with me will be happy to talk.

 

I sometimes think that I don’t know how to be curious. Asking questions is important to me, so I try to fall back on what I learned in journalism school to come up with good questions.

 

As you can see, changing these beliefs and ideas takes time and effort. Putting in this time and effort has paid off so far, and I plan to continue to do this important work.

 

Are you living by a rule that is holding you back? How are you working to change this? I’d love to know, so drop me a comment.

 

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