Showing posts from December, 2012

Mouse View/Eagle View: Life Balance

Stress, exams, deadlines, holidays, parties, shopping, spending: that's what the end of the year typically brings to those of us living in North America. And then there's the looming new year and all its expectations: Lose weight! Get fit! Make more money! Life balance: yeah, right. "You have to balance client expectations with personal needs." "Too much work and no play." "Family time, couple time: they have to balance out." If it's helpful to you to think of balance, great; go right ahead. But at any particular moment, I don't particularly want to be "balanced." I want to be enthusiastic, passionate, productive, energetic -- or contemplative, resting, processing, mellow. Intense, tense -- relaxed, loose. Or something completely different, something that can't be measured on a binary scale. Like I want to be listening, witnessing, watching, looking, tasting, luxuriating, sharing. For me, balance does

Mouse View, Eagle View: Rejection

"Rejection is just part of the life." I haven't met a writer who hasn't said that, nor have I met one who can accept rejection without a twinge of "hey!" One strategy that's helped me handle having writing rejected -- which, yes, is inevitable in this line of work -- is to remember to work both the mouse view and the eagle view. For the past several years, I've tried submitting something every month. Often I submit more than one something. Often I re-send a returned piece (in what I call a "boomerang" submission), but sometimes I make "rules" to force myself to send something new (or newly revised), and sometimes the "rules" include trying a publication I haven't tried before. Over the years, I've found it helpful to have many pieces "out there" under consideration -- that's the eagle view. I have twelve opportunities, at minimum, in a year to see a piece land in a publication. In

Mouse View/Eagle View: Whazzat?

It's that time of year. I'm sending invoices, finishing projects, meeting deadlines. It's time to see what worked well in 2012 and what might help me be more successful, however I define that, in 2013. As I start winding down -- or winding up, depending on whether I feel clock-like or thread-like, I guess -- I find myself thinking a lot about mouse view and eagle view. Here's how the basic concept works: Mice see things at ground level. Eagles see things from a higher perspective. Mice see blades of grass; an eagle sees a meadow. We live at mouse view; we dream and set goals at eagle view. Of course I didn't invent the concept -- I first heard it at some corporate training something-or-other back when I went to those things. Here's an explanation of how you could apply those two perspectives at work. . Getting Things Done, summarized here , talks about runway view, 10,000-foot view, and up to a 60,000-foot view.  Whatever the name, mouse