Episode 129 – Goal check-in and starting small when implementing habits

During this episode, Lucinda and Mariëlle check in with the goals they set for this quarter and discuss what is and isn’t working for them.

Here’s what came up during the episode:

Lucinda is smashing her non-writing goals, but she needs a new plan for her writing ones

Mariëlle is well on her way to achieving the goals she’s written down at the start of the year

Mariëlle suggests starting small and work up to the habit(s) you hope to create

Both Lucinda and Mariëlle shamelessly plugged the YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene

Mariëlle next Kickstarter goes live on 1 March, and you can follow it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mswordsmith/listentoyourheart?ref=35eav2

What is Diving into Writing?

Diving into Writing is a podcast, brought to you by two indie authors, where we discuss best practices to create a sustainable writing career and encourage fellow writers to listen to what their hearts and souls want them to create.

Who is Diving into Writing for?

Any writer who seeks to honour their creative impulses. We are here to make you feel less alone on this journey and inspire you to stay true to yourself in your life and your creative work.

What are our promises to you?

In sharing our creative experiences with you openly and honestly, we aim to create a safe space where you can be honest about your creative dreams and desires.

Why listen to us?

We look beyond the surface of our writing practice. By diving deeply and reflecting on our own creative struggles and obstacles, we broach topics only some in the writing community are willing or ready to have.

Episode 128 – What kind of role model do you want to be?

During this episode, Lucinda and Mariëlle dive deep into the topic of models and the kind of behaviour they themselves would like to model to the world.

Here’s what came up during the episode:

  • Who some of Lucinda’s and Mariëlle’s role models were when they were growing up
  • That people are often role models without us consciously realising that’s what they are to us
  • That anyone can be a role model, and that it can be as much about what they do with their lives as how they make you feel about yours
  • That the behaviour Lucinda wants to model to others is that she follows through with her writing, that is, she gets stuff done and out into the world
  • Mariëlle wants to model what it’s like to not be afraid of your own inner power

Here are some of the questions Mariëlle posed that could help you figure out what kind of role model you would like to be: 

  • Who were your role models as you grew up? If you can’t think of anyone, think about the people who left a positive mark on you. What did they do? How did they make you feel? Are you emulating any of that in your own life?
  • Why were these people your role model? What is it they did or said that made you look up to them as an example for your own life? 
  • When you think of the people you’re leaving a mark on yourself, what would you like for them to see?
  • Are you currently setting that example and modelling that behaviour?
  • If no, what would need to change for you to start setting the example you wish to be in others’ lives? 

Episode 127 – How to Fall back in Love with your Craft

During this episode, Lucinda and Mariëlle talk about falling out of love with your craft and ways to get that loving feeling back if you lost it.

Here’s what came up during the episode:

  • That there’s a difference between falling out of love with a project and falling out of love with the craft (although falling out of love with the craft might just be about a project and not the craft itself)
  • That there are different elements to being in love with your writing, and that you might have to look into all of these to figure out why you haven’t been feeling it

If you’ve fallen (somewhat) out of love with our writing, you might want to pick up your journal and sit down with the following questions:

  • When you first started writing, why were you called to write?
  • When you first started writing, how did it make you feel?
  • Do you still feel like that when you write? If not, what has changed? 
  • If you fell out of love with writing, whether partly or entirely, when did you first notice you lost that loving feeling?
  • When did you lose or start losing (some of) that loving feeling? 
  • What does this tell you?

Episode 126 – When it all goes to Shit and Other Lessons 2023 Taught Us

During this episode, Lucinda and Mariëlle discuss the past year, how COVID and day job drama upended their goals and their intentions for 2024.

Here’s what came up during the episode:

• What happened to the goals Mariëlle and Lucinda set themselves back in September
• What to do when all goes to shit
• Why it’s so important to consider all aspects of your life when planning your creative goals
• How Mariëlle is looking forward to using her 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner again to set flexible goals
• Lucinda’s plan to learn how to plan realistically, especially around the writing and publication of the trilogy she’s been working on

Are you looking for a great way to organise your writing life realistically? Mariëlle’s 52 Weeks of Writing was designed to help you with that. You can find it here: https://mswordsmith.nl/journal

Episode 125 – Why it is so Hard to Maintain Self Care

During this episode, Lucinda and Mariëlle talk about self-care and why it’s so hard to stick to habits that are supposed to be good for us

Here’s what came up during the episode:

  • During her last vacation, Lucinda was reminded how important it is to make space in one’s day to do nothing
  • When it comes to things she loves doing, Mariëlle has absolutely no break, so she needs to start scheduling down-time
  • While Lucinda is pretty clear on what down-time means for her, Mariëlle will have to figure out what it could look like for her

Episode 124 – Animals in Writing

Being the animal lovers they are, it was a matter of time before Mariëlle and Lucinda ended up talking about animals and how they (don’t) write them into their stories. 

Here’s what came up during the episode:

  • Because horrid things tend to happen to the animals in the novels Lucinda reads, she doesn’t want to make herself include animals in her own story-telling
  • When Mariëlle just started writing, she always forgot to include animals into the story (unless they were relevant to the plot). Now, she always does but only in a way that fits the worlds she’s building. 
  • Lucinda and Mariëlle realising that their shared love for animals leads Lucinda to NOT wanting to write about them and Mariëlle to DEFINITELY wanting to write about them
  • Lucinda and Mariëlle discuss some ways animals can be included into stories without them having to be integral to the plot and in ways that subtly demonstrate their values around animals

Episode 123 – Six-week check-in

During this episode, Lucinda and Mariëlle check in with the goals they’ve set for themselves six weeks ago and discuss not just how it’s going but also what they’ve learned about themselves thus far. 

It’s never too late to join the party, so if you want to start planning and tracking your writing life as well, you can get Mariëlle’s Quarterly Planner + Daily Word Count/Hour Tracker here: 


Episode 122 – Bringing Values into Your Planning

On this episode of Diving into Writing, Mariëlle and Lucinda talk about values and how they show up in how they plan and schedule their writing lives. 

Here are some of the topics that came up:

  • Lucinda has a lot of ‘shoulds’ around her writing that make it hard for her to reconsider her approach to writing
  • Some of what we think are our core values might actually be toxic, limiting beliefs we have that have been passed down to us by our parents or the society we grew up in, and it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two
  • Mariëlle’s core value when it comes to writing is that it should be enjoyable, even if it’s hard from time to time. If it doesn’t bring you joy, it’s not sustainable
  • During the episode, Lucinda realises just how much perfectionism affects her writing and other areas of her life

The quote by Brené Brown mentioned on the show is: 

‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ 

The other quote Mariëlle mentioned at the end is by Jiddu Krishnamurti: 

‘It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.’ 

As a bonus, for everyone who struggles with perfectionism, here’s another quote by Brené Brown on the very topic: 

‘Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.’

Episode 121 – Sometimes you Win, Sometimes you Learn

In this episode of Diving into Writing, Mariëlle and Lucinda talk about what they have (not yet) learned from going about 2023 the way they usually do.

Here are some of the ‘revelations’ we had:

  • Lucinda has yet to figure out why it’s such a struggle to get back to writing, although a certain belief popped up during the conversation that might have something to do with it.
  • Mariëlle learned that planning rigorously brings her piece of mind, even if she doesn’t fully stick to what’s she planned. The more detailed, the less overwhelmed she feels, contradictory as that may sound. 

Mariëlle apologises profusely for the sound quality; she forgot to plug in her microphone. Rest assured, she talked directly into it for the entire episode, but to no avail.

Episode 120 – Let’s set some (quarterly) goals!

On this episode of Diving into Writing, Mariëlle and Lucinda work through the Quarterly Planner + Daily Word Count/Hour Tracker Mariëlle created for the show to get them both back on track. 

You can find the Quarterly Planner + Daily Word Count/Hour Tracker here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lx4nq51BEjaWGcZLoRrzH9erq3KcGh_r/view?usp=sharing

Here are some questions to keep in mind as you fill in the document:

  • Are your goals external (out of your control) or internal (within your control) goals?
  • How actionable are the goals you’re setting? 
  • What external circumstances do I have to keep in mind as I set my goals?

If you want to share your goals with us for some extra accountability, please email them to marielle@mswordsmith.nl

The Quarterly Planner + Daily Word Count/Hour Tracker is based on Mariëlle’s 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, which you can find here: https://mswordsmith.nl/journal