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Monday Moment: when things don’t go as planned

Emma Grey

It’s strange getting to this part of the year and looking back on how you hoped things might have turned out. One of my big goals professionally in 2015 was to land a publishing deal for my teen novel, Unrequited. That hasn’t happened (the year’s not over yet!), but we were thrilled to receive an unexpected book deal for a non-fiction title through My 15 Minutes, for publication in 2017.

Despite no book deal for the novel, I’m excited to say that twice ARIA-winning composer, Sally Whitwell, and I are now collaborating on the beyond-exciting-for-both-of-us project: We’re spending our evenings sending each other song and script ideas and talking about the story structure. It’s pretty magical.

Sally taught me a couple of interesting things about this process, which apply in life as well.

Always move forward

Once the story starts, it must continue to progress forward. Avoid mucking around with time and flashbacks, or the story stalls.

It got me thinking of how we stall our own stories, when we spend too much time in the past, wanting to re-write things, or flitting from one thing to the next. Clearer focus and onward movement is what creates change and progress.

Start with the big number from the end of Act 1…

…then you’ll have something to work towards.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but LOVE the idea of coming up with the ‘big number from the end of Act 1’ to aim for by June 2016. The idea of choosing something ‘half way through’ and thinking of it as a mid-year climax, then mapping out what must come before it really appeals.

While I love hoping for certain things to happen, I tend to let go of ‘attachment to outcome’ as much as possible. Getting that book contract for Unrequited was never a ‘nothing else will do’ scenario. The timing, too, didn’t actually matter.

When we let go of things having to unfold a certain way, we make way for them to unfold differently, and isn’t that how life is meant to be?

A note from Emma:

Thank you so much for your support and engagement with Monday Moment posts on HerCanberra during 2015. It’s a pleasure to interact with you here and on the HerCanberra Facebook page.

There’s a special chance for HerCanberra readers to win some prizes in the My 15 Minutes Secret Santa Giveaway. Enter here!

My best wishes for a safe, happy and restful holiday period. See you in 2016!

Image of tense young woman leaning against wall from shutterstock.com

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Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

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