Identify Your Peas
A little over a year ago, when I started the book writing process for Performing Artist Pathway, I received a bit of advice from my writing coach, Ramy that literally transformed how I start each and every work day.
Have you ever heard of or read the Princess and the Pea?
Here’s the quick synopsis of this fairy tale: A princess seeks overnight shelter in a prince’s castle due to a storm that hit. The Queen tests out whether this visitor was truly a princess by placing a single pea under 20 mattresses and 20 feather-beds. The princess complains the next morning, of her terrible night’s sleep. Joila! She confirms she’s royalty!
Now, I am sure you are thinking, “what’s this got to do with how I start my work day?”
Surely, you’re not trying to prove your royalty to anyone, but can you imagine for a moment, how distracting and frustrating this “pea” must’ve been for the princess?
In one of the very first conversations I had with Ramy, before the real writing even began, he said to me:
“Brianna, you must identify your peas!”
In other words, before you sit down to write at your computer, know what distracts you and put solutions in place before the writing even begins. This will ensure complete focus on the task ahead.
Once you identify your peas, you will also start forming personal success rituals that will aid in your focus and positive mindset as you meet each and every day.
(Side note: Part of Ramy’s success ritual included him banging a huge gong to commence the writing, which clearly is not part of my MO.)
At first, I didn’t know what my “peas” were, so I set up per usual and paid close attention to the things that distracted me from my focus.
“Confirming our meeting at 2pm,” a text message rolled in…
“Mom, I’m hungry.”
“Crap! I need a tissue!” My allergies were out of control again.
“Dang, I’m cold!”
“Is the coffee ready yet?”
I discovered that every morning when I sat down to write, my peas revolved around cell phone distractions, temperature, thirst, allergies and the most obvious, my kiddos’ needs.
So, the night before, I’d set my work table up to include a sweater, a water bottle, chapstick (my lips are always dry in the morning), headphones and a tissue box. The cell phone stayed off the work table first thing in the morning.
I also started setting the coffee pot the night before to ensure my morning jo was ready to go! And to avoid the “MAHM, MAHM, MOMMMEEE,” I’d wake myself up at 4:30a to get some writing in, before the real work began.
This became my morning success ritual, and although now, I am not writing a book, I still set out all of these things to keep me at my desk and focussed through each task. The kiddos know that when my headphones are ON, questions are OFF!
So now it’s your turn. What would help you stay focused on your project? Is there one distraction in particular or several that could be removed from your workspace, to give you the positive work energy you need to stay efficient and on track?
I’d love to hear what your peas are and more importantly, the solution you create for yourself to get them out of the way, while you work!
Brianna Ruelas is a Dallas Based Performing Artist Consultant, Vocal Coach, Singer-Songwriter and Author to Performing Artist Pathway: Navigate the Highs and Lows On Your Music Journey. As a singer and performer for twenty- five years, Brianna has studied internationally and performed all genres, from jazz to rock to pop, received a BA in Theatre Arts from Pepperdine University, and spent years honing her musical theatre chops. After graduating college, Brianna departed from the theatre to pursue music as a solo artist and also worked as a commercial voiceover actor. Brianna has fronted her own rock band and experienced the reality television craze in its early days, as a Top 100 finalist on American Idol, Season 4.
Brianna's expertise and background as a Singer/Songwriter, Vocal & Performance Coach and Business Owner, affords her the opportunity to mentor and consult with indie performing artists and bands, to help them realize their careers in music. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey, and taking them from “stuck” to strategic! Seeking solutions is part of Brianna's DNA, in addition to, maximizing her clients talents and abilities.
Brianna is a proud Wife and Mother, Creator of the Female Performing Artist Connection & Every Mom’s Story Blog and works alongside her husband managing the financial operations and marketing for their Dallas family restaurant, Victor Hugo’s.