There are two things a writer, any writer, must do or he will fail. It is unescapable and few writers, if any, like doing it, for that is where the hard work is, but the two mandates can also be applied to your life and it is a good idea to use them .
The first is proofreading. It is sitting down and reviewing what has been written to see what needs changing. And there are mistakes in writing and there are mistakes in one’s life. So in proofreading you examine how do make the story better. Your life is your story, so why not periodically sit down and review you life, check to see what needs improving; what needs fixing and how to fix it.
I remember while proofreading my first e-novel, “Loonies in the Dugout” that two sections, the writing of which I liked, still had to be cut entirely out of the story. Not cleaned up, not revised, but deleted with prejudice. Neither section advanced the story or had any character development. If there is something in your life that is not advancing your story or helping your development, then cut it out.
Cutting things out of your life, as in fiction, is called editing. Yes, you can edit your life for you are the writer, the proofreader, and the publisher. Your audience are friends and family. If you like, you can ask them what they would hope to see you edit out of your life. (not saying they’re right, but it doesn’t hurt to listen).
In the same e-novel I was trying for a theme in the first part of the book. It had to do with heat. The story was true and it began in the summer of 1911 when there was a heat wave, many people died during this time. So I had a lot of metaphors, similes, and descriptions where heat factored in the story. The problem I saw was that it did not work and had to be rewritten. As much as I liked it, it didn’t work, so it had to be changed.
That is the hard part about proofreading and editing your life. There are things you like, say eating three maple bars for breakfast. Who doesn’t love maple bars? But I don’t think three is good for you. Maybe cutting to one, then down to one half, then cutting them out would be a good idea. Blueberries in oatmeal, now that is better for your story.
So that is what I have learned from writing, to sit down, look at my life, see what needs changing, editing, fixing, and to make necessary changes. You can do the same and you don’t have to be a writer.