Wednesday Within

Wednesday Within: Notes to Self 2015

(With thanks to the Kath Eats Real Food blog for the inspiration. This is one of an occasional personal post I started doing last year.)

Self, this year I would like you to remember: Bloc_note_paper_266924_l

–You really do have time to write Morning Pages every day and they will get ideas flowing and set your day up for success. 

–Working on the WIP novel immediately after Morning Pages will make you feel good about yourself and your life all day.

–You're not the CEO of a major company.  There is no email or phone call that needs answering before 8 AM.

–Protagonist is not spelled protaganist, the way you always spell it.

–And furthermore, seperete is actually spelled seperate.  Really, it is.

–Writing a novel "is like reconstructing the whole of Paris from Lego bricks." Amos Oz.  Remind yourself of this often.

–While we're on the subject of Paris, remember on bleak days that there's a sojourn in the city of light in your near future.

–When you think there's something wrong with a scene–there is.  Figure it out.

–Speaking of which, you know more about your WIP than you think.

–All you have to do to start is just open the file and look at it.

–Yes, you will get through the middle.  You will.

–Remember how much better you feel when you get up every 30 minutes!

–Stretching every morning will make you feel much better.

–And so does drinking lots of water. Plus, when you drink a lot of water, it helps you get up regularly.  Duh.

–Remembering to breathe fully makes you feel best of all!

–Do the most important thing first.

–The most important thing is, 9 times out of 10, working on your WIP.

–I give you permission to underline and make notes in your books.

–It is already starting to get light later and next time you look up from your computer, it will be spring.

No whining on they yacht.  You're one of the luckiest humans on the planet.

Okay.  Those are my things I want to remember this year.  (I reserve the right to add to them as the year goes on.) What are yours?  

Photo by brokenarts.

Wednesday Within: The Virus of Obsessing About Stupid Things

Often sometimes I obsess about stupid things.  Like what top to buy, or if I should take a certain class, or how to totally and completely change my life.  This doesn't sound so bad, but I swear at times it clogs up my whole mind and my brain gets stuck thinking about this stupid stuff. Estock_commonswiki_278333_l

I'm convinced its a virus.

And when I think really dark thoughts about this virus, I'm convinced it was let loose by some evil overlord trying to subdue the human race by making them waste time on petty thoughts. (Should you doubt this theory, go read your Facebook news feed.  The stupidity of the things people post there is appalling.)

My theory is akin to one I've heard bandied about on women, which I actually believe: that we are sold a bill of goods about how we should look through a constant stream of adverstisements, features in magazines on beauty, and articles.  This keeps us relatively powerless because we waste time on crap like this rather than running the world, for instance.

Maybe this is a virus, too?

Or maybe none of it is.  Rather, it is just our poor tired brains running on overload all the time, what with the bombardment of information they handle.  But I sure wish I knew how to deal with it better, because while I'm obsessing about what sweater pattern to knit, another writer is turning that obsessing into a novel about knitters.  Or something.  

And I want to be that writer.

Ideas?  What do you do when your brain starts into overload obsesssion mode?  (Oh crap, please tell me I'm not the only one whose brain does this.)

Photo by Geejo.

Wednesday Within: This Will Save Me

Crazy-breath-mask-923023-lI am a woman of great passions.  Some of them, like writing and reading, have lasted a lifetime. Others, like gardening or knitting, wax and wane.  And still others (Jazzercise, anyone?) have their brief moment in the sun with me and then I lose interest.

And then there are the things I find that I'm certain will save me.  Things like an eating or exercise plan. Or some kind of meditation.  A different kind of prayer.  A new book that has all the answers!  If only I follow the directions exactly, I will be a new person.  

The problem is, I'm not at all good at following directions.

I've been through all kinds of food plans, the most recent being the Paleo diet my daughter is forever trying to foist on me (love you, sweetie).  France made me ditch that one (no bread allowed on Paleo). To be fair, I do lean towards eating this way, I just hate following externally-imposed rules.   I could go on and on about how I was certain that making home-made sauerkraut and consuming raw milk kefir would be the answer to all my problems, or how running three times a week was just the ticket, or how attending church would remake me.

Okay, so that last one actually has worked pretty well.  But turns out there's only a few kinds of sauerkraut I like the taste of, raw milk is illegal in Oregon, and running is really, really hard on my knees.  And yet, the momentary obessions continue.

Do you do this? Please tell me you do this.

But, just because I'm in a revelatory mood, here are my latest obsessions: the ukelele, bone broth and breathing.  I've not made much progress with the uke yet, though my friend Kate has leant me one and I am entranced with these videos.  NEED LINKS.  Apparently, ukeleles are a thing. And part of that thing is gathering together and playing and I really like that idea.

Bone broth you can probably live without, though I'm convinced it is going to save my afore-mentioned knee problems which are really lower back problems caused by one leg being shorter than the other.  I make it in the slow cooker with bones, amazingly enough, and vegies and let it simmer for 24 hours.  I'll spare you more on that.  But read this link if you are interested.

But we do need to talk about breathing.

Because it is something we all should be paying attention to.  I'm quite sure it impacts our writing, because it impacts everything.  Think how amazing–we don't have to stop and ponder how to breathe, it just happens.  But along the way we get into some bad breathing habits.  I tend to be a breath catcher.  I lightly hold my breath in my throat and my stomach, and I do this when I'm writing. I've looked at it a lot, trying to figure out where this habit arose, and I think it has to do with excitement.  You know how you catch your breath when something exciting happens?  Like that.  And I get excited when I'm writing, so this habit has resulted.  (It's not just when I'm writing, either, I find myself doing it all the time.)

I've read estimates saying that most of us use only 10% of our full breathing capacity.  Yet, because it is our breath, and we do it unconsciously most of the time, we don't think much about it.  But imagine how you would feel if you were only eating 10% of the food you need?  Or getting 10% of the sleep you require?  Yeah, not so good.

The easiest way to breath better is simply to take full, deep breaths whenever you find yourself catching your breath or chest breathing (a good, deep breath goes all the way into your belly).  You can also commit to taking 20 deep breaths three times a day if that suits you.  It's so simple, really–yet since breathing is at the basis of all our life, you'll find results such as increased energy, more ability to focus, and a tuned-up metabolism.

Ask the Google for more information.  A good place to start is here.

What is "saving" you these days?

Image by hypertypos.

And a quick addition: My friend Kevin Johns interviewed me for a podcast and it just went live! Listen here, and read my review of his book here.