Back off baby: slow down!

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NaNoWriMo day two (see “Jump right in…”): 2,068 words down, 47,932 words to go. And I’ve already learned something about myself, and my writing. I realized that in the not-so-distance past when I’d sit down and compose, I’d navigate from A to Z in a straight shot to arrive at the “good parts” quicker. This hit home as I drove through my neighborhood recently and a vehicle raced up behind my car. Back off baby, I thought, right before the driver swerved around me, only to be forced to stop at a red light. It seems we’re always in a rush to get to the “good parts;” consequently, we oftentimes miss the magic that unfolds during the detours and roundabouts, the hills and the valleys—in life and on the page. As I plunge into this month of writing, I promise to allow myself to slow down, explore new territory (whether planning/plotting or pantsing) and simply tread water for a bit.

When do you need to back off?

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Walk the talk: conditioning your mind, body for success

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This past Sunday, I woke up conflicted: workout, yoga or hike? My response: When in doubt, hike it out. The moderate-to-difficult trail proved to be exactly what I needed as endurance training for an upcoming trek of mine categorized as “hard.” And, it afforded me three hours of solitude in which I mentally sketched out revisions for a book I wrote earlier this year, as well as prefaced my next work of fiction. The time I spent strategizing in the mountains served as an effective tool to condition myself for this approaching season jam-packed with writing commitments—including two back-to-back online workshops, as well as NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month)—carrying me well into the new year. Because whether it’s a hike, or a writing workshop, training and planning go hand in hand. If I’m willing to condition and equip myself on the trail, then I should do the same for my vocational aspirations. In other words: walk—or hike—the talk.

How do you “train” for success?

Mama don’t preach

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Preach

 

In my post, Don’t wait until you die, I write about giving ourselves permission to love ourselves wherever we’re at. To live now, because it’s too late if we wait. Yet nowhere do I mention my faith—the overriding factor in my life and day-to-day decisions. My desire, however, is that to those who know me, my life reads as a testimony to the One who is greater than I am. That instead of self-reliance, it’s evident my reliance is on a higher power. This is why I don’t pepper each blog with spiritual fodder; rather, I share and dissect insights I stumble upon, whether divine or otherwise. Always The Write Time was never intended to serve as a platform to preach about religious or political beliefs, but a creative outlet in which I hope my words inspire and encourage others as I live and learn. Nonetheless, if you ask, I’ll tell you the reason for the hope that is within me.

What is your life’s overriding factor?

Image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Don’t wait until you die

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Don't wait until you die

 

To anyone who thinks they’re falling behind in life” is written to me. I am the one who thinks I need more motivation, to read more lists and posts about how I’m not doing enough. Because I’m not doing enough, right? I’m still writing blogs about how I need to simplify, find balance, be kind, follow my dreams: to do. To be. To perpetuate an endless cycle of more than. The pièce de résistance? …we all need more than anything… permission to be wherever the f*ck we are when we’re there. Oh, this soothes my soul. Who doesn’t crave permission to love themselves exactly where they are? A yogi instructor recently ended her evening class with Alan Cohen’s words: To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now. I exited the room, tears streaming down my face. I want to live now.

Which one are you?

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Pantser, planner or a little of both?

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Pantser planner

 

If you’re a writer, the term ‘pantser’ is as familiar to you as the beloved setting where you daydream about all the writing you wish you were doing. Basically, it means to ‘fly by the seat of your pants.’ Writers like this generally begin with a basic plan, then let the story write itself. In life and in writing, I tend to follow the ‘planner’ route; i.e., I like to know what, when, where and how something will happen. Although this rarely transpires outside the confines of my laptop or notebook, I find comfort in staying between the lines. I might consider my living and writing style more middle-of-the-road, however, a ‘plantser’ who performs a little of both—more so now that simplicity is my New Year intention. A loose outline, whether for the day or the next blog or that story idea I’ve contemplated and picked apart for months, simply sets the stage for magic to unfold.

Are you a pantser, planner or a little of both?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Social networking: checking in and out

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Social networking

Social media can be a time waster, yet it has its place. I use various forms to maintain contact with family and friends, as well as promote my writing and sprinkle encouragement. And, social media is how I keep up-to-date as far as world events. But I can’t count the number of times I get sucked into the drama, the recipes and book reviews, music and cat videos, the goofy memes and even the political harangues. Yet I like feeling as if I’m part of something bigger than myself. Plus, I’m thankful for the people I’ve reconnected with, and for instantaneous communications—although not always a good thing when you feel compelled to respond immediately to a text or a private message. I think, like with most things, setting aside allotted time—particularly to check in and catch up on Facebook, email, texting, Twitter, etc.—might be one answer to rein in the day-to-day distractions and simplify life.

Where does social networking fall on your list of distractions?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Sky’s the limit

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Sky is the limit

 

At the hotel I recently reserved in Sedona, the term ‘fitness room’ could be used loosely: two mats, two mirrors, a few medicine balls, balance ball and two pieces of working cardio equipment. Not bad, but also not my usual full-gym selection more than 150 miles away. Instead of pouting, however, I recalled hearing recently, in passing, someone mention the old adage ‘thinking outside the box,’ so I did. I utilized the equipment available to me and enjoyed two of the best workouts I’ve experienced in a few months. And, later in the day, when I stumbled upon a lovely metal ‘tree of life’ wall art for sale on the patio of a local Mexican sundries shop, I knew it belonged not on my patio, but displayed inside my home. Imagine the possibilities if we were to think outside the box even pertaining to our dreams. The breathtaking desert backdrop is the limit, for me. What about you?

In what way(s) do you think outside of the box?

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