Giving my Bad Habits the Heave-Ho!

It is Sunday mid-morning and I am tired. We hosted a dinner party last night and today I feel drained. I should be honest, it wasn’t a big dinner party where we dressed up and had a four-course dinner. It was our monthly get together with good friends and we have been making dishes from the Thug Kitchen cookbook. If you haven’t heard of this cookbook, I highly recommend you do. It’s a great read and the food is so freakin’ delicious! (I could use the f-bomb here but I don’t want to offend anyone and I’m trying not to swear as much as I use to. I’m a Navy Brat, no explanation needed…) I love spending time with our friends and our dinner get-togethers fill me with joy. Sometimes I am aware that I need to be writing and last night was one of those times.

My tiredness doesn’t solely come from the dinner night, there is a combination of a long week at the hotel life and from not writing as much as I planned to. I’m behind on my Nanowrimo project. I let the ego sneak in and convince me that sitting on the sofa after dinner was a better plan than sitting in my writing room doing what I love. How does this happen after all that I know about the ego and old behaviors that suck the life out of me?  I mean I’m sitting in my writing right now and it’s lovely. I mean that. I have a great view of trees and squirrels playing on the branches and from time to time the family of deer saunter by for their afternoon snack. Really why wouldn’t I want to be here? It’s like there is a vortex once I leave my writing room and another time and place takes over. Oh yeah, the ego. So here I am again with the same questions and frustrations of the old behavior that also wants to write but is better at procrastination and I am very aware of this.

I pick up my copy of ‘You are a Badass’ by Jen Sincero to give myself a kick in the ass.

Give Your Bad Habits The Heave-Ho: Successful people have good habits; unsuccessful people have losery habits. Because our habits are all the things that we do automatically, without thinking, they help to define who we are.

Yup, I totally agree. I can see that I’m on autopilot from time to time and the only way I shake out of this fuzzy haze is by writing. Once I get here on the page I am taken to another world, the world that I want to be in. The new habit that I am going to fall into is to get myself in my writing room as soon as I get home from work and write for at least 10 to 20 minutes, it’s better than the alternative. Not writing and staring at the flickering screen of Netflix or scrolling through Instagram to see how many likes I have on the latest picture I’m trying to capture people with. No wonder I’m tired, it can be exhausting trying to keep with the thing we ‘think’ we have to be doing when really we need, I need to be following through with what my heart sings for. Being right here on the page.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

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NaNoWriMo is in Full Swing!

It’s November which means it’s NaNoWriMo, a month-long writing contest/challenge where you attempt to write a novel by November 30. The goal is to write 50,000 words or more if you’re up to the challenge.

I am taking the month of November to work with the guidelines to commit myself to work on a work in progress. This means I’m a NaNoWriMo rebel. (Insert shocking emoji here) I’ve already written 38,000 words on this project in the past and will continue with the word count as the story unfolds. This may mean I might not be writing many blogs during November. Writing blogs is part of my writing routine but like anything, sometimes you need to switch things up to see a new perspective and I’m feeling like I need to kick myself in the butt to write more.

If you don’t hear from me for a while, not to worry, I am in my writing room, or cafe or dining room table or the library feverishly working on my latest project.

Sometimes you need to shut the door, sit down and put the words on the page.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

Writing will Change You

Yes, when you get down to the True self and speak from that, there is always a metamorphosis in your writing, a transfiguration. ~ Brenda Ueland

I have read Brenda’s, If You Want to Write, a book about, art, independence, and spirit many times now, but on Friday morning I reached for the book and opened to the page with this wonderful reminder. I took this book with me on our Seaside, Oregon adventure but I didn’t have a chance to get to it due to the days filled with ocean adventures and family interactions. But something was calling me to reconnect with the book and here it is a very simple but powerful message.

While I was on vacation a few things occurred that made me very aware of a shift transpiring within me. I won’t get into the details but I will tell you that I have been sharing with the universe that I am open to my creative possibilities. Any time you put a thought out into the universe be ready to receive. I am not sure I am ready but I have to be, it’s happening and I can not stop it, I have seen my true self on many occasions over the years and I cannot ignore her. She is not letting the old-self shadow her any longer.

I had a cold during our vacation and I graciously passed it along to my in-laws. The coughing wars were enough to drive one to the edge and I was pushed to the edge of my old behavior self. The one who judges and gets upset over any little thing. Split milk? Watch out my old-self will scold the milk up and down until the old-self feels like it has won some kind of self-made battle. I am very grateful to be aware of these ego related thoughts but it can be scary to see that side of me show up when I’m not paying attention.

Back to the coughing fits between family. It was mid-morning and it was raining sideways, the ocean was spewing waves rapidly, no one was going out anywhere. I took this opportunity to do some writing. But something came out of me that I wasn’t really prepared for.

Do you want this more than me? Was what a new character whispered in my ear. I shivered as I wrote these words. What does it really mean? Do you want this more than me? I know it’s my true-self telling me that I know what I want and I want it more than the old-self, the old behaviors, the bad habits that have lingered for far too long. I want to be creating and sharing more than I want to be sitting on the sofa night after night zoning out on some HGTV show that I know is not helping me to move forward with my own creativity. I crave my creative life so desperately I want to kill off the ego so that I am able to step up and rise to the occasion I know I so desperately want to be doing. Does this make sense? Does anyone else feel this way? All I know is that this how I am feeling and there is something stirring around within me ready to be released.

I’m ready.

Now, get to the page and get to work!

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

 

What Does a Writer Do on Vacation?

Road trips are one of my favorite ways to travel. My husband and I have been on many road trip adventures over the years and as a young girl, my family would take to the open road on our family vacations. We would visit my Grandparents in Ontario. We drove from Nova Scotia and we would take two days to travel, my father would drive through the US, sometimes it was quicker, but for me it was about seeing new sights, stay in different hotels and explore new neighborhoods. I didn’t know it then, but I was being given an education of life on the road, and I loved it!

There is something about sitting in a car or bus traveling long distances to get to a destination that stirs up my imagination. What else does one do when in a car for long periods of time but think of stories that take you away to another world. My road trip adventures as a child were way before the smartphone or built-in iPads to preoccupy my brain while parents sit silently up front. The things that kept me busy were a stack of books that I would devour as the miles passed by. My imagination was on overload when I put my headphones on to my yellow Sony Walkman where Joey Joe sang, Please don’t go Girl, over and over again because I wanted to be that girl the New Kids on the Block sang about. I use to daydream that I was the girl he spotted in the crowd, pulled me on stage, kissed me and we fell in love. I was a hopeless romantic at a very early age.

I won’t lie, over the years as I would drive alone on my own adventures, (I was maybe 17 or 18) I would daydream up more adventures with other celebrities. I use to play out a reunion of St. Elmo’s Fire cast as the daughter of Kevin and Leslie who now was attending Georgetown University. I would carry these ideas into my late twenties but with different characters and situations.

This vacation was with my husband and my in-laws. We travel very well together. This road trip involved a ferry from Vancouver Island to Port Angeles then making our way to Seaside, Oregon. After the hour and a half ferry ride, it was about a five and half hour drive to Seaside. The trip was lovely, the fall colors of deep reds and light yellows were making an appearance on sporadic trees. Once we made it close to the Ocean, I felt a sense of calmness and was happy to be back in the Pacific North West.

What day-dreams tickled my imagination? I have been reading Stephen King’s, 11/22/63 and not to give the book away, my thoughts were on time travel. As we drove through sections of clouds, creativity sparked up with some interesting ideas. Ideas that I let sit idle for a few days. I have another project that I am working on and didn’t want to start something else, but sometimes creativity takes over and you go with the flow.

Each day in Seaside we would go on daily adventures to Cannon Beach, Tillamook and other national parks to see the lush rain-forest areas. With every new adventure my imagination was turned on and I took notes on ideas, phrases or comments a possible character was sharing with me. I was very aware.

What did I learn on this road trip? It was more like a very nice reminder that my imagination is never turned off. I’m very content to sit in the car and daydream, I’m comfortable with sitting idle because the imagination needs room to explore and the story needs time to develop. For this I am grateful.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing. . . .

The Blank Page

Whom do I tell when I tell a blank page? ~ Virgina Wolf

The blank page is waiting for what is already known. I look at the blank space and know it’s up to me to let it go, to put down the words that swirl within me, to share my fear of what I already know. The blank page is welcoming to me – I want to see what appears on the page, I’m eager to answer the questions that show up either through a character or simply an injury during my morning pages. What questions do I want to have answered now?

I’m a solitary writer – I enjoy being by myself, not so much an introvert, but I’m perfectly content to spend time with myself Yes, I love my friends and spending time with them is important, to connect with like-minded people is what nourish my creative spirit.

One year my husband and friends of ours were on vacation in Maui. It was my second time to the magical island and I was looking forward to spending time with the writing, along with enjoying the tropical island life. The first time my husband and I were in Maui I wrote a screenplay or a version of a romance screenplay. I had fun with it. This trip I was open to any idea that creativity provided. I’m open to creativity and the ideas it whispers to me.

We went on a snorkeling adventure to Molokini rock. There may have been sixty other people on this boat and I felt this great creative energy, I was ready for this experience. I watched people interact with one another and with one small glimpse of a woman fawning over the good-looking Captain who was giving us safety instructions of the boat a story sparked within me. Instantly I felt myself be removed from the other people, my husband, and friends. Yes, I was there in body, but my mind and spirit quickly pulled out my notebook and I started to write.

I wrote two thousand words that morning on the boat and I was grateful that no one interrupted me. They know me, I’m their writer friend, I tend to write at the drop of a pen (I know, I know, sorry for the pun). Once I finished this spurt of writing I was back on the boat gazing out at the ocean, engaging with my husband and friends. The story was started and lingering within. I knew once the characters started talking, sharing their stories I couldn’t walk away. I was hooked and wanted to write their story. The rest of the time in Maui I would sit on the beach and scribble away as my friends paddle-boarded or snorkel. I enjoyed my time by the ocean and soaked up the sun. I honored the creativity and took the time to get down the words when they came. For that I am grateful.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

Gratitude & Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving my Canadian Friends. I love the fall, I do love my flip-flops and the warm sun but there is something about the crisp fall mornings and my favorite fuzzy sweaters that fills me with comfort and joy. I started this blog as a follow-up to my vow to break up the sofa and then I realized it was Thanksgiving and I should be a bit more grateful and write about my Thanks. However, I do want to share my love affair with the comfy Chesterfield.

Like a bad break up, my separation with the sofa is not going well. There are days when we get back from our after dinner walk and our of habit I head to the sofa and sit down and put my feet up.  There are days where I don’t go near the sofa and those days are getting to be more and more, but the days that I do retreat back I feel guilty. I know it’s not good for me to sit around not writing. I know sitting in front f the TV watching yet another Netflix Original or the latest Mr. Mercedes episode is going to waste the time away from my writing room. So why do it? What is so appealing about the sofa? For the creative writer in me, nothing. Maybe there is some story waiting to be told while I sit around on the sofa, honestly, I’m on the sofa now typing away.

I’m thankful for the awareness that I am having troubles stepping away from a lifetime relationship. I wrote a poetry book about my Nanny and Bumpy (my maternal grandparents) and called it On The Couch because every picture I had of them was on a couch at a family gathering. I gravitated to the sofa as an only child – I didn’t have to share with a sibling and when I did have to sit next to someone let’s just say I had trouble sharing my space.

Robie & Marion Pierce

I would sit with my grandparents on the sofa and always felt safe. Maybe that’s why I have trouble walking away. Maybe I’m looking for that nostalgic feeling. I love my grandparents, and though they have passed they are always right here with me. Maybe, I have to realize that they are with me everywhere and not just on the sofa. The ego is a funny thing, even when you know that something is not the best for you, what do you end up doing? You got it, go running to the couch and snuggling up in an afghan on a crisp fall morning. I will add my laptop and keep writing, best of both worlds. This is how I will begin my next journey of leaving the sofa. This is how I will grow and capture those familiar blissful moments anywhere I go. For this I am grateful.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .