This blog increasingly documents my experiments in creative living and curiosity about living a longer, more active life. If that's the kind of thing you're interested in, I'd be delighted if you'd join us. Mayo - my better half - and I live on an island in the St. Lawrence River 1000 Islands chain and are currently experimenting with warmer winter locations - mostly Savannah, GA. So, yeah, my accent is half-Canadian, half upper New York and another half undetermined Southern drawl. You
It’s “rubber meets the road time” here. Oh yeah, no more hiding my head behind reading and tech-stuff. After all, I just killed my old blog to start anew, to be immersed in a new chaos compared to the old chaos. So now what’s stopping me?
My form of resistance takes the shape of trying to understand exactly what it is I need to accomplish before heading off. I’ve been very, very goal-oriented all of my life and see no need to change that now. It’s taken me quite a few interesting places (right here for example) and it’s worked for me. But if I don’t understand what I’m doing, then I tend not to do it. You can see the issue here of course, if I refuse to really understand, then I have a reason not to move forward. 🙂
So – my plan over the next month is to do two things.
Step One – reread Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. Seriously. I’ve been doing the morning note thing for years now but I think it’s time to take another read of my dog-eared copy to get me oriented again. I can recommend this process highly btw,
Step Two – I’m a big (but relatively new) fan of Larry Brooks and his story analysis work. I have his book “Story Engineering” and subscribe to all his newsletters and feeds. Over the next month, I’m going to finish his book, making notes about it and see how it all feels once I understand how stories work a ton better than I do now.
This follows my proven system that if I understand how things work, I have a better than average chance of making them work myself or fixing them. Or to put it another way, once I read the road map and follow it a few times successfully, I feel justified finding short cuts and alternate routes myself. But I like to start with a road map.
Another form of resistance has always been “starting” a project and getting it organized “just so” in my mind. In this one, I’m finding I don’t have the software, I don’t have the time to read and understand, I have a ton of other things to do on my established writing career, things to fix on the websites, ebooks to write that I know will make money. The list is pretty impressive actually and mostly quite real.
It’s the “mostly” part that makes me grin. Oh yeah.
Note to readers. With that, I end this post having done several things. The first of course is put it out to the universe and you folks that I’m in dire need of actually taking some concrete steps toward this new life I see myself as leading. I can’t just fantasize about it.
The second might be to encourage you to do something similar with your life’s goals. You will, of course, find your own sense or resistance and have to overcome your own dragons, taking responsibility for those (or not) as is your life pattern. But at least that’s your call.
A short while ago, I read a post about a person who took a 30-day holiday from social media. The result was a ton of new work that got done in this sense of freedom without social media.
And then I read this is Stephen Pressfield’s Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work, “Amateurs tweet – pros write”.
That pretty much did it for me right there. 😉
My subsequent thoughts.
My Twitter feed is on automatic but I was dropping in to read the odd series and to comment every now and then. I’m back to fully automatic.
A quick analysis (non-mathematical) of my Facebook “friends” shows it’s mostly garden writers posting gardening stuff to other garden writers. I stopped posting and reading. I did NOT stop working on my author page as I continue to post at least one image or link a day there. Interaction and reach are good as are response rates although I did delete the “contact page” and the ability to post on the page as readers asked questions constantly without doing any kind of search.
In short, I cut off my peers and only did minimal work with my readers.
1) I finished a book – it’s now in layout
2) Launched a reader seminar – to get more questions for the book
3) Reorganized the content areas across my websites totalling somewhere around 14,000 pages to make it more user-friendly. This is a 6-month project but the skull-sweat has been done.
4) Launched a new ebook, Dear Elizabeth with advice to my daughter on how to become a writer. Took me a year of writing to get all these letters written and this is the outcome in one mad flurry of editing and organizing.
5) Killed the old blog once and for all.
6) Added 5 new titles to the to-write list and got the next ebook into the outlining stage.
7) Finished a deck in our backyard
8) Launched a home-built canoe and modified it to carry a sail (sadly only downwind) and a small electric trolling motor.
It wasn’t necessarily the raw time I saved but rather the ability to focus without distraction. It’s the ability to avoid one bit of attention-candy as an excuse to avoid real work. I was, in Pressfield’s terms, reclaiming my pro status and doing my real work.
And that feel pretty damn good I must say.
1) Sleep as much as you can. When you are sleeping – sleep. When not sleeping, actively explore your world.
2) Hunt. Get what you want. Even though you start small, you’ll get better at it with practice enabling you to go to on to bigger and bigger prey. Practice. Every. Day.
3) Play. Playing is learning. Find a new corner to explore every day without fail.
4) Own your world. If something bigger comes along, climb a tree and enjoy the view. When the bigger cat leaves, own your world again. You’re the boss of you.
5) Find somebody who loves you, purr as loudly as possible to reinforce that love. Cuddle regularly.
6) Be as private as you need to be when you need to be it. Enjoy sitting in the sun and just dreaming without guilt.
7) Don’t give a damn about the other cats but make friends with a few.
8 ) Bury your own shit. When you produce something shitty, get rid of it