Friday, June 24, 2011

The New Three Rs

In my quest to be published, and the pursuit of my wedding weight, (stop shaking your head), it’s good to have big dreams.  I have stumbled, okay crashed into a new set of the three R’s.  
Write, Resist, Run.
Writing, although not exactly an R, but having been used by our education system for years, I borrowed it.  Anyway, the first R, writing means, 
Every day I must write.  Something.  Anything.  Preferably new, creative, wonderful, and with perfect grammar.  There are those big dreams again. 
As luck would have it, I am taking a workshop with Devon Ellington, Write in Company with Savvy Authors, which I would highly recommend by the way, not just the workshop but any of Devon’s workshops.  Anyway, the main premise, of Write in Company, along with many other jewels of knowledge, is to write 1000 words each and everyday, no matter what.  
I thought, that’s nothing.  I can do that with my eyes closed.  I have taken Candace Havens, Fast Draft, done May Bootcamp, how hard could a simple 1000 words be? Ha.  It had to be on one project only!  And new words!  And there’s the rub.  I like to flit around, revising, writing, revising, and of course stalling.  I was stuck about 2/3 through my current WIP.  So sitting down to get those 1000 words I crashed into the second R.
As luck would have it, I had just finished reading a fantastic book recommended by another wonderful, successful author and workshop leader, Shirley Jump.  
The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.
I love that title.  Most people who aren’t artists think art is so cozy and creative, and comes down on fairy dust.  Steven Pressfield knows better.  It’s a war.  A battle.  And he calls the enemy, guess what, Resistance. 
As luck would have it, in my weekly yoga class, the theme was,  yes you guessed it --  Resistance.    We had to hold a pose, longer than usual, okay really long,  until our muscles and mind let go. 
Which brings me to the third R - Run.
My typical response.  Just get the hell out and never come back, to the yoga class, to the workshop, to my WIP.  But the coincidences were piling up.  I’d paid for the workshop, the yoga class with my teenage daughter beside me, oh yes, and there was that almost finished WIP. 
So I squirmed and wormed and pushed back against the resistance, like the yoga instructor, Devon, and Steven Pressfield said I would.  In the end I just had to acknowledge that second R, and like Nike says, Just Do It.  So I did.  Wrote the words each day no matter what, held the pose, ate the vegetables steamed... 
I’d love to say that miraculously the resistance went away.  No such luck Resistance is a tricky devil.  It circles around, comes up with new strategies, hits when I’m weak.  So each day, I name it for what it is, the enemy and come up with my own battle plans.  And sometimes that is simply to name it, ignore it, or breathe through. 
I’d love to hear how you handle the 3 Rs.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Feeding the Muse -- Literally

Most days you can find me happily clicking on over to my fellow writer’s blogs.  Partly a delay tactic, not wanting to face the scene, or the character that won’t tow the line, or even worse, the blank page.  But usually I bounce on over for any ounce of inspiration, knowledge, or camaraderie I can glean.  
But lately,  too many of you have been talking about feeding your muses, literally.   
As you may know, my two current goals are simple - to lose weight and be published.  Okay, you can stop laughing now.  But for the very same reason I cannot watch the Food Network, I am having trouble reading your blogs.  
Brownie blondies, red velvet cupcakes, and Godiva chocolates seem to be the  decadent delicacies your muses crave of late.  
My mouth waters.  My stomach grumbles.   
Sure some of you expound poetic about going out into the world, your travels, your shopping expeditions,  trips to art galleries, or browsing quilt shops, to fill your creative well.  But too many times I’ve come away from the screen chomping at the bit.  Not to get back to my work in progress, as I’d hoped, but to get to the kitchen to find anything chocolate, even the years old canister of unsweetened cocoa.
And then low and behold one of you, Christine, has a whole Friday blog devoted to my biggest vice of all -- wine.  And affordable wines.  How cunning.  
And another batch of you ply your muses with equally sinful margaritas, cosmos, and appletinis.
What is a starving (I mean, dieting) writer to do.
I’ll tell you.  I bite the bullet -- with  sugarless gum.  
There’s a new one called Dessert Delights.  My current weight loss center, swears by the stuff.  So I armed myself with every flavor -- Strawberry Shortcake, Mint Chocolate Chip, Key Lime Pie and Orange Creamsicle before I even opened my work in progress.
I popped four of the mint chocolate chip sticks, never mind that I’m only allowed three per day, and that one barely registers on my taste buds.  I figured, even if I chew the whole pack, it’s better than going out to Winn Dixie and buying the half gallon of the real mint chocolate chip that I knew my muse really needed.
So I opened the page to that stuck scene.  I chewed and sucked every flavorful taste I could from the wad of gum.   I  blew countless bubbles with the feeble attempt at dessert, and thirty minutes later, with the flavor all gone, I’d typed two full pages.  Somehow I’d managed to feed, or trick my muse, for the time being.
So until I hit that magical goal weight in the sky, Dessert Delights is all my muse is getting.  I may have to mix it up, have all four flavors at once.  And I plan on emailing those Extra folks, the makers of Dessert Delights and asking them to please hurry and market a margarita flavor, or a nice Merlot.
So feel free to comment on how you feed your muse, as long as you don’t mention food or alcohol.  
Next time:  Calorie counts and word counts

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Writing and Dieting -- Wishes and Dreams, or Goals?

I only ask because currently my two main personal goals involve these two activities, that at times seem particularly mutually exclusive.  
Goal number one or two, really it wouldn’t matter which I achieved first -- is to lose weight.   Get back to my svelte, but ever elusive wedding weight.  I know sounds more like a wish or a dream rather than a goal.   Believe me, I’ve been calling on the dispenser of wishes, rubbing every lamp, urn and tea kettle I can find.   But that genie hasn’t shown up yet.  So I continue to work on it in other more taxing ways.
Then there’s my other goal -- to be published.  I know, now you’re thinking I’m likely delusional.  So you can see why I rub pottery, or stainless steel.  I need that genie and those three wishes he doles out.  Even though I mention only two wishes, I mean goals, I need the last genie wish to insure the more wishes clause.  Because, let’s face it, even if I lose the weight and get published, I’ll likely need to do it again.
But I do tend toward practicality at times, so besides rubbing coffeepots in antique stores I've been writing down these two goals.  Over and over and over.  Every morning.  
Wayne Dyer, and all those other “Secret” gurus say this guarantees my success.  I’m not sure how.  I hope it’s not just the calories I burn writing “I am a slim, trim successful, published author.”  That couldn’t be many calories, and only adds eight words to my daily word count. 
But seriously, I know I have to do more than just write the goals down.  And I do.  
I post these wishes, I mean goals, all over my life.  You know the drill -- sticky notes on the car dashboard, the mirror, the fridge, the cupboard, computer, in my wallet, on the toilet seat.  Because,  each time I see one it's supposed to reinforce my commitment to the universe.   I just wish someone would reinforce the glue on those sticky notes.  I’ve found those less-than sticky notes on my shoe, in my hair and once in my bra, don’t ask.
So far the universe hasn’t noticed my commitment.  In the meantime, I’ll keep rubbing the teakettle,  and for good measure I keep putting out the word count, learning the craft, walking on that treadmill and avoiding all things delicious.
I’d love to hear what you think?  
Next time:  Feeding the Muse, literally.