Here’s a Challenge Within a Challenge for Sunday…
Do something you don’t do. Something you think is slightly ridiculous. Too artsy-fartsy to be of any real use. Do something to Mix It Up.
Here’s my why:
I’ve been writing a certain way now for umpty-ump years, and having myself a hell of a time because of my written-in-stone belief that I’m a panic writer, and therefore panic must be part of my writing mojo. I’d even argued that if it wasn’t a biological fact that I needed panic to write, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy that now was so ingrained that I certainly was unable to change.
Here’s the truth: HA!
We writers are a flexible bunch. We are quite like pipe cleaners, I think. Fresh out of the package we seem to be perfect in our stand-up straightness. But when we really need to get into the nooks and crannies, we’re quite bendy. :)
All we need is the willingness to bend.
In recent months, I, who don’t believe in writing alters, or crystal magic, or anything that has anything to do with the woo, have taken to
• lighting essential oils when I begin my writing day.
• listening to a Brainsync focus CD that’s supposed to do something neato to my brain
• lighting assorted candles
• writing around 6 pages per day instead of 15
• starting my day with morning pages (well, not every day)
• amazing myself because I’m not only bendy, I’m actually more relaxed!
Yes, it’s true. This old dog has been learning new tricks, and guess what. You can, too.
I’m not saying you have to keep doing this thing you don’t do. But I think trying something new, something daring, something foolish, actually opens up a creativity door deep inside us.
Today seems like a really great time to start throwing things into the fire. See how it burns. See what it does to your brain. See how you can jump start the blahs.
Report back, but give it a week, okay? An honest effort. Although we are bendy, we are also stubborn and we must give ourselves an adjustment period. Or you may find yourself transformed after five minutes.
Here are some suggestions:
• Morning pages from The Artists Way by Julia Cameron
• Meditation before writing
• Artist’s Dates, also from The Artists Way
• Long private walks
• Bring scents to the writing with candles, incense, oils
• Buy and use a magic pen
• Tape applause, the kind with whistles and Bravos and everything, then play that when you finish your day’s work
• Listen to music if you don’t now
• Don’t listen to music if you do
I only subscribe to a few magazines. Entertainment Weekly, O, Cosmo and Real Simple. I don’t have much time to read magazines these days, although I love them. I used to get many more: Mental Floss, Architectural Digest, Scientific American, Wired, Rolling Stone, Teen Beat—well that one was quite a while ago.
One of the features I like best in Real Simple is The Question of the Month. They’re often thoughtful questions, and while sometimes an answer pops right into my head, other times I really have to ponder.
So, I’m borrowing one of my favorite Questions of the Month to pose here. I’m fascinated by how people answer this. For myself, my answer would have been very different even five years ago, let alone when I was in my early twenties.
The question is: What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
That’s a goody, isn’t it?
At first I thought it would be simple. After all, how many compliments had I been paid? I realized with some surprise that I’ve gotten quite a lot of them. Some were backhanded, yes, but a lot of them were earnest and meaningful. There were many different kinds of compliments as well.
In my youth I wanted to be complimented on my looks. Oh, so very much. I suppose there’s no getting past certain stages of life. We must experience growing up. Even if it means learning the hardest lessons when we’ll still tender shoots.
Thankfully, I gave up caring too much about my looks years ago. Although no, vanity hasn’t completely disappeared. It took me longer to reevaluate compliments on my work. Because for many, many years, I believed my work was my worth. That’s how I was brought up, and I had to grow away from the lessons I’d inherited in order to come into my own.
Which is, in fact, the essence of what I most like to write about. Women and men who have to shake off an idea or an assumption that they’d taken on years earlier and accept the challenge of creating themselves anew.
I’m still discovering what it is not to see myself only as my work, and one of the ways I’ve done that is to rethink how I want others to view me. It took me ages to really understand I’m responsible for how other perceive me. And I realized a while ago that I wanted others to find me kind. To find that making a connection with me made them feel better.
It’s been slow going, but I’ve made some progress. So my favorite compliment today was actually from my chiropractor who told me that when I came to see her, her whole day brightened.
Okay, that’s mine. For now. Who knows how it’ll change as time goes on.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? I’d love to know.
Over at Barnes & Noble, they’re celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Blaze with a lot of fanfare.
HOTSHOT is the featured read in HEART 2 HEART, the Romance Readers Blog.
This story is a perfect tribute to Blaze itself: a true love story, imbued with sentimentality and sensuality, between two people who have traveled far both physically and emotionally. Reading this, there’s no doubt why Blaze is so successful.
See what else Melanie Murray has to say and I’ll be there to chat throughout the day. Here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/3ustx5m
To celebrate this lovely review, I’ll give away 2 copies of HOTSHOT plus 2 copies of EXTRA INNINGS by Debbi Rawlins! Comment at http://tinyurl.com/3ustx5m to win.
With a new book and an old book and a 10th Anniversary Celebration.
HOTSHOT is part of the Uniformly Hot series, and it’s a reunion love story that was one of the most intense and fabulous writing experiences of my life.
It was originally called BIG DAMN HERO, and while I like the title HOTSHOT, it will always be BDH in my head, because that’s who Luke is. He first became a hero in war, and then became a hero in life, when he grew up, took responsibility for his actions and moved heaven and earth to make things right.
Come back soon, as I’ll be announcing special give-aways, and Blaze 10th Anniversary celebrations all over the net!
The website person kind of left without notice, but I’m hoping things will get back on track soon. Sorry about the loooooong wait.
Unpacking boxes in the new house. But soon, I will be updating this web site (well, not me personally because I have no idea how to do things on the intertubes, but anyway) and then I’ll start blogging again! I’ve decided to do a twice weekly post. How’s that sound? And yes, there’s an actual book by me coming out later this month. It’s called Sexy Ms. Takes and it’s a 3-in-one Encounters. First book since Oct. 08. That’s a very long time.
* Special bonus quiz: Soon…I promise is a line from what Stephen Sondheim musical?
First correct answer wins a copy of SEXY MS. TAKES!
I doubt anyone’s even out there any more because I’ve been such a horrid blogger, but I thought I’d give this a try. I’m in computer hell. It’s all about my wireless internet connection, and how crap it is, and how ignorant I am – I don’t even know the names of things to try and look up fixes. Totally intermittent signals. I have to unplug my router and replug it in several times a day to have any luck at all with actually getting to a site after I click on it. Time outs are a constant.
The worst is that I have this tiny little house, one router that supposed to let me connect with my laptop and desktop. Now it’s not letting me connect to anything. It just laughs and mocks me when I try to go online in the other room. Problem is, I look up stuff as I work, and I’m deep, deep into this book, but sitting at the desktop all day is killing my back. I want to do half my pages and desktop, then half on laptop, but because my laptop connection sucks so hard all other suckage is embarrassed, I can’t. I also can’t afford to have someone who actually knows about this stuff look at said stuff until after the book is accepted.
Whine, whine, whine. Totally first world problems and I should be ashamed of myself for talking about it. But I am a spoiled child and I am an internet addict.
Hope everyone’s doing really well. And I mean that!
They call it their Takedown Policy:
For complaints or abuse by Astatalk.com customers.
To make sure we will investigate abuse reports effectively, we need you to give us sufficient information. If you have gathered the necessary information, you can send it using the form below.
Below you will find details of the information that is required in order to investigate abuse.
Please note that it will not always be possible to send a personalised request for more information if the required information is not provided.
All information should preferably be sent in normal text format (plain text).
Depending on the seriousness of the case, we may decide to cease our services to the user concerned. In cases where services are not ceased, we may decide, at our own discretion, to send the user an official warning. This will always be done in accordance with Astatalk.com’s General Terms & Conditions.
To file a copyright infringement notification with us, you will need to send a written communication to us with all of the following information in it:
* your statement telling us that you have found data on our site which you believe infringes your copyrights, or any other right;
* detailed information about your (copy)right;
* the title of the content concerned and the full URL for its page;
* a detailed explanation about how the content infringes your (copy)right;
* your contact information, so that we can get in touch with you (email address is preferred).
We reserve the right to ignore your complaint, if you provide us with insufficient information.
Astatalk contact form
(all fields are required)