Guys weekend!! My latest eCard

cavemen attending to daily chores

Passing this along from my other blog, retirerenew.com

After completing a five-day ‘showing up’ challenge, I’m focusing these next four days just on my Incomplete Book of Retirement Wisdom**.

More on the challenge later…

**The book doubles as a collection of eCards.

Suggestions:

— Save/download the image above and send it to a retired/soon-to-retire friend.

— Better yet…

  1. call it up in an image editing program [even a presentation program like PowerPoint will work]

  2. slap an even better caption on top of mine or add a personal comment

  3. export it as a JPG or PNG, and email/text message it to that friend.


Writers: Looking to suck some valuable time from your already busy day? Launch an all-out investigation into whether or not you should add an apostrophe between the ‘y’ and the ‘s’ in ‘guys weekend’. I skipped that annoying grammatical gnat–I figured ‘guys’ answers the question ‘what kind of weekend?’, which makes it an adjective, not a possessive. I’ve also been sticking to the  ‘better done than perfect’ guideline. Now I can sleep peacefully…until the dog digs his shoulder into my solar plexus. [A writer’s day isn’t complete until he shoehorns ‘solar plexus’ somewhere into his digital blather.]

I should be writing. Instead, I’m driving…

handwritten notes on a piece of binder paper
and—ssshhhh–writing at the same time. 

Don’t worry. No fatalities…though running that highway cop onto the median wasn’t my finest moment.

And then there was the burrito cart guy who…well, anyway, yes, making a drive up north and a notebook is on my lap and I’ve gotten pretty good at writing without looking. It’s almost as if I look forward to slowed traffic so I can decipher a few items where the pen [or the mind] went a bit astray.

Some mid-trip observations:

1. The reach-for-popcorn instinct is irrepressible.

2. The reach-for-popcorn instinct while driving and writing is dangerous, especially for those humans with only two hands.

3. Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity by Josh Linkner is worth repeated readings/listenings.

4. James Taylor’s Christmas Album–pretty nice August road trip listening, actually.
It came along for the ride during a hurried toss of CDs into the travel bag.

Favorites:
Here Comes the Sun He teams with YoYo Ma for this version.

Go Tell It on the Mountain

Some Children See Him

 

Not writing? Stop the fingerpointing.

MacBook coffee mug and tablet
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

My last post dealt with blaming others for my not writing.

Hey, whatever gets me generating text…»

But on a more serious note, I ran across Steven Kotler, who has a popular course called Flow for Writers.

So I looked further into the topic and ran across this informative interview. Compare your strategies to his.

https://www.writingroutines.com/steven-kotler/

Highlights:

Do you listen to music when you write, or do you prefer silence, or something else on in the background?

“…70 percent of the time I will listen to music with headphones so it’s right up in my ear. I will usually make one or two playlists for a book and I will listen to the same playlist over and over and over again…if I find a playlist that I kicked into a flow state with really early on in my process and was very successful I will keep using it because it will keep driving that flow.”

When you’re staring at the screen at 4:00 AM, do you just start clicking away? What’s going through your head at that initial moment? 

“Even if the day before was a terrible writing day, I am so fired up to go at it again. I can be an absolutely miserable writer sometimes, but I wake up every day so fired up to do this.”

And finally, to put me to shame with all my finger pointing…

“When I wrote West of Jesus I had spent three years in bed with Lyme disease and I needed to tell that story to open the book, but I thought, ‘I spent three years in bed with Lyme but who cares? Compared to getting cancer or losing a limb, so what?’”

***

What’s your favorite music to carry you through your writing sessions?

What do you do to help you get into ‘flow’?

Not writing? I’ll blame anybody.

I directed one of my morning pages blaming others for my not writing.

Sooo satisfying…

For starters, I blamed Hilary Mantel, who said,

“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie exclamations

, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” [The Guardian, 25 February 2010]

One small segment of her message seemed to resonate…

I repeat…all her fault.

And I blame Trader Joe’s who is selling organic strawberries for $2.50 a pound. Let’s face it, most of those gorgeous ones in the supermarket have very little flavor and considering they are one of the dirty dozen, well, that doesn’t help in the ‘appeal’ category.

But back to my relentless search for scapegoats…let’s see…yes! Sam Merritt’s to blame for serving up this winning recipe for strawberry cream cheese pie.

strawberry cream pie with dog lying nearby
Always good to have a member of the quality control team nearby

My only complaint: “Return to refrigerator and allow to set at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) before slicing and serving.”

Okay, in what world do people actually wait that long?