Starting my café writing session this morning, I reached in to my handbag and pulled out a pen, only to have part of a pen in my hand. It’s somehow in a number of pieces. I must be writing a lot! Or putting my pens under a demanding workout. Or ‘life’ in my handbag must be rather rough?!
Either way, I suspect this little pen has seen better days. So the repair isn’t going to happen today, and it will meet its death in the rubbish bin later. Instead, I’ll use another pen.
Despite writing for nearly ten years, I’ve discovered something else to think about when selecting a pen. This pen has numerous parts to screw together, which gives it a few weak points, perhaps the main reason why it has come apart. This is no good for me. I need a pen I can rely on, that’s ready to go when I am. So another type of pen gets crossed off my list as not suitable for writing use!
I’m not sure how I’ve managed this, but for the academic paper I’m writing I’ve somehow gone over the word count by 1.5k!
This is after a hectic weekend with a very sick dog (and going to the emergency vets twice and having poor Kimba stay in over 24hours. He’s finally recovered now thank goodness), hurting my hand so it’s difficult to type, crocheting a shawl, and mentoring two writing students. Oh, and I’m heavily preggers. I must have had a lot to say or something on the matter of the relationship between history and fiction despite all of these distractions being thrown at me! Either that or I’ve somehow turned into super woman! 😉 And I’ve got extra powers to get through everything… if only! 😉
Anyway, this morning’s job is to cull 1.5k words, so this paper can be submitted tomorrow. What better way to do this than at a cafe, and of course outside in the beautiful autumn weather. I can soak up the sunshine and use it to help as motivation 🙂 It’s the simple things that can help you keep going after a busy time. And looking on the bright side of life. I’m not sure how I’ve managed this, but I have, perhaps because I have lots of support from friends and family, so while I did this alone, I wasn’t alone. With one step at a time, I’ve gotten through the life’s challenges.
The other day when I sat down at a cafe to edit a paper for my studies at University, I couldn’t because I hadn’t brought all the notes I needed. I completed a different writing task, so all wasn’t lost. But then it became difficult to find the time to get back to this particular project, because of course other jobs now got in the way.
Today, I got to go to a cafe and get back to the editing I needed to do. It felt good to be finally getting on with this task, and making progress.
Once again thanks to A Blissful Existence I’m using the colouring of a mandala and crystals to connect with the new year and set positive focus for the months ahead.
I do find this process relaxing and powerful. It helps me to set my intention and goals for the new year.
There are so many layers of meaning here for me which flows naturally, the colours used, the shapes identified, helps me to set a clear path into the new year in a symbolic ritualistic way.
Through this process I have the affirmation, follow your heart, to guide me through the unknown of the year ahead. By having such an affirmation, I have a sort of compass that’s internal to remind me of what type of paths I want to tread this new year.
I’ve made it back to the local markets for some letter writing to myself and some food shopping for Christmas 🎄I’m feeling organised for Christmas, but I’m sure there’s something I’ve forgotten to do! Fortunately I have a few days to remember before Christmas.
Writing love letters isn’t easy, and it’s not something I’ve done much in my life, especially to myself. But it was a fun exercise to do and challenging. It was an effort to sit and write what I love about me, without letting my logical mind edit before the words were written. It was slow going. The words didn’t flow at times. But I persisted and wrote a love letter to myself. At the end of the letter, I felt more in tune with myself, more at peace, and I’m sure this is something I could do more often.
I look forward to reading my the letter in a year’s time! And to see if I’ve developed more wats to love myself.
Well it’s been a decade or so since I’ve had to use a laundrette (not counting when travelling!). I’ve been collecting coins, brought along my computer and using the short 25 minuets to be on social media.
A good time to ruminate? I’m not sure it’s long enough! All I remember from the past is spending at least an hour waiting for the wash cycle to complete. And reading lots.
Plus today is going to be a scorcher (way too hot) and it’s already a bit unpleasant in here. At least puppies blankets will be cleaned and ready for use once more. The cycle continues! Pun intended!
I just saw the sign saying don’t add detergent as it’s included in the wash…😬 I can ruminate now how signs are often ignored! 😉 and that I need to slow done and read them instead of guessing what to do! Is an unexpected sign 😉
So in a short 25 minutes I can ponder about signs, and cycles. And then be satisfied the puppies blankets are clean. Not bad for 25 minutes 😉 and all done in a laundrette not a cafe! A little unexpected, but I’ll go with it. And now my wash cycle is finished and it’s time I find a cafe.
I’m a bit late this morning so not much time to write, so little I think getting my notebook and pen out is really a token effort!
But between sips of coffee I opened my notebook. For the precious few minutes available I planned part of a workshop I hope to present in the new year. Just goes to show sometimes all you need is a few minutes! And to give it a go instead of focussing on the lack of time available.
After years and years of making lists, I’ve come to the realisation that I’m not a list person. While that’s the advice given and share in the motivational world, make a list get it out of your head, it doesn’t work for me. I prefer to keep it all in my head.
I might forget particular jobs this way but even with a list I’ve let some projects go unattended, especially since I have so many lists each for the different areas of my life.
By not making a written list, I can adjust the order of the jobs as I need to in my mind depending on other priorities that might come up during that day. By having this flexibility it means I can allow my intuition influence over what gets done as suited for the day, my mood, and what else is happening in my life. It’s a more harmonious approach, my anxiety levels are reduced, and I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to get things done or that I’m weighed down by shoulds and should nots. This way my mind can rearrange the to-do list in a flexible and intuitive way, the way I like to approach life.
Of course my ego protests. It voices its doubt, and that there’s no way this creative approach will work. I’ll never finish projects or make progress and it will, as in my life, will be a mess. This is life. A mess. For sure, there are times when lists are helpful. But when my life is just as productive and less stressful when I take a more fluid approach, I notice that maybe these goal driven approaches aren’t for me.
While I do have a strong logical brain, I also have an equally strong creative brain. Based on how unpredictable life can be, how chaotic it is, and how one is really not in control, it makes sense to be able to switch between the two, and give the creativity, the intuitive side just as much value as the logical and planned side.
My dad always kept the details of the farm and breeding of the sheep in his head. There were a few notes in the dusty Elders notebooks in the ute. Your mind is good at remembering what’s important but it’s not usually a finite situation. There’s a limit for how much can be remembered at one time, maybe this can be extended or maybe not. But this is the amount of memory space you have to work with. Over loading it will only lead to a form of shut down. So by working with what you’ve got can actually be expansive. It’s a more feminine approach. Women do it all the time, and no it’s not necessarily about multi-tasking. But more understanding what you’ve got to work with, head space, time, personal energy, environment, other people and then making the best of that in an extraordinary fluid balance that may change without warning or throughout the day multiple times.
It’s not surprising I’m finding I work better this way. After all a big tell tale sign is how I approach my writing. There’s two main ways, connected by a spectrum, pantser or plotter. I’m a pantser. I fly by the seat of my pants when I write the story and characters all come out organically and I don’t plan (like a plotter). It means I often think of plot twists and points on the fly, and come up with ideas spontaneously rather than getting weighed up in the planning. This style isn’t for everyone. What’s important is to recognise what works for you, and then go with that. There are times when you need to switch between the two approaches left or right, logical or creative, planned or unplanned, or maybe even straight ahead in the unique balance which works for you.
Are you a list maker? Does it improve your approach to getting jobs done, and reduce stress levels? Or do you find it easier to have the mental fluid list and do just fine that way? Let me know if lists work for you or not in the comments below.
I’ve been meaning to de-clutter my desktop on my computer for years. Uh-um. Many years. Over time the clutter; countless sticky notes, files I didn’t know where to put, images I needed quickly, the odd e-book on my tbr list, and Excel spread sheets that looked lost in the multiple files.
And it annoyed me, a lot.
Every time I logged on to my laptop I couldn’t face dealing with the clutter of information that at one point I deemed important, maybe even vital for my life. Turns out this information wasn’t that important, or it had been superseded by new files, or with new information in the ever changing world we live in. A lot of the information had lost its value. I had more recent photographs of myself to use in posts. I’d written new stories and increased the number of new releases on my tbr pile. So it sort of became easier to ignore the mess on my desktop and not deal with my filing. But it was silently irritating me. I’d become an electronic hoarder! Unused files sat on my computer, like an unworn dress in my wardrobe waiting to go to that party where there was no invite ever coming.
I’ve tackled clutter in my home, and regularly set aside clothes or items to sell, donate or throw away. Yet on my computer it gradually became more difficult to see the background image and even the files as they began to cover each other.
I needed help! But this was a job that only I could face. I had to otherwise the clutter would build up again. There’s so much electronic information to manage and I didn’t have the system in place nor could I work out one to implement.
What changed this situation around for me? I got a new computer. I had actually gone to the length of putting off getting a new computer because I needed to clean up my desktop. With my computer failing I was given the push I needed. For years I’d put off the job because I thought it would take too long, I didn’t have the time or filing system I needed to address the issue.
De-cluttering my desktop didn’t take long, especially considering the number of files and sticky notes I had to sort through. The task was made easier because having waited so long some files simply went straight to the trash. I wanted to do the job now because I knew the clutter was causing a noise in my head and mixing up my thoughts. I needed to clear the files to give myself some head space. Plus I needed to migrate files from the old to the new computer and I wanted this to be organised and not a chaotic mess. After all, when starting on a new computer I didn’t want to bring over the files that were no longer useful. I wanted to use this as a fresh start.
Even though I’ve spent a lot of time de-cluttering my house I was blocked with my computer. Instead of dealing with it I ignored and avoided the situation even when I knew better. It happens, things sneak up and stay with us not necessarily even hiding in our blind spots.
It took me a while, but I got there. I found the time and motivation to help me get the job done. Of course, now I’ve de-cluttered my desktop, I have extra head space, clearer thinking and feel more inspired every time I log on to my computer. Hopefully this will last and I won’t revert back to old habits!