Monday, November 29, 2010

Sometimes, it just doesn’t get any better…and sometimes it does

I enjoy writing so much that I will do it in response to nearly any occasion or happenstance. I write when I’m afraid, angry, introspective, happy, depressed, or euphoric. Sometimes words spill out of me and onto the page for no greater reason than they need to be there; sometimes, I’m fairly certain the words weren’t even mine to begin with.
There’s a great talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) on Gilbert talks about the creative process for some of the greatest writers, poets and musicians, and how many of them feel that their creative genius is actually a separate entity. Gilbert talks about how the Greeks (or was it the Romans?) used to refer to a genius as if were a small elf that people had at their disposal that would help them with their artistic endeavors: no one was a genius, one simply had a genius.
Gilbert wants to make the general public aware that the creative process is not always easy, or creative: for a lot of people, it involves a lot of self-discipline and sticking to a schedule. It involves sitting down to write at the same time every day and dedicating a certain part of your day to the pursuit of your dreams, regardless of what else you might want to be doing. I can definitely agree with her and identify with her remarks, but man oh man, when that genius comes through the door, you know that she’s there.
I’ve written posts before where I called my genius Creativity and spoke about her as if she were a fussy adolescent who exasperated me with her inconsistency. Now, I think of her more as a perfect day: the day where you do everything the way you’ve always done it, but for some reason on this day everything goes perfectly and you’re left perched on the top of the world, wondering how exactly you got there.
Some days, the writing is like that. Some days, I get an urge to write and what comes out is so packed with emotion, so incredibly amazing, that I read it and wonder how on earth something like that came from me. Although I can’t ultimately control when those days occur, I have noticed that I get them more when I’m in beautiful surroundings, under a new moon, or embarking on a new adventure. My genius arrives when I’m reminded of all the amazing things that life is comprised of. Even though I can’t yet control how often my genius comes to me, I can make sure I help my circumstances to be exactly what she’s looking for when she stops by. Maybe that way, I can eventually convince her to stay.

Love and genius kisses

Saturday, November 20, 2010

SEX! (Now that I got your attention...)

Hi friends,

I would really appreciate your feedback on my blog subject matter and what I could do to build an audience. Please take this ANONYMOUS 7-question survey to help me get a better idea of what you'd like me to write about.

Click here.

(P.S. This is no guarantee that I will actually start to write about your suggestions...especially some of you that I anticipate are going to treat this survey like your own personal bathroom stall wall where you can write dirty jokes. ;) )

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Personal Insanity

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I only heard this saying recently, but it has struck a chord, and I find myself very often realizing that, according to this saying, I am in fact insane.
I have become increasingly busy lately, due to a number of factors. Primarily, I’ve been busy marketing my book, and doing everything I can to make sure it sells. I have done such a good job of this that I have already sold out of my first run and reordered. Obviously I am ecstatic about this, but it means that I am now putting most of the profits of the first run into printing the second run. Therefore, I still work as a substitute teacher to make ends meet, and I work for the local ski area, a job I thoroughly enjoy and that is starting to ramp up for the pending ski season. So basically, I have three jobs, one of which is my own brain child but makes me little money thus far, and two others that I enjoy but not as much as the brain child.
I am busy, and I am tired. However, this does not exactly make me insane: carving out your own niche is hard, and I am perfectly aware of that and grateful that I can have other part-time jobs that allow me to pursue my dream as well and help support me until I become financially solvent.
What does make me insane, however, is how much I try to do in one day. For as long as I can remember, I have been capable of packing a lot into a single day of work, and that has never been more apparent than now. While it is certainly helpful, there are many commitments that I make and many things that I do today that really honestly could wait until tomorrow. No one but me would notice the difference between today and tomorrow, and no one but me would notice that that difference would mean that I got more sleep, or more time for a run, or a healthy meal, or an hour to read my book. No one but me would notice that I was not popping Vitamin C like candy to make sure that my busy life wasn’t making me sick. No one but me would notice that I was successfully or unsuccessfully fighting off insanity.
On the days that I am running 100 different directions and juggling 100 different responsibilities and trying to efficiently handle 100 tasks, my heart rate is permanently elevated. My mind is racing back and forth as quickly as I’m driving from here to there, and when I go to bed after those days I have restless nights full of dreams of all the tasks I did or didn’t complete. Ultimately, these days don’t help me, and I usually don’t even get the satisfaction of feeling like I accomplished something because I’m too exhausted.
I recently listened to an interview on CBC with Timothy Ferriss, the author of The Four-Hour Work Week. Timothy’s premise is that you can whittle down your time at work by being more efficient, and that it is possible to get more done in a shorter amount of time by changing a few ways that you deal with your responsibilities. There were two that he mentioned in the interview that stuck with me: 1) don’t put things on your list simply so you can cross them out (guilty as charged) and more importantly, 2) pick one thing that MUST get done today, that will make you feel like you accomplished something if you complete it, and DO THAT.
Perhaps completing one single task a day will not quite work for me at this point, but I could certainly learn a lot from Timothy. I could learn, for example, that perhaps I shouldn’t substitute teach on days that I already have multiple prior commitments, and that even though I don’t see the money today for my efforts, it doesn’t mean that it won’t eventually pay off. To reach that pay off, I don’t need insane schedules and multi-tasking up the ying yang. For that, I need patience.