Hello fellow writers!
I’m at a writing conference in Santa Barbara, CA, this week. Yay! I’m probably having a fantastic time. (Come on, let’s be very honest and transparent with each other... I typed this blog before I ever left, and scheduled it to post today, for you to read!) Right now, I’m likely in some amazing class, scribbling in my notebook like crazy, trying to capture all the wonderful insights and advice I’m getting from speakers and other writers.
On breaks, I’ll stroll the beach and breathe in the smell of the Pacific Ocean. : )
Which brings me to my blog topic for YOU. (Not the beach part, the learning, note-scribbling part.)
If you’re the type of writer (and I assume you are), that has chosen writing as a career and you’re in this for the long haul, if you’re the type of writer that can’t imagine life WITHOUT writing, then you very well may be familiar with this principle already.
It’s the principle of CONTINUAL LEARNING.
Hello writer friends. Yes, the picture above is a stack of my filled journals. Pages and pages of writing. Story plotting, fiction writing advice, personal notes, goals, quotes, memories, more plotting.
So, today, let’s talk about THE WORDS, THE STORY, THE MESSAGE that you're called to write. For me, what we write is an expression of what resides deep within our souls. Our message, our words, are something sparked by God. They resonate with our spirit. They are a message or story that MUST be told.
Even if you’re writing in your journal, and it’s only for you, it’s still a story YOU needed to flesh out, even if no one else will ever read it besides you.
But, if you’re like me, outside your journal, you are writing to impact, influence, inspire, engage, and entertain others. The more people that hear your message and your stories, the better.
The process of getting your words OUT INTO THIS WORLD is two-sided. There is an esoteric, metaphysical side AND a nitty-gritty, physical side.
I'll start this blog with a quote from one of my favorite men:
“One of the most tragic things about human nature is that all of us tend
to put off living. We are dreaming of some magical rose garden over
the horizon--instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our
windows today.” -Dale Carnegie
Amen. Amen, and Amen.
All to often we get caught up in what we think life will be like tomorrow, instead of seeing the roses in our life today. And we ALL have at least a few roses in our life today, even if it feels like the worst day EVER.
As hard-working, career-minded writers, it's important for us to remember the quote above, because, if we're not careful, we can find ourselves curled up at our computer, the day passing without us even realizing the sun rose and set.
Even as we strive for our goal: goals of publication, goals of marketing our books and getting them onto best-selling lists, we MUST remember that we are currently, in this very moment, also at work LIVING OUR LIVES.
This tip might not sound vital to writing a NYT Bestseller, but it should be at the TOP of your list. But what if I told you deep breathing would help you to write a better book?
Here’s the truth: Deep, full breathing is one of THE BEST things you can do for your body. Period.
Here’s why deep breathing is so important to your health and your writing life:
Have you ever woken up on any given day and felt like you were just a little bit off? You definitely don't feel like writing. Maybe your head hurt a bit, or you felt kind of tired, or maybe you just didn’t feel like you have the energy to get you through the day that’s before you. You needed a boost, and coffee wasn’t going to cut it.
I have a little secret for you. This secret can work miracles. And here it is:
Refocus your thoughts.
This may sound overly simplistic, or perhaps esoteric, but it’s not.
When you start a day and ask questions like: “How am I going to make it through?” or “Why do I feel this way?”, or, “Not another day of problems”, you’re actually not helping yourself feel any better, nor does it help your day get any better.
So. Do you want a sure-fire way to AUTOMATICALLY increase your mood, energy, and the way you feel in the mornings? Then, here’s what you need to do:
The minute your feet hit the floor and you’re trudging to the bathroom (or while you’re awake and still lying in bed), ask yourself the following questions. They will help completely reframe your day.
Question 1: Who do I love?
Question 2: What are five things I have to be grateful for RIGHT now?
Question 3: What is something I have to look forward to?
Question 4: What feels good in my body right now?
It’s amazing how your responses to these questions can completely transform your posture, attitude, and energy for the day. You’ll feel a rush of goodness through your body. Try it out and see what you think. I’m positive you wont be disappointed. Then, get to that computer, notebook, or writing pad, and get busy!! :)
Stay healthy and happy!
Some of you may not know, but I taught yoga and pilates for twelve years before I jumped full-time into writing and speaking.
So, this is a feel good tip from my former years, specifically for you, the writer. It can work anywhere--home, office, while driving to Disneyland, or standing in line at the post office.
This yoga pose works anywhere, and is especially usefull if you are stressed or have been sitting in the seat of a car or plane for a long time--or at your writing desk.
So, here goes.
YOGA POSE: THE STANDING FORWARD FOLD.
Here's what you do:
1) Find a spot that you are comfortable and won't be stared at by complete strangers (otherwise you will be too uptight to relax).
2) Fold over your legs. Knees can be bent if needed. Arms can dangle straight down or clasp opposite elbows.
3) Hold for 10 VERY deep breaths in and out, deepening into the posture with each exhale. Do this posture at least one time every day.
This posture is guaranteed to loosen your back, release your neck, open the backs of your legs, relieve shoulder tension, awaken your brain to make you more alert, and slow your heart rate in times of stress or irritation. In short, it is WONDERFUL for your body! Go on, give it a try!
Then, get back to writing!