Tag Archives: encouragement

OK. Now I’m Really, Really, Really Tired

Wow. I’ve written some on my private blog earlier and I plan on doing some more. Yesterday I wrote over 2000 words and I’d like to keep that up every day that I write now. AND, I get to see how I do when I’m this tired. I could fall asleep in the next half hour easily and I just need to stay focused on this writing before I do that tonight.

Someone from New Zealand sent my alien buddy a note on Twitter today telling me how much she liked my blog and encouraging me to keep writing. Amazing that just one person can be so encouraging to another with some kind words.

Maybe we should all do that for each other. Of course, I am biased as in my spiritual tradition I have the gift of encouragement.

Another part of my christian tradition is that many characteristics or behaviors are to be put into practice by all of us. No matter whether someone’s gift is encouragement we are all supposed to encourage one another.

I hope this blog encourages you. Over time I expect that it will. I expect to persevere.

So in a year or two when someone sees that I’ve posted 275 times or more in one year I want that person to know that they can do it. Or maybe they’ll be the type of person who thinks “If only I can do this half as much as this guy then I’ll write over 135 times a year or so.”

As long as you think you can do it. That you can go on.

Even though my arms are tired from weeding today I am determined to do this exercise tonight.

I am encouraged by my perseverance. That is one of the things that does it for me. When I have already done something for a week I want to keep going. Then two weeks and three weeks! Many people say that 21 days is the magic number for changing a habit. I hope that works for you and I know it does for some. But for me I believe the number is 30 days. That’s a month – at least most of the time it is. Remember that saying, “30 Days Hath April, June & September. February has 28 and all the rest have 31.” Actually, I am definitely missing part of it where I think it rhymed, but you get the idea and it’s a pretty easy way to remember which months have how many days. My mom used to recite that to me when I was younger and I can practically hear her voice saying those words.

When I have lost weight (or dropped pounds as some like to say) I have looked at the same signs for encouragement and first it’s one week, then two and so on. Whatever discipline you’re using, stick to it and the more you do, the more you want to because you don’t want to spoil your record. I remember going without caffeine once for 152 days. Or was it 162. Either way it was a long time and I was fine except I felt tired.

Now that I use certain products I don’t find that I get tired during the day or if I do I can get a quick, natural pick me up. I’ve been staying up a little too late recently and getting up a little too early and it adds up. It really does for me.

My wife is watching TV right now and I expect she’ll be done in 45 minutes. I’ll hold on as long as I need to in order to get my writing done. How much I write here is not clear to me right now. I do have some more ideas for my private blog.

One thing that I find very helpful about WordPress in writing my books is I can create a new category for a post and that’s what I’ve been doing more of on my private blog. As I get ideas or remember them I can post a little bit about that possible book (or screenplay!) and come back to it later. I just love that I can so easily NOT LOSE it and keep it a little organized. I think I have six or seven categories there so far.

Remember, if you don’t think you’d like to do this writing exercise that I’m involved with PUBLICLY, you can still do it on a private WordPress blog. It is really cool that WordPress if free, too. Amazing what technology and the internet have wrought.

For some though I think it’s distorted their thinking. They think that just about everything should be free.

Artists should be paid for their work. Heck, everybody should be paid for their work.

There’s nothing wrong with doing something entrepreneurial – on speck, so to speak. But when consumer expect and/or require it that’s a different story.

Just tonight I bought Jim Gaffigan’s new album through Paypal and he offers a really good deal even though it’s not free. $5 gets the new comedy album and $1 goes to charity. You get three downloads if you need them and he gives you permission to burn it. So I took a chance and it’s actually downloading as I type this. I’m not sure if it’s my computer or the cable system or both, but it’s taking a while. It’s over two-thirds done and there are 17 minutes left. So I guess I’m getting my money’s worth if volume counts. You can check it out at: JimGaffigan.com.

I thought I was tired before. Now I’m writing with my right eye closed. That’s one way I can tell if I’m truly tired. I don’t know if that happens to you, but if you’re like me your eyes can start to cross when you get this tired. So, by closing one eye I get rid of that problem. Of course, the words start to get a little blurry around the edges, too.

I used to say I could only do two things when I am this tired. I can drive a car and I can play Texas Hold’Em. I’ve said that I can do those two things when I’m so tired that I have trouble walking. I honestly don’t think I’m bragging. It’s just that to me it’s easier to drive because you’re sitting down and as far as poker goes, I have so much experience that I can play well enough to win when I’m this tired. Was it Malcolm Gladwell who talked about being an expert at something after 10,000 hours? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have played poker for over 10,000 hours. I used to get paid to play poker once upon a time and for a couple years I actually had banker’s hours – Monday through Friday 9-5. I’m not sure that those are banker’s hours now, but you get the idea.

One of the things that this exercise is good for if you are a writer is that you can start to see patterns in your writing. I have noticed that I say actually too much, in my opinion. I also probably overuse commas. These are not my only insights, but if you let yourself be open to learning and growing, this can be a profitable exercise for you. And I mean that in more ways than one.

Boy, I am starting to really feel the fatigue in my arms. I’m glad I got some weeding done today and I’m sure that goes double for my wife.

So here I am in the home stretch. With what I’ve written so far here and what I wrote earlier, I just have a little ways to go to get to my goal of 2000 words.

I do believe that I’ll write the rest at my private blog. I really want to finish those books by December. Or rather, to finish them in time to be published by December.

It’s important when you have goals to have mini-goals so that you can actually see the steps that take you to your goal. It’s kind of like algebra.

Last night I was tutoring at Reality Changers and one of the students had a word problem that you need to use algebra in order to figure out. I knew that I was rusty, but not this rusty. At first I thought of it as a three-variable problem and then I asked the student if he had used three variables before and he said no. So I tried to attack it as a two-variable problem and discovered that I couldn’t figure out how to create two equations from it, so I decided to take another look and found that it was a one variable problem, but I had incorrectly identified what I was looking for. I didn’t know what the true goal was until I really looked at it.

That’s how it is with goals. What are you shooting for?

In my case my goal is to have these two books published by December 30, 2012. In order to have them published I first have to finish writing them and editing them.

If I lose sight of that I could start thinking along the lines of having the book finished – the writing that is – by December 30 and that would mean that I wouldn’t reach my true goal.

So remember to look at not just your main goals, but your mini-goals that get you to the main goal.

And reward yourself along the way for reaching those mini-goals and then reward yourself BIG for reaching the big, main goal.

That’s another way to encourage yourself.

I just left the bedroom and I changed positions on the couch.

You can also resort to “tricks” if you want to keep going and you’re tired.

Nothing wrong with the kind of tricks I’m talking about. Change position. Get up and stretch. Take a walk. Taking a walk is really good because it gets the blood flowing more. That means more oxygen to the brain which most of us are using when we write.

So there you have it. There are ways to encourage yourself that perhaps you’ve not been engaging in. There are more.

I’d be interested in how you keep yourself encouraged. And inspired.

Now to the private blog.



40,000 Words In 42 Days

If you want to write a book you can be encouraged by this: the median length of a book is between 64,000 and 65,000 words. I found the article that points that out here. Interestingly enough, “Brave New World” is right in the middle at 64,531 words.

At the rate I’m going in this blog, AOO, I can reach the same word count as “Brave New World” in 76 days. The next trick will be writing not just what comes out of my head, but stringing all those words together in a logical semblance of a story. I am very sincere here. This discipline is helping me immensely.

If you are just tuning in, I’ve been doing something that resembles Julia Cameron’s morning pages exercise for 42 days. Not exactly every day. I wrote 30 days in a row and then was spotty for about 5 or 6 days and now I’m in the first weeks of another 30 days. I’ve also been increasing the average number of words written in each session a little bit at a time.

I honestly believe that what is the biggest obstacle to doing this is the possibility or even likelihood that you will judge your efforts harshly. In fact, Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” points out that you should not be judging yourself at all in this exercise.

Tonight after I finish my 1100 or so words I will then go to my new private blog and write more about a story that has been in my head for years.

Some of you reading this may have no trouble writing at all during the normal course of your day, week or month. That’s wonderful. Really. BUT, if you ever run into a block I highly recommend Julia Cameron’s book. You can also visit my blog posts here starting February 23rd, 2012 to see examples of what morning pages can look like.

I told my wife’s sister’s mother-in-law today that I had written 40,000 words and that I’m ready to write a novel. She was impressed and wished me luck in getting published.

After I get my first draft done I will certainly be open to criticism. I do believe I will get published. My goal is this year by December 30th.

It’s interesting how some folks in older generations don’t realize how their comments can be perceived as negative. I’m not letting her response get me down, but I don’t think she even realized that her good luck sounded pretty pessimistic. And I don’t think I took it wrong. Many people want to protect us from disappointment and think that if we stay “realistic” we won’t set ourselves up for that disappointment.

It’s important to look for the connections and resources you need to get you to the next level in your project – whatever it is.

Don’t focus on the advice of people who have never done what you are attempting to do or are in the process of doing.

Some others reading this are wondering how you could write 40,000 words anytime soon. One step at a time. One day at a time. One keystroke at a time. (Actually, if you’re a pretty good typist like me then you can probably pound out 60 words a minute or more.)

If you’ve been stuck or hesitating, remember this: WordPress is FREE in this format. You just go to WordPress.com and sign up for a blog.

You can write in Visual or HTML and I write in HTML because I know a tiny bit of code that lets me easily insert links like the one in the second sentence above. Visual is the same as “what you see is what you get” or WYSIWYG (Whizzy-wig). If you’ve seen those seven letters before and wondered what they meant, now you know.

I like very much that WordPress automatically saves my writing every so often and if you read my post the other day you know that even if it somehow logs you out you can log back in and then hit the back button to the page where you were typing and it should still be there.

So for me that means that everything that I have ever written with WordPress has not been lost. Unless I wanted it to be.

For me that has eliminated one of the most discouraging and frustrating things about working with computers and the internet – losing your work. Never happened to me fully with WordPress.

If you’ve been procrastinating and part of it was because you didn’t know exactly where to start, get started with WordPress right now. Really! You can go start a WordPress blog right this moment and come back and read this later. Go ahead. It’s ok. This will be right here when you get back. That goes for you writers who have written successfully, too. If you are stuck right now or if you ever get stuck. Start the WordPress blog now and when you need it, it will be there. If you don’t want it to be public for whatever reason, just make sure you check the private button when you create it. That’s what I did when I created this new one: TheNewWrittenWord.Wordpress.com. Nice humble title, eh? 😉

That’s where I’ll be writing next today and hopefully every day that I write here. These exercises here on AOO are for me to get the foam or the head off of the beer. I kind of like that image which I got from a philosophy professor not quite 30 years ago.

These morning pages are supposed to get you flowing. That’s another reason why you want to leave the judgement out of it. It gets in the way of your flow! You want to get to writing, writing and writing some more. Exercise those writing muscles.

I’ve even noticed a little bit of my style developing in just over a month. And I’m getting better at letting it flow. You will, too, if you give yourself a chance.

AND, if you are not a writer and you want to expand your creativity or exercise your creative muscles, morning pages are a great way to do it. However you want to be creative, start with this.

And if you don’t think of yourself as creative but would like to see if you can get there, do morning pages. Just remember that it’s ok if you don’t start out like Mark Twain. I’m guessing that no one would. And most of us will never be Mark Twain. And that’s ok. You want to be the best you. Right along the lines of Oprah telling us to “live your best life.” We can. We need practice.

We need to be humble enough to realize that there is room for improvement in what we do or whatever we want to do.

Are you ready to achieve more? I know I am. Finally!