The Enermazing Weekly Ticker (17) 28th November – 4th December2011

+ +++ +++ Site News +++ +++ +

Just a quick note today…the last few days I had limited computer access time, which I used mostly for catching up with comments on other blogs. There was no time for browsing or research of anything, and I’m already in a hurry to get off the computer again.

Kathy (Pocket Perspectives) passed the Liebster Blog Award to me – thank you so much, Kathy! I’ll nominate “meine 5 liebsten Blogs” (my 5 favourite blogs) some other day, once again a difficult decision…

+ +++ +++ Quote of the week  +++ +++ +


Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee:Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore

My Own Pair Of Glasses

A few days ago, I tried to be clever.

When I work away from home, I usually put anything special in my bag the night before and routine stuff before I leave. Every once in a while I forget something in the morning rush.

That morning, just as I came from the bathroom, I saw both my husband’s and my reading glasses lying on the table, his a black metal skeleton with a brown chain, mine grey with a black chain; and neither of us could tell a dog from a cat looking through the other’s pair. I better take my glasses now, I thought, so I won’t pick up the wrong pair in the rush. I put my pair in its case and right away in my bag.

Shortly after I arrived at work, my husband phoned to wish me a fun day – with his reading glasses.

Lessons learned: 1. When trying to be clever, check again what I’m doing. 2. Only my own glasses let me see the world my way.

For lack of something better to do ;) , I thought about how often we see the world through glasses which are not our own…

  • …following shoulds and musts which others have created
  • …not giving in to our intuition, but repeating “how we’ve always done it”
  • …getting stuck with our obsolete beliefs about how things are or should be
  • …defining our goals by comparison with what others do and are successful with
  • …entering the wrong “competitions” with others
  • …lazy thinking, that is not thinking for ourselves

…What are your examples, from your life, of looking through someone else’s glasses. Or in which cases has putting on your own glasses led to joy and success?

Maria

Congratulations!

1st December = (inter)National Novel Writing Month is over.

*C*O*N*G*R*A*T*U*L*A*T*I*O*N*S* to

all who have validated and won: Enjoy your certificate – and look at it whenever the going is rough. You’ve done it once, and you can do it again!

all who have not made it: Give yourself a pat on your shoulder for having started, and try again, in your own time

all who have not participated in NaNoWriMo but instead have chosen a different challenge

all who keep on living and learning, despite whatever challenge they face

 

The Enermazing Weekly Ticker (16) 21th – 27th November 2011

+ +++ +++ NaNowrimo – Tip of the week +++ +++ +

Nearing the end of NaNoWriMo with less than 10k, the best tip I can give you this year is not to stop – November may be over soon, but life goes on.

In case you are over 40k, you can still catch up (my last year’s experience). Go and get your certificate! :)

If not, consolidate. Take stock of what you’ve learned during the past 27 days, about writing and about life, about creating new habits or at least shaking up old ones.

+ +++ +++ Site News +++ +++ +

During this past week, I’ve hardly been on the computer. My email inbox is overflowing with unread blog subscriptions, I haven’t written a single comment, not browsed or surfed or “researched”.

What have I done instead? Increased my body awareness, with special emphasis on the senses of hearing and smell. Did you know that a slipper, a book and a computer cable produce different sounds when being chewed? Did you know that you can train your olfactory sense to make out directions and locations, instantly, the moment the origin of the smell is being produced? I didn’t, until ten days ago, but then again Bob and Scamp were already about three months old when we found them and ready to be house-trained. When we found the puppy last week, it was so young that didn’t even know yet that it had teeth, and now it’s experimenting with how it can put them to use. (Eating is not a problem – weight increase is 40% in 7 days.)

Wolfy-Stop-It! (which is his new name) is teaching us a lot of things, including taking play breaks when we didn’t even know we wanted them, and certainly living in the moment – using every opportunity, however small it may be, to get some of our daily chores done while avoiding to trip over him, or to wipe up another little mess while he tries to help us ;) I hope that as soon as he discovered all dimensions of his body (including his rear end) he’ll realise that not on all occasions it’s sufficient to have all four paws on the newspaper…

+ +++ +++ Quote of the week  +++ +++ +

When things go wrong, you’ll find they usually go on getting worse for some time; but when things once start to go right they often go on getting better and better.

C.S.Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

+ +++ +++ this & that +++ +++ +

My word count the past week: I’ve lost track with all my different wordcounts and what I updated or not. The only one I’m certain of is Magnifica, at about 8,000 total…

The Enermazing Weekly Ticker (15) 14th – 20th November 2011

+ +++ +++ NaNowrimo – Tip of the week +++ +++ +

When things seem difficult or even hopeless, take another step. If you don’t know which direction to go, let the flow carry you on, just a little bit.

Don’t rely on the obvious, on what you think you see, hear, feel. Thinking blocks the flow, your strong invisible currents which carry you in the right direction with ease.

The last week of NaNoWriMo has begun; I haven’t written more than a few pages for the past two weeks – “the obvious” would be to call my this year’s NaNoWriMo experience a failure and to give up.

Under the surface however that voice, telling me that NaNoWriMo is just one little ripple in the context, has become much stronger: “Stop fiddling with details – trust in the context instead.”

Even if during week three you’ve discovered that your novel is going nowhere, or in the wrong direction, take it from there, do your best for the rest of November and trust in a writing life after NaNoWriMo.

If you’ve come to believe writing is not your thing at all, accept that for the time being. You may be right, or you may be wrong, but dissappointment is certainly the wrong time to make decisions.

+ +++ +++ Site News +++ +++ +

As I mentioned last Tuesday in my post “Playful Professionalism” I’ve been thinking lately about the value of playfulness. In fact, I was wondering how I could bring some more joy and playfulness into my life.

I’ve also written about “dogs”, the stubborn, insistent inner terrier and the inner Schweinehund, both of which bear no resemblance with our two real dogs, Bob and Scamp.

Relieved that I didn’t have to think about a blog post, I sat down early Wednesday morning and wrote two pages, but strangely enough I couldn’t concentrate, without any reason I could think of. After another half page, my husband arrived back from walking the dogs. On his arm was this:

little puppy

Wolfy - day one

With interruptions like someone gnawing at my toes, it’s already taken me one and a half hours to write these few lines, I’ve got to leave for work now… I’ll write more later, as soon as I get the opportunity…

For now just let me say that the dog rescue centers are overflowing. Yesterday we resigned to the fact that we’ve got a third dog and named him “Wolfy” :)

+ +++ +++ Quote(S) of the week  +++ +++ +

A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.
Frank Herbert, Dune

Grant me the sanity
to know that my first draft will suck;…
Sara Toole Miller

+ +++ +++ this & that +++ +++ +

My word count the past week: blog : …  – novel: 4 pages

Playful Professionalism

NaNoWriMo – But Not Only | November 2011, Day 14 & 15

Half-time = time for a pie and a hot-dog, and a revision – or rather…

Half-time watering, the Madejski Stadium - geograph.org.uk - 994437

…half-time watering ;)

For more than a week, this blog post title has been going through my head. That it didn’t make it into an article has got nothing to do with research and the often tedious task of finding real-life examples, but a lot with making my mind up…

…and after having made it through the Slump Swamp once again, I’m more convinced than ever that Playful Professionalism is not only possible, but the way to go.

Maybe you, too, know one of those “Playful Professionals” who don’t call their work “work”? Who enjoy what they are doing, even if it’s for a living? Who come out of the drag-or-drop phases of their jobs or projects more motivated than before?

What is considered “professional” is most of all a question of definition; here mine:

Professionalism is not limited to money-making activities, nor a hollow etiquette ritual following step-by-step instructions on “How not to horrify your customers”. It is an attitude encompassing whatever I can do to provide best service, paid for or not, and if it requires me moving beyond my likes and dislikes of the moment then I’ll do it.

Often enough though, I perceive and react to professionalism as if it were a set of rules engraved in granite – shoulds and musts which activate my Inner Terrier, who is quite the opposite of an Inner Schweinehund and starts digging deep tunnels under ground. My struggle with the spelling of the word stubbornness was just a small indication of that.

Playfulness however pulls me up and lifts me onto a different level, lets me explore the realms of non-thought and inspiration while distracting the terrier with a toy.

My conclusion: Pure, serious professionalism sure helps to get things done when the going is rough, but playfulness ensures that I’ve got and replenish the life energy to do so.

Coping with change – part 2

I had three wake-up comments these past two days (thank you all!) which made me look at what I didn’t want to know: I’ve allowed my terrier to take over, again…

My posts of the past two weeks actually show clearly where the problem is: one blog post a day, on which the terrier insisted. (Trisha, my novel is shouting AND doing a breakdance in front of me…) I do like blogging – I’m so happy about having met so many wonderful people through this blog – but those of you who followed from the beginning will remember that I had this issue (with my terrier) before.

I had arrived at an enjoyable and manageable two posts per week, and then came NaNoWriMo and my terrier pushed and nagged at me, making me feel guilty and obliged, provoking me with “You whimp…talking about exploring your boundaries, and avoiding the real challenge…”

Calling me whimp… That Kentucky-fried brontosauros leg should keep my hot-dog busy and quiet for a while – and I’m going to spend my early mornings on the island of “Magnifica’.

Official statement: For the second half of November, I’m waving the White Flag Of Surrender regarding the post-a-day, and focus on writing fiction.

I apologise to all  readers of this blog (and especially the NaNoWriters) who expected more tips and tools on a daily basis – I hope you find that you’re actually doing what you wanted to do in the first place.

What has your mid-month or mid-NaNoWriMo revision revealed about your novel and the process, or about new habits – or yourself?

Maria

PS: Apart from the comment notifications with the three wake-up calls there was another, related, message in my email inbox, from Glen Allsopp (ViperChill.com), whose informative and insightful blog posts I look forward to. Glen’s newest post covers the whole gamut of procrastination & habits, and purpose, process & results.

“The Post on Productivity I Wish Someone Else Had Written” is definitely the longest blog post I’ve ever read – and enjoyed all the way to the last full-stop. And: Thank you, Glen, for investing so much time and energy in research and writing! :)

Excerpt:

“There is not a productivity method in the world that can help people as much as they can help themselves.

That’s it. Nothing too flash or (admittedly) interesting. It probably doesn’t make you very excited for the rest of this article either, so let’s hype it up a little. I elaborated on how I came to this conclusion with a friend and he sent me this email a few days later: 

[screenshot]

And now, if you’re interested, I’ll elaborate on it for you.”

“If you just kind of want it, don’t expect anything more then just kind of wanted it results.”

My word count Days 14 & 15: blog: 1086 – novel: 0

Easy access to all posts this month via a new menu category: Specials >> November 2011: NaNoWriMo – But Not Only