Tag Archives: self-discovery

NaNoWriMo – But Not Only | November 2011, Day 2

On Pacing | What You Can Do To Pace Yourself And Find Your Life – And Writing – Rhythm

Definition of “pacing

(see The Free Dictionaty)

v. paced, pac·ing, pac·es
v.tr.

  1. To walk or stride back and forth across: paced the floor nervously.
  2. To measure by counting the number of steps needed to cover a distance.
  3. To set or regulate the rate of speed for.
  4. To advance or develop (something) at a particular rate or tempo: a thriller that was paced at a breathtaking speed.
  5. To train (a horse) in a particular gait, especially the pace.

v.intr.

  1. To walk with long deliberate steps.
  2. To go at the pace. Used of a horse or rider.
The sequence is set to motion using frames of ...

Image via Wikipedia

To pace

  1. In fact, walking or striding back and forth across the floor releases nervous energy, brings stress relief and helps with sorting one’s mind out. You can accelerate this process by focussing in on walking and deliberately slowing down your steps the more you relax. Allow 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Writing: your daily and total word count towards The End of your first draft. — Life: what you have achieved. What, you are depressed because you haven’t saved the world today? In that case, allow youself to scrap your ancient definition of achievement. You may be surprised to find out how “saving the world” really works: One small bit, one second at a time… How many times, today, have you smiled at yourself – at someone you knew – at a stranger? have you sent a feeling of peace and kindeness towards those around you or into the ether? have you looked out for the beauty of a leaf, a pebble, a cloud, the person in front of you, your nasty colleague or neighbour, yourself? have you enjoyed what you were doing?
  3. Regulate the speed of your life (which may or may not include writing) according to your energies – don’t skimp, don’t waste, use your energies consciously  (for a new perspective you might like to read”#NaNoWriMo 2011 (#disability #spoonie #mentalhealth) – #amwriting” – and the true story hiding behind the Spoonie link there).
  4. During (but not limited to) the first draft, ignore your author’s ego. Go with the flow of your writing instead, open up for inspiration. Description, dialogue, sentence length and construction, expressions which slow down or speed up the heart rate of your reader – forget about them, at this stage. Tweaking pacing is one of the most fun parts of revision (!) — For non-authors: Right now, which project or life area is in first-draft mode? How is your egoic, imperfect but perfectionist Me-Self interfering with realising your dreams?
  5. 2. and 3. make great habits 😉

To pace oneself

  1. By taking life in long, deliberate and confident strides.
  2. By doing it – act upon your dreams 🙂

Special NaNoWriMo pacing tips:

Last year I knew before I even signed up that during the last week of November I might not have any writing time. To me, NaNoWriMo lasted only 25 days, so I calculated 50k : 25 days = 2,000 words per day. As it turned out, I had more time than I thought – and Newbie-Me desperately needed it, for

  • converting my handwritten manuscript into bits and bytes using a Lore Ipsum text generator)
  • validating my novel by entering the whole text into the NaNoWriMo validator (Should you think that this is one simple copy-paste operation, think again. There’s a reason why you’ve got 5 days to do so: site capacity overload, and the validator prefers small servings.
  • writing two more paragraphs, and another one, to get to the 50k – the NaNoWriMo validator is known for it’s greediness = lower wordcount than what you think you’ve got. I suppose aiming at a total of 51k or 52k will do.

More pacing tips in bullet format (more details in later posts):

  • types of breaks – and how to integrate them
  • time & sanity savers
  • why and how to limit your time
  • using opportunities – living and writing in the Flow
  • getting the best out of distractions

My word count Day 1: 868 (618 blog post + 1 page – I write by hand and will correct the estimated page word count once I’ve counted them)

Enjoy the Flow – and may you find what you are looking for 🙂

Maria

Btw: You can still join the Writing Buddies 🙂 – and it’s not too late to sign up for NaNoWriMo 2011, either 😉

Related Articles:

NaNoWriMo – But Not Only | November 2011, Day 1

Invoking The Spirit Of NaNoWriMo

Taking part in the (inter)National Novel Writing Month is an experience, to say the least 😉

  • You can do so by signing up and participating officially – or run along wearing an old pair of slippers or an invisibility cloak.
  • You may have worked up to 1st November plotting and planning or researching for your novel – or spent not more than a few days brainstorming ideas and sketching a rough outline.
  • Perhaps you are excited by the idea of doing a literary bungee jump on a 50,000 words long rope, with no preparation at all – or you just stumbled upon this page, have never heard of NaNoWriMo, and are curious what made 200,000 people sign up in 2010 (as I’m writing this, 2 hours before “GO!”, there are about 65,000 users online on the NaNoWriMo site).

Or maybe you’re not interested in writing at all? You can still benefit from this creative spirit which will hover during November all over the globe like a sparkling cloud 🙂 :

The Spirit: Writing – or Living – in the Flow

Living in the Flow is a balancing act, and a challenge to boot. Living in the Flow means to let go of perfectionism, to expand your horizon, to weave your own safety net, to cross the void on a tight-rope without knowing what you will find on the other side.

Scary? Yes.

But so are a life full of pressure, fear and worries caused by our urge to control, the illusions of safety we so easily get used to, the meaninglessness and resignation resulting from holding on to what we believe we know and from blocking off whatever might threaten our comfort zone.

“Don’t get it right, just get it written.” James G. Thurber

November has 30 days – it takes 21 consecutive days to establish a new habit 😉

This November,

  • dare to be imperfect – and to learn from the mistakes you make
  • embrace obstacles and other problems as opportunities to move on despite…whatever excuses you are used to
  • question your habitual thoughts and behaviours
  • as often as you remember to, think and act like the person you want to be – repetition brings confidence
  • overwrite the obsolete habits of your previous self with new ones: thoughts, actions and reactions adequate for who you are now
  • get used to living in the Flow

Enjoy the Flow – and may you find what you are looking for 🙂

Maria

Btw: You can still join the Writing Buddies 🙂

Related Articles:

What I learned through NaNoWriMo

November is NaNoWriMo – the (inter)National Novel Writing Month.

Last year I participated for the first time in NaNoWriMo. What I learned during those 30 days had not only impact on quality and quantity of my writing (fiction and non-fiction), but also changed my approach to writing – and other life areas as well 🙂

I wrote this list of “What I learned through NaNoWriMo” beginning of December 2010. When I reviewed it today for this post, I was surprised at how complete – and still valid – it was. I have not altered my last year’s statements, only grouped them.

Perfectionism vs. flexibility – dealing with obstacles

  • how to plod on even when I didn’t know where I was going or how to get there
  • apart fom finding and using small bits of time I also realized that “having to make” time for something as opposed to “having” the time to do it – makes it much more likely that I use the “made” time for the task I made it for, instead of procrastinating or doing something else – I value the time, because I made it valuable by limiting it
  • my worst enemies are my own doubts – can I write 2500 word in one day if necessary? Yes, I can. They may be crap – but that’s for revision to fix 😉
  • not to be overwhelmed by (or back off) a difficult, confusing or giant long-term goal, but to break it into achievable bits (okay, I knew and made use of that one, but I tended to avoid the real biggies)

Focussing on results WHILE enjoying the process

  • setting quantified goals = results instead of how much time I spent on it, but I do combine it with short sprints of max 25 minutes
  • I discovered many time saving techniques I can also apply in other areas, for instance not procrastinating with details while still in the draft stage
  • It’s about finishing this one step: the draft = getting the story down. If there’s no story, just ideas, what am I going to base my revision on?

My own writing preferences

  • although I type a lot faster than I write (legibly) by hand, the result with paper and pen is better and quicker in the end, as I’m not tempted to correct – and the story flows better
  • I discovered my average draft writing speed and rhythm, one I feel comfortable with at long distance – which helps me also to plan more realistically (I was surprised that when doing short sprints  I can hand-write 250-300 words in ten minutes – I focus on “writing” instead of “thinking”)
  • I found out how long I can concentrate on focused writing, and learned to recognize AND respect the signs telling me it’s better to have many breaks (as long as I’m eager to go on) rather than risk mental exhaustion and lose time during recovery
  • looking forward to revision instead of dreading it as a boring task

Switching on and off as desired

I usually don’t have problems with focus and concentration as long as I enjoy what I’m doing 😉 but for some aspects NaNoWriMo helped me to find better solutions – with benefits spreading into other life areas as well:

  • how to switch off when I’m full of enthusiasm – and still not lose momentum
  • how to get going at a time when it’s “inconvenient”, that is when I’m tired, have “something better” to do, “don’t feel like it”
  • how to get started again, especially with complex or ongoing projects, or when I hit an obstacle and get stuck
  • how to switch instantly into writing mode AND how to switch off (took me a couple of weeks, though, to learn it)
  • how to use small time spans of 10 or 15 min (“oh, I still got 10 min” instead of “10 min is not worth starting”)

Even if you never thought of writing a novel, NaNoWriMo is an experience worth having 🙂

No idea what to write? On the site you can even find titles to choose from, or adopt a plot – so, no excuses 😉

All you need to do to participate is to sign up.  (And perhaps inform your immediate social environment that you might not be quite your usual self for the next four weeks…)

Link to the blog:  The Office of Letters and Light

Stay tuned for my long list of tips on how to survive NaNoWriMo 2011 healthy and sane 😉

Maria

Preparing For Your Life Journey

Topic Of The Week: Consolidation

So you’ve got your life map, decided on a path to start out on and chosen a vehicle – what now? What will you need on your journey, what have you got?

First of all, you’ve got yourself as you are right now. So: Who are you?

Allegorical portrait of Dante holding a copy of the Divine Comedy

"Here must all distrust be left behind; all cowardice must be ended." Dante Alighieri

Continue reading

The Enermazing Weekly Ticker (2)

Topic Of The Week 7th – 13th August 2011:  Vision

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

My “vision” for the next weeks is to tweak the editorial calendar. I spend so much (enjoyable) time blogging that the Enermazing Project is suffering – although it is the main reason for the existence of this blog :/

+ +++ +++ This & That +++ +++ +

Do you trust your eyes? Can you spot the change?

Positive psychology for well-being: Does the World Need ‘Positive’ Psychology?

+ +++ +++ Inspiring Success Stories +++ +++ +

Post the story of your own small and big successes in the comments section. Next week it will be featured in this spot. Nobody posted a success story last week – be the first 🙂

+ +++ +++ Question(S) Of The Week +++ +++ +

If you had a magic wand, what would you do? Where would you stop?

+ +++ +++ Quoted +++ +++ +

“…sometimes we become so obsessed with where we think we should be we forget to be where we are now – and most of all we forget to enjoy it!” comment by creatingreciprocity on enermazing-Featured: Tayla Kelley and David Barth

+ +++ +++ Creativity Prompt: Write, Draw, Paint, Make, Sing, Dance +++ +++ +

How would it make you feel to be a tree?
You’re welcome to post your response in the comments section 🙂

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Have-Your-Say-Day (2)

The content of this post will be as interesting as your comments make it 😉

  • Questions?
  • Answers?
  • Suggestions?
  • Tips?
  • Dreams?
  • Wishes?
  • Events?
  • Actions?
  • Reactions?

Anything goes, but maybe you prefer a prompt? How about the…

…Topic of the week: Vision

sailing at sunset

a captain needs a destination

Ithaka 

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy –
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafis

Image Source: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via gimp-savvy.com

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