Archive | May 2014

During My 6-Day Water Fast

I took a week off writing to do a six-day water fast. Yes, that means consuming nothing but water for six days. I’m writing this as I approach day six.

I was feeling burnt out even though I wasn’t getting all that much done; I think that was what was burning me out. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish and my goals all feel so far off. This caused one of those dark moments where I never wanted to write again. I get those from time to time. This fast has helped me to think a bit and reboot.

But mostly it gave me time to watch TV and research nutrition.

I plan on overhauling my diet when I can finally eat. I read, or skimmed, Eat to Live and will be using much of its advice.

As for TV, I watched the first two seasons of Hannibal. The show was created by Bryan Fuller who I have loved for quite a while. I was thrilled that Hannibal connected briefly to his Wonderfalls (a must see 2004 comedy series), much like Pushing Daises did. The second season of Hannibal was a marked improvement over the first, with a killer final. The show has definitely grown on me. If you like surreal horror, I would give it a shot.

I also saw two horror movies. Oculus was interesting, but not all that successful at inducing fear. Still, it was much better than average. Then there was The Purge, which was suspenseful, but had its dumb moments too. Some bland characters didn’t really help either. The idea for the movie ends up being better than the movie itself. Both get a solid B from me.

That wraps up most of the things happening to me. Next time I’ll talk about how I might be related to H. P. Lovecraft and how I have his family Bible from the 1800s.

Just Two Steps to Get Everything You Want Done

I’ve been reading Manage Your Day-to-Day edited by Jocelyn K. Glei. It has inspired me to write a post on willpower. The current chapter is about managing distractions. One manage-your-day-to-day-reviewof the prime points, which I have read in other places too, is that you need to not only focus on your work (no multitasking), but also remove temptation.

As an example, when the internet is within easy reach, your mind constantly uses energy to resist accessing the internet. Resisting takes self-control, and self-control is a limited resource. The simple act of writing while resisting the impulse to surf the net can cause you to pig out on ice cream later in the day after your willpower is low.

There seems to be two steps for dealing with this problem.

Step one is to remove the temptation. If you always want junk food, don’t have junk food in the house, or at least not in your desk drawer. If you want to check your email every ten minutes, turn off your phone and your router. Do what you need to do to get away from the constant choice between being productive and wasting time. Constant connectivity doesn’t really helped you focus.

There are quite a few apps to help you lock away distractions on your devices, but a low tech solution might be to leave the computer behind and write longhand in a notebook away from your home. Set yourself up for success by removing ways to fail, and you will fail less as you try to accomplish step two.

The second step to deal with distractions and to conserve your self-control is to create a routine. From what I’ve read, routines are not built quickly, something like seventy days or more before they take root. Once what you want to do is automatic, you will need less willpower to do them. If you get up every morning at seven for a few months, sooner or later you will start naturally getting up at seven. If you write two hours at your desk, without the internet, every morning for three months, it will become just what you do and not what you wish you were doing.

I’m currently working on these two step. I’ll keep you up-dated on how it’s going, but until my next post, happy writing!

Unemployed, Sound Good?

I’m finally filing for unemployment after being laid off by my day job at some point last month.

They didn’t tell me; I had to ask my manager and then he had to look to see if I was still in the computer and apparently I wasn’t, so no work for me. I think I will use the income to invest in my writing and help my mother a while to save on rent. Good editors don’t come cheap, and I’ll have quite a few things that will need copy edited soon. I just have to finish polishing some of my work first.

After releasing my next novel, I think I will travel a bit if I have enough money left. Sound good? Sounds good.

In Bed

I’m normally up around seven, but today I didn’t get out of bed until noon.

I wasn’t sleeping. I just needed some time to think. I needed time away from my family (my mother and brother), who I recently moved in with and who are giving me grief. They want me to help them to be healthier and to live better lives, but they want to do all the same things they have always done. They want to eat better, but they want to buy all the same foods. They want better communication, but they don’t think they ever do anything wrong.

People don’t change, unless they want to change. This isn’t a new idea. I can try to help my mom and brother, but I think it is better to focus on changing myself instead. Help can hold people back.

And I only have so much energy in the day. I cook healthy meals for them and go for walks with them and try to get them to get exercise and try to get them to de-clutter their house and everything else, and that doesn’t leave me much energy to be a productive artist.

So I think I’m done offering them advice and prompting them to do healthy things. I moved in with my mom to help her with her diabetes, she mainly needed to get more exercise and eat better, but I think I’ve done what I can. It’s time for her to step up and take charge of her own health. I can’t do it for her. At the end of the day, she is responsible for her own life.

In other words, I’m going to be blogging again, and refocusing on writing and visual media. Expect to see a lot more posts here soon.