Lessons about Writing

Bloganuary day 29

Today’s Prompt: What is something you learned recently?

What a great question! I am probably what is known as an epistomophile as I am constantly reading and absorbing information so this is a great opportunity to take a step back and think about about what I have actually learnt and how much I have implemented

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The value of morning pages

If you have read “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron then you would have come across the term “morning pages”. Julia Cameron recommends that, every morning, we get up and write out 3 pages of conscious streaming writing by hand. It is a clearing exercise that allows you to dump all the thoughts that are rolling around in your mind. I find that it is easier to meditate after writing these pages as I have now dealt with all the thoughts that usually pop up in my writing. I also often find that by the 3rd page (although I don’t always get there), I start coming up with new ideas, especially for work, which is pretty awesome. There is no right or wrong way to do this exercise and it is often a grump fest and can look like a to-do list. It’s a really great tool that helps you create space for your creativity.

How to easily calculate the readability of my text

This is I learnt today on Tetyana’s blog, #teachisfun, here on WordPress. You can find out more about to do this too at this link. I have always wanted to understand how to calculate the readability score of my blog posts as I am aware of how important it is but I have never taken the time to find out. Tetyana’s post also taught me about important rules that need to be followed for the best chance of creating a successful blog and includes very useful tips on creating a captivating heading for my posts. I suspect I am going to need a lot more practice with headings in particular. 😅

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Bye for now.

I

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31 Days of Gratitude – Day 27

6 more sleeps until the New Year and 2 more sleeps until my son comes home! I have lots to be excited about! My little desk also arrived today. This one will be dedicated to my writing. I am so gratefil that I will have a little writing spot which I am hoping will help me create, and firmly entrench, a daily writing habit. I am counting on Bloganuary to really kick start the habit again as well. I had so much fun with it this past Jan.

I also spent some time this morning listing all the things I did this year. I have made so many changes and pushed so many boundaries. I am very proud of myself and very grateful for the opportunities and the means to do it all. I had also promised myself that I would be intentional about certain things this year. One of which was to stop absorbing knowledge and spend more time putting what I do know into practice and sharing it where I can. I’ve done it but there is so much more to share so I will definitely keep this on my list for years to come.

Another item on that list was to learn to love myself a whole lot more and I am glad to say that I have definitely made progress on this one. These days my first reaction when I look in the mirror is to smile at myself rather than look for faults. I have changed the way I dress and I have discovered the impact and power of lipstick ! Phew! I have a whole blog post planned on the power of lipstick alone. Who knew!😜 All in all I must say that it feels good to like what I see in the mirror and I am grateful that I am able to make that switch and start appreciating and valuing myself more.🙏

Just me having a little fun at work

That’s it for today. I have finally started the Fire & Ice series of books by George RR Martin. I bought them in 2018 but only feel like I am ready to commit to them as of today. I am only 2 chapters in and I am enjoying his writing already. Ooh and my favorite part was officially opening the boxset and having the smell of a brand new book hit me. The highlight of my day 😁.

My reading material for the next few weeks

Habits – To Be or Not To Be

Creating a system to implement new habits has fascinated me for a long time. I think I have found the answer for me…

I am fascinated by habits. I am curious about how we create them and more importantly, how we make them stick. My fascination started 9 years ago when I became a non-smoker and was I was given a copy of “The Power of Habit” by Charles Durhigg. This was where I first leaned about keystone habits. Keystone habits are rountines/habits that lead to other actions because of them. As an example, exercise is often a keystone habit as it can lead to a change in eating habits and sleep routines.

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True behavior change is identity change.

James Clear (Atomic Habits)

I have been on a quest to become healthier for a while now and to be a writer. But I suspect that therein lies the problem. “Being on a quest to”, “trying”, “attempting to” – all of these thought processes never actually get you there. I have actually cut the word “try” out of my vocabulary. There is no such thing. Either you do or you don’t. So my word for 2022 is “Action”. I act and I do. Oh and the word healthier is probably part of the problem. Either I am living a healthy lifestyle or I’m not. I’m sure you can see where I am going with this.

The thing is that in order to become, you first have to be rather than become first in order to be. In other words , you have to tell yourself that you already are so that you take on the behaviour of that which you aspire to be. So in order to adopt healthy habits, I have to keep telling myself that I am a healthy person. The day after I made the decision to be the person I aimed to become, a clip of David Goggins popped up on my instagram feed talking about being the person mentally in order to adopt the habits of the person you want to become. He gave the example of a motivating yourself to run in the rain at 5am even when you have no desire to. He says you need to tell yourself: “This is who we are now”. That made perfect sense to me. So far it is working for my goal of writing every day. I have now written every day for more than 33 days straight because this is who I am now. I am a writer. I have so many other commitments every night but this is the one that I have enjoyed the most. To be honest, I am ususally dog tired when it is time to write but I do it anyway because…yip, that’s right,…this is who I am now. For the record, my last writing streak was for 7 days so this is very impressive for the old me. For the new me…this is my new normal. As for being a healthy person…well…I’m not quite there yet.

So this is my goal for 2022, to decide on what it is I want to achieve and be it. I am under no illusions that this will not always be easy but I know that if I am doing it for all the right reasons, I will definitely enjoy the journey. Watch this space and I will keep you updated on what’s worked and what hasn’t worked over the coming year.

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