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March 2019 Daily Stepping
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:02 pm
It's like New Year's Day every month. We make a commitment to take a few steps towards our goal. And just like New Year's Day, sometimes we make it, and . . .
Commit to taking small steps towards your goal. The goal, the steps - that's up to you. We'll cheer you on.
Re: March 2019 Daily Stepping
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:15 pm
I have more aptitude than I want at vanishing into time-warps.
January, -- finished Post Office job, and was both pleased that I could meet the challenge, and relieved that it was over.
One of my favorite Barbara Sher stories was of a success team member who wanted to do the Iditarod -- and did, Then went on with a non-racing but life-changing next job.
Mine was nowhere near as strenuous, exciting or dramatic. It was in a nice warm building. But it did build confidence towards "Hey! I can try all kinds of new things!"
Then my body collected on the I.O.U.s I had been writing it, and then plot complications slumped in.
February was a struggle. Part of it may have been weather. I did much better than expected at thriving in the colder weather after moving a thousand miles north. But February had almost-record-for-the-town snow, and less light of day, and I had my first multi-week draggy cough of the century.
I got better! Lots of joyful moments despite the literal gloom, and am getting better.
And having a birthday today.
I think I need more practice.
To be continued.
Lyndon the intermittent.
Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:56 am
Thx Lyndon for launching this month.
I've had that draggy cough thing and it sucks. Just lingers like a house guest overstaying their visit.
Working holiday "extra help" is a strain and a stress and a stretch (i'm out of 'st—' words). Once, desperate for cash, I worked one of these gigs while in my 20s. At Macy's. Christmas season. In the toy department. Got via a temp work company. They were insane. After two weeks, I quit. Cash or no cash.
So, tribute to your gumption for staying your course.
For me, right now, I'm into a second day of ease and rest after an intense finish to Feb. My crucial meeting on 2/28 went as well as I could expect. The team I'm consulting with seems to relax and gel in a fresh way, and sobered itself to the work of finishing out our work. We're working out our exit strategy.
Same day, the woman who convened our team that won being a part of a major new initiative needs to withdraw due to illness issues. Not take a break, but quit. Yikes. still mulling the ripples from that.
Yesterday had both packed day and a relaxing one. Deposited some checks (yes!), ate lunch alone, visited a few stores, got water from an underground spring, bought deli meats at a the discount butcher, spent 2.5 hours in a Korean spa, drove after that in crawl hour traffic to make it to my partner's 7 pm performance, afterwards ate a snack out with friends, then home to put away the meat I'd bought before turning in.
Still very mellow. Looking to easing into getting my partnership taxes done by mid-month.
Today, also, looking to get to Chinatown for the postponed Chinese New Year food walk. Yum.
Re: March 2019 Daily Stepping
Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:03 pm
I really cheered up reading your posts. You both succeeded, and I love knowing that.
My non-writing life just went from bored with nothing to do to tons of things to do. I've just gone through a period of memorials - four deaths, three memorials in about two months. I'm now going through friend convalescing after knee surgery, and friend about to have knee surgery in a week and a half. plus party for MIL (birthday) plus the dreaded T word. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to lent (who looks forward to lent????? - weird people!!!!) But I'm hoping it will be a time for me to "rise above." I should add that I'm trying to "rise above" right now - have been for about a week. I keep rising and falling. I'm trying to develop some good habits.
RE writing: There are several big problems with my novel. The climax comes too soon. I'm unknown. I've published it's prequel by myself. There may be other problems, but those are the ones I know about. I'm working on my pitch, right now. My friends helped me with it, and it's better, but I still don't think it's good enough. Interestingly, I took my friend's rewrite, tweaked it, and showed three versions to my writers' group. They all liked Jill's unchanged version best.
So long for now.
p.s. That's ignoring the minor question - is my writing any good?
Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:08 am
Hi Elaine & Lyndon,
Elaine, whew, what an ongoing set of losses and health issues your are enduring or supporting others in getting through.
About the writing, I see several threads: how good is your writing (not for you to decide), you're unknown (can't be helped), the climax is too soon (delay it), friend's rewrite is preferred by your group (for now); and you need to work out your pitch (okay).
I think the marketing stuff outside your control can be set aside. Funny enough, maybe nailing the pitch might sharpen the other work of polishing the novel. Is it any good or not, not for your to decide.
You know the stories, Vincent van Gogh's brother's widowed wife really pushed to get his works out there and sold (and in the process probably keep her household solvent); Samuel Beckett suffered dozens of rejections before something sold; Stephen King had tossed the opening of Carrie in the trash. His wife came across it and asked why he junked it? He didn't like her. She said, keep working on it. It was his breakthrough novel.
Anne Lamott struggled for years doing odd jobs while she raised her son alone. Her effort to keep her writing alive came down to letting herself write shi**y first drafts & no matter what, write at least one sentence a day.
Just keep at it,
3/2/19 A Mess of Messages
Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:40 am
Opening up another reply exclusively on my spark of insight tonite before I lose the inspiration.
The problem: I took a few days off from dealing with assembling my tax #s to focus on paid work. When I came back I could barely recall what'd I had done, where my best spreadsheet was, which other expenses I needed and which ones were on "record" already. Huh. My memory had "faded" over the course of five days. John Steinbeck suffered something like this when he took breaks from writing his epic novels, to rest, visit with friends, move household, and have a bit of fun. When he came back to work on Monday he often complained how difficult it was to find the thread of where he'd left off.
So, tonite I called Jerry Seinfeld, E L Doctorow, Anne Lamott, Irene Maria Fornes, and Hermann Ebbinghaus to a meeting to help me understand.
From H. Ebbinghaus: Yes, you see, you and Herr Steinbeck are experience the forgetting curve. In just 24 hours we forget maybe 35% of what you were working on. In two days, it's close to 60%. Yes, it's s burden to get to your work everyday. But remember, Herr Lynx, its a burden to remember after the gap. One must choose.
From Seinfeld & Lamott: everyday do a minimum bit of work that moves things forward.
From E L Doctorow: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” This means to me I only need to "see" out a couple of days, just keep it rolling so I can plan when I'll get to my forward moving bits of work.
From Fornes: There's a part of you that wants to do this daily thing because it's smart and will save time and effort, in theory, and a side of you that gets tired, busy, committed, needs a break, rebels, and makes excuses — that at heart doesn't want to do it. The worker must keep tricking the other one.
The test. This leaves me with: a new spreadsheet with the days of the month in the first column, and my best guess at what my minimum might be for the next two or three days (limits of my sight in the fog).
Some days that just noticeable advance maybe indeed just noticeable.
So be it, and so it is.
second day in
Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:47 pm
On to my 2nd day with my fresh system. Fated, like all my past systems, to work until my "dont want to" side figgers out how to dull it.
Also, I've have lots of open time so easy enough to get to all my projects. The true test will come on busier days. And travel, oy!
An interesting ethics issue arose today. While I appeared to be simply puttering about, I was actually moving mental post-its around and working out a way for making a flowchart of our work for one of my clients. This was about 20 minutes. Had I been at a computer, I'd probably begun something and after a while changed my mind to the better way. That might have taken 20 minutes, too. Let's say.
Do I bill for the mental post-its thinking tho nothing tangible has come of it yet? It will tonite or tomorrow when I dig in on this again.
Or do I not?
That is my question.
Re: March 2019 Daily Stepping
Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:40 pm
Lynx, Did the puttering + post-it visualization lead to something you remember well enough to work with, or did it vanish away?
In favor of billing, I keep reading about importance of the "apparently doing nothing" portion of creating.
On a subject slide -- sometimes dreams have some really nifty ideas. Or at least they seem like that when asleep. But then on review the next day, I realize that the boss just isn't going to authorize getting any dinosaurs for file compression.
3/5 Eye 4 an Aye Queue™
Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:45 am
Yes, it does help remembering. And since there's a dramatic drop beginning right after doing something, it feels to me more frequent returns during the day into evening can also boost recall.
I've named my modification of the autofocus system "Eye 4 an Aye Queue." My mod is to have spreadhsheet columns for each project and rows for the several days. In each project stack I list only what I'm getting to for today, tomorrow, and maybe the day after. Things I've begun can be repeated until finished, every day.
What I really have fun with (tricking the one that doesn't want to do it) is color filling the cells or playing with different fonts.
I'm finding getting to a place that feels right to stop for the day on each project
takes me past 8 pm some days. Hemingway, interesting enough, would stop work right when he felt the work was going strong, mid-sentence! Then he felt a nagging need to get back to writing the next day.
Is that true or am I mis-remembering? I'll look it up during a break.
The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck ... That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.
Gotta get to the page,
Re: March 2019 Daily Stepping
Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:35 pm
That Hemingway quote is a good one. It's true that your subconscious works on your project while you're doing other things. The way I heard it was to stop in mid-sentence or mid-paragraph. That way when you start again the next day, you have instant success.
Had a whole lot of fun watching my granddaughter (almost 9). She is bubbly and everything is exciting. She practiced her lines for her school play. "Monstersori" Her brother gets eaten in the end. Then we burned steel wool (science project) and ate pizza. And a good time was had by all.
I want her energy.
Have you ever committed random acts of kindness? or received random acts of kindness? They are fun, probably more fun to give than to receive. I've folded dollar bills into paper airplanes and stuck a note inside that says "thank you for being so special." And I've picked up a lot of dog poop for neighbors. I plan to commit some random acts of kindness, because I think the world needs more kindness these days.
Me, signing off.
mar 6 anti-absentmindedness
Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:46 pm
Yeah, I read EH's mid-sentence suggestions, just didn't find it with less than 2 minutes to search.
Today's personal search topic was dealing with absent mindedness. And since I reverse negative terms, I'll call my quest is for present-mindedness.Found this list:1) Physically write out checklists of the three most common things you do. …
2) Before rushing out the door to anywhere, catch yourself and go through the checklist for one minute before leaving. Spending a minute could save you hours of painful looking or replacing, such as going to the DMV to get your driver’s licensed replaced.
3) Mark one or two places where you will always set your things down. Keys, wallet, and cellphone should all be placed on a specific table every time you come home. Once you condition yourself, you’ll see yourself misplacing less things.
4) Appreciate your money and pretend that you are a starving student who makes an under minimum wage $3 bucks an hour (my own wage when I was in HS). At $3 an hour, I’d have to work 70 hours to afford them shades I lost!
5) Slowdown in general. If you are like me and believe 5 minutes early means on time, you’ve got to just plan better and wake up that much earlier.
This is fun. One of my filters for reviewing pages is if this in second persons (10 ways YOU can become less absentminded) or first (I forget things, and here's what I'm doing about it). Prefer the First person.
For me, when I find myself stressed and busy, it's rush and fast that are the gremlins. Just this morning, used a comb while shaving, and reach for it later and couldn't find it. My game is if I find it now within a minute it doesn't count as lost. This took more time, but eventually I saw it.
#1. Checklist - check, use them often. Last week, gave myself Friday off and spent all night Thursday massaging my Friday schedule. Friday was great.
#2. 60 second lookaround and list review before departing. Do it, not enough, so will use more.
#3. A place for everything and get them to their place. The comb was on it's way. My thoughts got derailed by something else and it was simply dropped on the counter. Hm. Fewer, then never interrupted paths or micro-goals. Others things—take a number.
#4. Cost of time and replacing stuff. I really key in time lost/wasted, so this one motivates me well.
#5. Slow Down. Yessir.
Interestingly, the blog writer found the shades buried in his tennis bag. So, edit: slow down, be thoro.
Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:38 am
Ah, feeling fatigue a bit. Next four or so days not too busy then a full week of jammin stuff to do, some work, some fun. Did someone mention fatigue?
Keeping up with moving a step forward daily with about 4 focused areas. The Inner Resister is using the fatigue to get going - you're tire, what's a day? C'mon, they haven't gotten back to you, give it break while you wait. ... You miss curling up with a good read feeling you haven't a care in the world. This stuff takes up your whole day!
to the inner resister: "Ah, hold yer horses and dial down the yammering. Get in the back seat and pipe down. We've got chores to get done."
To the day,
Re: March 2019 Daily Stepping
Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:12 am
I'm rising above. So far. I hope I end up with some good habits out of all this rising above. I can write for almost two hours each day. I dream about sitting at the computer and just writing and writing, inspired, not wanting to do anything else. It doesn't sound so hard. After all if I were working, I'd put in eight hours a day at my job. Haz Mat was really interesting, but if I had had a boring job, I'd still have to put in eight hours of work. And I'd have done it.
Book club meeting this Saturday, and I just figured out what to bring - scones. My Daughter gave me a scone mix for Christmas, and that'll be a perfect time to try it.
The shift key on my computer sticks, so whenever I capitalize a word, the next two or three get capitalized along with it. So if you find a word in my post like "CAlifornia," please just ignore it.
I had fun researching the Triumphal March from Aida. Apparently, in China in 2000 they did a performance of it where the had horses (common in many productions of Aida) and an elephant, camels, tigers, lions, 1650 soldiers and horse-drawn racing chariots. High points of the march - cleaning up the horse s**t, and when the chariots almost got stuck together. The New York Times gave it a bad review. Geeze! But the crowd loved it.
I think I'll do some yard work before any rain comes down.
To the page and the list.
Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:55 am
"Triumphal March with a cast of 1000s—panned by the NY Times." Hardly a surprise as their unstated 'high standards' can't be allowed to match what the "commoners" enjoy.
Eye 4 an Aye Queue on test today. I'd like to semi-cruise after a hard working week for a couple of days. What's the smallest thing to do that keeps my memory alive? I'll find out. Suspect it's organizing papers, putting things away. Printing out a doc or two. Very little. Maybe flipping through a book.
Many delightful errands today: getting washing soda (sodium carbonate, not it's cousin sodium bicarbonate) and going to get my glasses adjusted, load of laundry then a party this evening.
Tomorrow, music, a tarot talk, then a movie.
Part of today and tomorrow is having pen ready for inspired words for a mission statement I'm helping a friend re-draft.
Avoiding the page as much as I dare,
Re: March 2019 Daily Stepping
Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:39 am
Yesterday, I considered taking Wally's part of the novel out and turning it into a short story. Today, I figured it wouldn't work because the Wally part is technically a short story, but it's really too long and too involved. I see the good parts, but I'm looking at the whole novel, and I don't see how it can work.
But I do like the idea of working on something short for the sake of closure.
Hope you had a good relaxing day, Lynx.