Monthly Archives: January 2017

Writing Against the Bad Tide

Despite how much solitude involved in this kind of craft, writing is also very much plugged into working online. There’s the social media aspect, networking, blogging, posting pieces for people to see, all that good stuff.

And right now, the entire Internet can be quite…

Draining.

And that’s putting it lightly.

Scary shit is happening in the world. We are perpetually bombarded with new Bad News about what certain high-powered individuals are doing to fuck over the population. And as if the news itself wasn’t bad enough, there’s also seeing the reactions and horror stories and opinions, and the responses to that, and…

Now more than ever, it’s important to understand balance and taking care of yourself.

Here are a few tips I’ve been using to help stay productive while also staying informed about current events:

  1. Decide when and how much you are going to expose yourself to the news: I am trying to limit myself to one particular point in the day to get a rundown of my news around the world. I’m also trying to move away from first thing in the morning, because it can easily set the tone for the day.
  2. Recognize when it’s time to unplug: You may need some time completely away from the computer, the phone, etc. Fall back in love with the pen and paper. Or…
  3. Disconnect from the Matrix: Sometimes it can be as simple as losing your Internet for a while. Check out programs like Freedom to allow you to work without the temptation of surfing.
  4. Mind your physical traits: eat, sleep, drink water, meditate. Go outside and stand in the sun. Even if it’s cold. Make yourself exercise (I just got a small fitness stepper for my office and it has been awesome).
  5. Keep creating things: just by putting things out into the world, you are doing a great service to many. People need art right now more than ever. People need to escape. People need to be inspired and to see characters doing the things that they may not be able to. Don’t stop. Don’t give up.

Powerlessness and You

Today, someone messaged me and asked how to deal with the feeling of being powerless, and the ensuing emotions that resulted from that feeling. They also said that they would feel so bad that they weren’t pursuing anything else, out of solidarity for those suffering. I answered the inquiry, and I wanted to share with you what I said to this person:

First of all, I totally understand the feeling. When things are happening on a greater, grander scale (like national or even global decisions), it’s natural to feel like there isn’t anything you can do, and that leads to feeling frustrated with yourself, getting depressed, etc. And I don’t want to say that it’s “good” that you feel that way, but it’s a better response than not caring at all.

And sometimes it’s not even on such a big scale. When we see someone in our life who is in pain, we want to make it better. We want to fix the problem. And when we can’t, it feels like a failure. We take on their suffering because we believe that somehow it balances out. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. I mean, put yourself in the other person’s shoes: if you were to find out that someone was suffering on your behalf, would that make you feel better? Probably not.

Ultimately, though, it’s about balance and finding a direction to turn your emotional response.

For me, personally, regarding the bigger scale issues, after the election and after the first few weeks of just feeling like the world was ending, I started getting more involved with activism in my area. Nothing huge, but this week we met up with some people and wrote to our local and state representatives. Next, we’re planning an event to help raise money for local organizations. That feels good. It feels like something, and it keeps me rooted in knowing that I am a part of the ‘good side.’

On a smaller, more personal level, I’ve also been getting back into the mode of creativity, because I know that people need something good to look at when things in the world seem pretty dark. This is the time people need art and words and anything to make them feel a bit better. If I can use that to bolster the spirit of someone who is suffering, I will.

And really – take care of yourself. Feeling bad in and of itself will only wear you out. Enjoy the things that you love and be grateful for them, and look for ways that you can reach out and be there for people having a rough go of it. Remember, you need to secure your own oxygen mask before you can assist others with theirs.

Once again with regard to the bigger stuff, this is a particularly good read that a friend posted on Twitter this week, and it was something I absolutely had to read.

I hope this helps. Hang in there!

Ducks in a Row: Getting Shit Straight

This year, I have been trying to get more organized.

And it’s strange because whenever I think about clearing out clutter or time management or goal-setting or habit-picking-up, it always seems like this daunting task. Like glacial spelunking or digging out your own hobbit hole.

It seems to be even worse when you’re a creative person (and, in my case, one with a variety of interests and a short attention span), because life is a damn sundae bar of options. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. I feel like the first two weeks of January were essentially spent staring at the wall going, “I can’t do everything. Why can’t I do everything? This is bullshit!”

Then, I tried a different tactic. I dropped the endless list of ‘I Want To’ and instead asked, ‘What do I wish I had done?’ I started breaking down the things that I realized I wanted to do last year and then for whatever reason didn’t do. Then, by narrowing it down, I acknowledged that I wish I had:

  • Gotten more published.
  • Written more original pieces.
  • Finished editing my novel (or at least getting a chunk of it done).

Surprisingly, this one minute of hindsight gave me the guidance I needed to put wheels into motion for the future. And once I had those pieces in mind – that I wanted to especially do those things, among all the others in the Pile of Peculiar Pleasures – opportunities and ideas blossomed.

I’m also going to be continuing to use my blogs to document my work and inspire others. bohemian.on.rye will continue to be where I will post new pieces of writing and writing-related stuff worth sharing. Meanwhile, I will focus SelfDare on creativity, living a fulfilled life and being happy.

I know things may seem crazy out there in the Real World, but we’re all here. This is all happening. We’re in this together. Time to Evolve.

And because it needed to be said on here, if you were out marching this weekend, you are a freaking rock star and I love you.

2017 is EVOLVE

I’m not going to mince words here: 2016 was not fun for anyone. I spent the second portion of December sick as a dog – including on Christmas, as if I needed to be punched in the boob one more time for good measure – and I fell behind on everything. 2016 was stressful and difficult for me personally, and there are tons of listicles and tweets out there with reasons why this was the case for most other people too.

But 2017 is here. We’re moving on. We’re starting fresh, and it’s going to be great.

So this year, I’ve chosen the word EVOLVE.

Anyone who knows me knows that for roughly the last six months, I have been really, really, really into Pokemon, especially Pokemon Go. And although Pikachu still holds a precious place in my heart, my mascot for this year is this little guy:

eevee

This is Eevee. Isn’t he cute? Eevees are considered “Normal” Pokemon but they are extremely adaptable. Under different conditions, Eevees can evolve into eight different forms that are all unique, powerful and really freaking awesome. But the thing about it is that an Eevee that remains an Eevee is still fantastic! Look at that face! He’s good just the way he is.

I want so much to be better in 2017. I want to take the things that I do and kick them up a notch. I want to be better, do better, make better and give better to the world. When something challenges me, I want to take a step back and say, “Here is the bare minimum I could do. But how can I do more?” But I also want to recognize and be confident with the person that I am in the present. I want to choose to be happy and honest and comfortable with the ‘me’ that I am now so I know that the changes I’m making are just to enhance that goodness.

So how about you guys? What are you looking forward to evolving into in the new year?

2017 is EVOLVE

I’m not going to mince words here: 2016 was not fun for anyone. I spent the second portion of December sick as a dog – including on Christmas, as if I needed to be punched in the boob one more time for good measure – and I fell behind on everything. 2016 was stressful and difficult for me personally, and there are tons of listicles and tweets out there with reasons why this was the case for most other people too.

But 2017 is here. We’re moving on. We’re starting fresh, and it’s going to be great.

So this year, I’ve chosen the word EVOLVE.

Anyone who knows me knows that for roughly the last six months, I have been really, really, really into Pokemon, especially Pokemon Go. And although Pikachu still holds a precious place in my heart, my mascot for this year is this little guy:

eevee

This is Eevee. Isn’t he cute? Eevees are considered “Normal” Pokemon but they are extremely adaptable. Under different conditions, Eevees can evolve into eight different forms that are all unique, powerful and really freaking awesome. But the thing about it is that an Eevee that remains an Eevee is still fantastic! Look at that face! He’s good just the way he is.

I want so much to be better in 2017. I want to take the things that I do and kick them up a notch. I want to be better, do better, make better and give better to the world. When something challenges me, I want to take a step back and say, “Here is the bare minimum I could do. But how can I do more?” But I also want to recognize and be confident with the person that I am in the present. I want to choose to be happy and honest and comfortable with the ‘me’ that I am now so I know that the changes I’m making are just to enhance that goodness.

So how about you guys? What are you looking forward to evolving into in the new year?