Nancy: Comfort Story

comfort zone phrase handwritten on blackboard with heart symbol instead of OOver these past several weeks, I’ve been immersed in stress. As often happens in times of long-term stress, I’ve found myself craving the worst kinds of foods, the ones full of fat and sugar, sometimes foods that don’t even particularly appeal to me under normal circumstances.

The reason for my cravings isn’t a mystery. It’s a stress response that’s as old as time, or at least as old as our prehistoric ancestors. And it’s not all bad. Loading up on high-energy foods gave our forebears the energy and endurance they needed for fight or flight in life or death situations. Unfortunately for us, even when our stress is over deadlines and office work, the rudimentary part of our brain turns to its same old, very old tricks to prepare us for battle.

But even if we don’t need the high caloric intake to survive a run-in with a sabre-tooth tiger, intake of those high-energy foods still has its purpose. Our brain sends out an SOS disguised as a craving; we eat the kinds of foods it wants; our bodies send back a signal that we’re prepared; our stressed brain is comforted. Hence, we have comfort food. It’s not an illusion, not our imagination. Comfort food actually mentally comforts us.

So what in the hell does all this have to do with writing, as this is, after all, a writing blog? Well, it has me thinking about other forms of comfort, specifically, comfort reading and watching. Continue reading

Kat: The End Goal

Long Way Down

Ass In The Saddle!

Today’s post was supposed to be an exciting motivational rant on my personal tips and tricks that help me get to the keyboard when everything around me has gone to shit. Turns out my only trick is to keep chocolate in my desk drawer. Since I assume most of us do that (if you don’t, you should),  I decided to go with plan B which was to go to the “experts” (read: published authors) and find out what they do. Turns out the advice is either stuff I can’t relate to (My issues are different from say, Justine’s) or are things we already know (Make a plan! Set a schedule to avoid temptation! Elicit support from your family and friends, walla, walla, ding, dong). Good advice, but let’s stop kidding ourselves. Creating a schedule or calling our writing buddies to talk us down from the self-doubt ledge doesn’t keep us writing when our lives go off the rails. To keep at it, day after day, to believe in ourselves and our writing in the face of (fill in the blank) it takes more than snappy advice. A helluva lot more. Continue reading