Nancy: In Praise of Rest

Last week at this time, I was on day five of a virus from hell. A little less than three weeks ago, I was in a doctor’s office learning that, according to some X-rays of my hip, I have an issue that requires a change to my workout regimen for the foreseeable future. And a few weeks before that, I’d had a stiff neck/pinch nerved – possibly related to having my alignment thrown off by the bum hip – that made it difficult to climb out of bed. What all of these ailments have in common, other than making me feel like I’m approximately one hundred years old, is they were, to some extent, preventable.

Given these circumstances, a normal person might think, “What am I doing that’s making me so physically vulnerable?” I, on the other hand, thought, “When will all this be over so I can get back to my normal, totally unrealistic, and probably unsustainable schedule?” At some point, maybe it was around day three of the virus, I knew it was time to abandon my mind-over-matter mindset and listen to what my body, my orthopedist, and the universe were trying to tell me. Assuming you’re less obtuse than I, you can probably see where this is going.

It’s time to slow down a bit. Not forever. But for a while. And probably time to come up with a more sustainable long-term approach that builds downtime into my plans.

So today I present myself as a cautionary tale. Behold what happens when you set up unmanageable expectations. I’ve spent the past nine months riding hellbound for leather to reach a multitude of goals in 2018. And I’ve met most of them, so yay! But follow my lead at your own peril, because you could break something. Quite literally. Continue reading

Michaeline: Second Week Whining (A NaNo Tradition)

A hallway of a building that is being torn down. There is a circular light at the end of the dark hall.

Story under construction! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. (Photo by Nelson Alexandre Rocha via Wikimedia Commons)

I haven’t been reading much lately. It’s been busy at work, and I’ve allowed the computer to take over my free time, and then there’s this National Novel Writing Month thing, which I have been neglecting. Neglecting, but still allowing it to take over a lot of my brain space and nervous energy. Seriously, it would be simpler and quicker if I’d stop worrying and just sit down and get a word count in, but for some reason, I think I’m too tired for it. And instead of going to bed like a reasonable adult, I watch just one little short YouTube, and wind up turning the light off far later than I’d planned. It’s a vicious cycle.

A simple piece of advice: don’t search Tim Minchin on YouTube this month, if you want to stick to “just one little short one.” Just don’t. He’s long, and funny, and filthy and you’ll either be flipping through his whole catalogue, or you’ll be too angry to sleep.

I think one of the reasons week two is traditionally the toughest week of NaNo is the same reason I hate Tuesday. You know, the first part was fun. Getting to know the characters, adding new writing buddies, being freshly passionate and promising to write the hell out of this month . . . . . Now that I think about it, February has the same problem. After the resolutions and the mad dash of the first week of January, we’re just blah and tired and not quite sure if it was all a good idea or not.

Well, Chris Baty tells us in his book, No Plot? No Problem that week three will be better, if Continue reading