Justine: When Family Crisis Puts the Kibosh on Writing

44725499 - vintage stop sign on city asphalt floor.We’ve all had (or we likely will have) a situation where our writing has to take a back seat to life…whether it’s our own health that we must cater to, a family crisis or tragedy, or the care of a loved one.

The latter has been my situation for much of July. I had grand goals of getting the second half of my Beggars Club Series Prequel finished and ready for distribution, flipping the switch on my website for a go-live date no later than August 1st, and finishing the storyboard for my book His Lady to Protect so I can cultivate the 467th draft of it into something that resembles a book.

I got nothing done.

My mom’s health took a quick decline Continue reading

Nancy: I Double Dog Dare You

© Niserin | Dreamstime.com - Solve The Problem, Think About Solution, Challenge Concept. Photo

© Niserin | Dreamstime.com – Solve The Problem, Think About Solution, Challenge Concept. Photo

I’ve been thinking a lot about challenges recently, specifically, internally motivated challenges – the kind we set for ourselves. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a bit of a challenge junkie, which probably goes hand-in-hand with being a very goal-oriented person. I like to see that challenge or goal or thing I’m not quite sure I can achieve sitting out there on the horizon. I like developing a plan of strategies and tactics to get to it. And while I don’t always love the plan when I’m in the thick of it, I’m very good at keeping my eye on the prize and powering through the tough parts.

This tendency has its downside, as you can imagine. It can be difficult for me to know when a challenge is the wrong thing for me or to recognize when it’s not going well (like the 3-day cleanse/eating reset/borderline fast I did recently. Zero stars. Will not do again). In physical challenges, I’ve been known to push through the pain, which can be a bad thing when that pain turns out to be a long-term issue like a strained SI joint or a broken finger. And in business – well, let’s just say I’ve worked some ridiculously long, hard hours on more than one complex and intense project. But I keep setting challenges for myself. Why? As I asked myself that question in the middle of the 3-day fast from hell, my hunger-fueled brain came up with only one clear answer – most of the time, challenges work for me.

Okay, now we’re getting somewhere! As a writer, my next logical question was, of course, how can I use this to my advantage in my writing life? Continue reading

Nancy: Interval Training for Creativity

High-Intensity Workout

The early months of 2014 were not ideal fitness months for me. I wasn’t working out as regularly or intensively as I should have been. For the summer, I’ve made a commitment to get myself back into physical shape, which includes using interval training.

Interval training involves adding periods of higher  intensity at certain points throughout a workout. For example, runners might run at a measured pace for fifteen-minute intervals, run at top speed for two minutes, then return to their trotting pace for another fifteen minutes, etc. Weight lifters might alternate between heavier and lighter weights, and add extra repetitions for certain exercises to push their muscles to the limit for brief periods of time.

Since I am also working on toning up my flabby creative muscles this summer, this past week I experimented with applying interval training to my writing sessions. Continue reading