The lonely path of the Missing Planet

As much as we love to write, it’s important to take breaks — to live your life and have new experiences, and to reflect and recharge so you can come back to your desk, ready to hit the keyboard again. Not writing allows you to gain the distance from your words, and thus perspective, which are both needed when it’s time to edit.

Being active every day makes it easier to hear that inner voice.

— Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Write every day, but don’t put your life on hold . . .

— Vincent Mars, “Writing as a Way of Life

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking? Today, publish your post in any form you wish, as long as you focus on one or all of these questions.

What do you do when you’re not writing? I worry about why I’m not writing. I think about what I could be writing, I worry if I’m really writing when I’m writing or just remembering. I worry if everything I do when I’m not writing is actually procrastination and avoidance. I think about who I am. I worry about what I am. I wonder about what I might become. I worry a lot. I’m getting better art not worrying but I’m not there yet.

How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed? I don’t. Writing refreshes me. I don’t return refreshed, returning refreshes me. How do I prepare to write? I get myself right to write by trying to clear aware the distractions that sop me from writing – chores, paid work, depression; and I maximise the distractions that help me write – the things I need to occupy the inner critic like music in the background and snacks on hand. I’m doing my best to make writing my priority and the first thing I do and the first thing i get done. Like my writing I am a work in progress.

What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Hope. And something to write on.

Writing 101 – This just in…

  • Write a 50-word story (or, if you feel daring, a series of 50-word stories). Get inspired by the tiny tales at 50-Word Stories

“The sentient species called humans from the third planet of an insignificant yellow star solar system has just become extinct. Apparently a janitor working at the Large Hadron Collider decided to wait a day before replacing the bulb in the red light that warned when an overload was in progress.”

Writing 101: Feelings. Lots of feelings

Do you ever peek at the comments you’ve left on other blogs? You might find ideas for future posts. Perhaps you left a response on a writer’s post but could have said even more, or wrote the beginnings of a larger discussion.

To read the comments you’ve made, visit your My Comments page, which you can access in the sidebar of your Reader. Look for a comment you can expand on — one that can evolve into a new post, where you can continue the discussion or address a related idea or topic. Practice seamless linking (read point #2 in particular) and refer and link to the comment somewhere in your post:

The other day, I read a post on King of States! describing the internet as a space made of real people. I told the blog’s author, Michelle Weber, how much I enjoyed her take.

For related information, read about expanding comments into posts.

If browsing these comments leaves you empty-handed, revisit the recent comments that readers have left on your blog, and select one that you can respond to.

Feelings. Lots of feelings. Your Fearless writing is powerful!

(My comment on: Life101: Things I’ve Learned)

There were dozens of extraordinary responses to this task and I spent the best part of a week checking through all the responses backwards and forwards over and over. They all affected me some made me laugh, some made me cry, some made me step outside and get some air. Cliches not withstanding – it was emotional.

Afterthoughts after reading this:

  • Tenacity and stamina are the key to all happiness and success I’ve ever experienced. Not knowing when to stop the path to all miser and disappointment.
  • Trust is the precursor to the love. Once you lose my trust you lose me.
  • I wish I could say don’t give up on people but some people are not worth the time

I could go on but I want to be brief. While reading this gem of writing and the other pieces from my fellow bloggers on Writing 101 I was struck but the similarity between our experiences.

Often when researching depression or talking to carers and those who we might call “professional listeners” I’ve been struck by something they often say. “I hear that so often”

The best thing about online communities is the sharing of experiences, techniques and stories. Learning not only how to achieve your dreams and ambitions but also hearing first hand from your fellow writers we are all experiencing the world in the same way.

Some people revel in solitude and feeling separate from the world. The lonely intellectual suffering the fools who surround him. Personally I like to think of us as stars in the night sky. Each one with its solar system of issues orbiting it.

I think that perhaps that’s the only way to comprehend how we can all be so many, so unique and yet have so much in common.

I don’t know maybe I’m just being emotional. I’m going to go get a coffee and re-adjust my game-face,