Category Archives: five minutes

Writing for Reals

Tonight I did the first extemporaneous fiction writing I’ve done in months. It came out of a chance phrase from a friend during dinner (thanks, T!), and has grown to about 700 words in about 20 minutes. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am very happy with this turn of events!

My goals for this, the second round of A Round of Words in 80 Days for 2012, are as follows:

1. Continue with my 5 minutes of writing every day, but bump up to 10 minutes a day. This will mostย likely happen first thing in the morning, while my schedule remains what it is. It mostly turns into journaling, but that’s completely okay with me.

2. Walk Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I know the second isn’t a writing goal, but it IS a healthy life goal. Since part of my life realizations in the past couple of weeks have including making time for myself, and not giving myelf to everyone else, I believe this will allow me to start balancing things in a healthy way, beginning with treating my body in a good way.

I also think it’s likely there will be more writing on Tuesdays and Thursdays after the yoga sessions. Yoga clear my mind so very well, and allows me to focus on my body and my breathing in a way I don’t do at any other time.

In the meantime, this weekend is Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. I’m going to be there all day, every day. There are even a couple of very interesting panels that I want to sit in on…as well as Saturday night’s speed dating session. I’ll have to post here with how that goes… ๐Ÿ™‚

gp


this is more like it!

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and now Sunday–and I have done my 5 minutes (at the very least) all of these days. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s mostly journal-type stuff, but Saturday I added some wordage to my NaNoWriMo 2010 re-write. It’s not perfect, of course. I’m kind of looking at this as the second first draft, since a lot of it is just going to be completely different.

I sort of started the reboot yesterday as well, but I’m not sure how that’s going to go, exactly. I kind of thought I could do a short story with it and submit it to Jeremy’s Mad Scientist anthology…but I don’t know about that now. We’ll see what else I can come up with this week.

I’m already kind of full-up on things to do this week already, with sewing the baby quilt (picture to be provided when there is a baby quilt to photograph!), doing my outplacement stuff to get info on either finding a new job or starting my own business (more likely both of these things), helping out at the coffee shop, and doing doula business stuff. It’s going to be a long week, but I think it’ll be a good one. ๐Ÿ™‚

gp


fail…but not disappointing fail

I haven’t done my five minutes since Monday, but I’m not upset about it. I’m itching to get back to it, which is what I’m doing as soon as I finish this update, but I’m not disappointed. Here’s why: my doula client gave birth early Wednesday morning, and I was with her from Tuesday morning through Wednesday around 9:30am. She was a total champ, with 34 hours of labor BEFORE she got her epidural, and a baby 5 hours after that. Everybody’s happy and healthy, and hopefully going home sometime soon today.

So now I’m off to my 5 minutes after a baby-birthing break!

gp


five minutes–a success!!!

No, really. I’ve done my 5 minutes three out of four days this week! Wednesday was the one I missed, but considering I wrote for almost an hour this morning, along with another hour this evening, I believe I’ve made up for it.

Today’s glut of words came from an almost-asleep inspiration last night: I needed to start the novelย I’ve been trying to revise for a year and a half at the dance scene. No one will understand this reference, as I haven’t let anyone read the thing because I didn’t finish it and it needed to be completely re-written. But instead of merely rolling over and thinking, “I’m sure I’ll remember that in the morning”, as I usually do, I turned on the light, pulled out my little notebook and a pen, and wrote it down.

Amazing what a little bit of determination can do, along with a computer which takes less than a minute to boot up. ๐Ÿ™‚

gp


ROW80, round 1, 2012

I just read Kait’s post about setting our goals for this new round of ROW80. I have also been a runner, and have been “trying” to become one again.

But I never heard about the Test Mile. At this point, I doubt very much I could run a whole mile (it’s been a LONG TIME), but I know I CAN jog/walk my way around the lake close to my house (almost 3 miles, and mostly walking).

I really like the Test Mile concept, both for running and writing. Like I said, I can’t run a mile, but I know what I CAN run. I very rarely make 1000 words in a day, but I can write 5 minutes a day. I was encouraged to do this in the previous round, and when I actually did it (rarely), it gave me a sense of accomplishment that kept me feeling lighter the whole 5 minutes before I went to sleep, since I usually only found the time at the very end of my day.

In early December, a good friend helped me build a schedule for my life around my 4pm-12:30am work schedule. It’s flexible, and I feel neither restricted nor bored with it. I was thinking yesterday, after reading a friend’s blog post about daily writing in the morning, that I could put my five minutes at the beginning of my day instead of just whenever I remember an manage to fit it in.

Getting out of bed to do the writing will also encourage me to be up and moving around so I can do my running, too. What a concept!

I think Monday will be an excellent time for me to start this–get up for my Five Minutes, and then get out and start walking again. It’s the only way to get a habit started, after all–just start!!! I’ll get to that Test Mile within a couple of months, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

gp


2.12.12 checkin

I haven’t done my ROW80 updates this week, but there wasn’t really anythng to tell. I haven’t been doing my 5 minutes, I haven’t been exercising, I haven’t been doing a lot of things.

I also haven’t been working; I got laid off from the job I’d had for almost 6 years on Tuesday. It was a surprise, but most definitely a GOOD surprise. My friend B and I decided that I could take the week off because of the layoff so I can relax and get used to it and get it all out of my system. This week, we start the business plan, fix up my doula website, and start figuring out how that business is all going to look–and what else I’m going to do until my doula business hopefully becomes self-sustaining.

Of course, I’d rather just keep doing what I was doing this week, with a little more writing thrown in. It’s been very relaxing…very nice. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I did just buy a new computer yesterday, since I have to return the work one tomorrow. This one isn’t anything fancy; it’s got Windows 7 on it, but none of the Microsoft suite yet. Gotta love friends with Microsoft hookups for software… I mention the new computer, however, because the bootup time is pretty fast in comparison to the work computer (less than a minute as compared to about 10 minutes!), so I can get up in the morning, turn on the computer, go grab a drink of water, and come back, sit down, and do my morning writing. Now THAT’S pretty amazing! Looking forward to Monday morning, for the first time in a long time!

gp


a wee bit o’ writer’s block

I did my 5 minutes this morning. It wasn’t anything exciting. In fact, it was pretty boring. The most exciting part was that I did it in red pen. Yup, you read that right–IN RED PEN.

Oy.

Now I’m at work, in the last hour and a half of my shift. There’s only one thing to do, and I’m doing it–watching it go. Whoopee.

And I can’t think of a single thing to write about. I have some stuff started that I was writing for a whilte, and I just have absolutely no interest in any of it right now. Nothing else is coming to mind, either.

Maybe I’ll look up “writing exercises” on Google or something, and see if that gets me anywhere.

gp


writing? not so much…

It’s been a busy month. I put one of my cats to sleep on my birthday (worst birthday ever, including the one when I had pneumonia), and shortly afterward got sick with what has turned out to be gallbladder attacks. Testing continues; surgery is likely, but not on an emergency basis. Turns out gallbladder attacks are manageable if you don’t eat muchย fat or protein… I’ve lost at least a pant size in the past 2 weeks. Not complaining about THAT, of course; hell of a way to lose weight, though.

It’s pretty easy to forget things like 5 minutes of writing per day. And brushing my teeth before I fall asleep. And taking the dry clothes out of the dryer. It’s a lot harder to forget things to do with my remaining cat; she’s loud and persistent at all times, but unless it’s dinner time, or her box is a mess, the only thing she really wants is attention.

So I haven’t written anything in quite a while, and I’m beginning to feel the lack of it in my life. I’m going to, starting Thursday morning, get back into my routines: specific bedtime with lights off, and specific wake-up time. Two seemingly small things, but both engineered to make my life better.

The third thing is my 5 minutes of writing. I need it like I need good sleep and healthy food. Will report on my progress on Sunday. ๐Ÿ™‚

gp


ROW80, round 1, 2012

I just read Kait’s post about setting our goals for this new round of ROW80. I have also been a runner, and have been “trying” to become one again.

But I never heard about the Test Mile. At this point, I doubt very much I could run a whole mile (it’s been a LONG TIME), but I know I CAN jog/walk my way around the lake close to my house (almost 3 miles, and mostly walking).

I really like the Test Mile concept, both for running and writing. Like I said, I can’t run a mile, but I know what I CAN run. I very rarely make 1000 words in a day, but I can write 5 minutes a day. I was encouraged to do this in the previous round, and when I actually did it (rarely), it gave me a sense of accomplishment that kept me feeling lighter the whole 5 minutes before I went to sleep, since I usually only found the time at the very end of my day.

In early December, a good friend helped me build a schedule for my life around my 4pm-12:30am work schedule. It’s flexible, and I feel neither restricted nor bored with it. I was thinking yesterday, after reading a friend’s blog post about daily writing in the morning, that I could put my five minutes at the beginning of my day instead of just whenever I remember an manage to fit it in.

Getting out of bed to do the writing will also encourage me to be up and moving around so I can do my running, too. What a concept!

I think Monday will be an excellent time for me to start this–get up for my Five Minutes, and then get out and start walking again. It’s the only way to get a habit started, after all–just start!!! I’ll get to that Test Mile within a couple of months, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

gp


patience…

…is a virtue. Been hearing that for years, and I’m quite certain I’ve said it a few times myself.

I have a doula client, one that I took pro bono, with whom I have a really good rapport. We (she, her husband, and I) met, we’ve had 2 pre-birth appointments, and she was due this past weekend. From the first, I stressed that, as their doula, I’m there to help throughout labor and delivery with whatever they need–even if it’s just a calm presence in the room from which they can both draw strength and confidence. We talked about how, as soon as she thought she was having contractions, she would call me, no matter what time of day or night, and I would come as soon as she wanted me.

This morning around 8:45am, I got a text from the husband saying that they’re at the hospital, she’s in labor, and they’ll let me know when they need me. She was doing well, apparently, and they were fine as they were.

I texted again a little bit before 2pm as I hadn’t heard anything, and didn’t hear back right away. I figured that meant something was happening, and I was right: I got an answer saying that she’d gotten the epidural (“thank God”) and is currently sleeping. He’s ordering lunch. He knows how to get hold of me.

They didn’t call me, they don’t want me yet… So much for that rapport.

As a doula, I am an extremely empathetic, yet eminently practical, woman. I am perfectly aware that when a woman–especially a first-time mother–goes through her pregnancy, she really can’t predict a lot of what’s going to happen. She doesn’t know what she’s going to need from moment to moment, which is why women need a lot of support around this event. I’ve had my training, I’m doing my studying, I’m talking to mothers and doulas and dads, and I can’t wait to do this for a living for real.

Being the empathic yet practical woman I am, educated in the ways of childbirth and the idea that the best way to keep a laboring woman comfortable is to do whatever she needs, I can completely understand that adding me to the equation at any point may actually be a stress to her. That is the last thing anyone wants.

But I’m still disappointed. I was really looking forward to being a part of the birth, and the formation of a new family. Next to being there for whatever the mom needs, that’s my favorite part.

And…since they haven’t said they need me yet, I have to go to work. *sigh*

This counts for five minutes of writing today, I think. Go, me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

gp