One Becomes Two Becomes Eleventy-Billion

I started a task list. Another one, if we’re being honest, but this one was meant to be more detail-oriented; to help break items down into smaller parts. The task list that might actually facilitate progress and completeness.

I didn’t even realize all the things stacking up. Talk about overwhelming. One item became two became four became eleventy-billion.

So, it was serendipitous this popped up:

(An article from Weight Watchers)

3 Reasons to take a mental health day

Taking a day off to ease your mind isn’t irresponsible—it’s a necessary part of staying healthy.

Everyone agrees that you should stay home when you’re not feeling well. (In fact, your co-workers will probably appreciate it.) But what about when you’re not feeling mentally well? Here are our tips to taking a day off for literal peace of mind.

1. Take (the right) time off.
The goal of taking a mental health day is to lower your stress levels and come back to work (or school or even parenting) feeling stronger and healthier. Think about why you need this break—if it’s because you’re trying to avoid your boss, you might want to think of another way to cope. On the other hand, if you’re feeling totally burnt out and distracted, then taking a day to clear your mind could be exactly what your body needs.

2. Be productive.
What do you need? If it’s catching up on sleep, do it. If it’s a massage or yoga, prioritize that instead.

It’s also fine to take this time to tackle the nagging tasks on your to-do list. If your finances are stressing you out, try making a budget; if your house is a mess, carve out a few hours to clean the bathroom and do laundry. It’ll all make you feel better.

3. Don’t overload yourself.
Taking a mental health day should help you solve a problem, not add to your guilt and anxiety. Don’t pack on the pressure to get an absurd amount of chores done. Just prioritize a few things and try to enjoy the time away.


This caveat of not feeling guilty about taking a “day off” is big. That’s often my problem. Doing this instead of this adds more stress because I don’t trust my decision. Relaxing rather than getting something done makes the relaxing worthless.

This week, a book I’ve waited to release drops. I’m taking an entire day to concentrate on reading it (that’s how I read. All at once 🤣) By scheduling it, I hope to avoid any thoughts that I should be doing something else, or even that I haven’t earned this down time.

I’m not sure just writing a to-do list warrents a mental health day. Maybe I should check a few things off the list first. Still, being aware, knowing taking a step back is actually good for productivity, is helpful.

What do you think about mental health days?

Quotable

“And as much as I’d like to believe there’s a truth beyond illusion, I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic. And—I would argue as well—all love. Or, perhaps more accurately, this middle zone illustrates the fundamental discrepancy of love. Viewed close: a freckled hand against a black coat, an origami frog tipped over on its side. Step away, and the illusion snaps in again: life-more-than-life, never-dying. Pippa herself is the play between those things, both love and not-love, there and not-there. Photographs on the wall, a balled-up sock under the sofa. The moment where I reached to brush a piece of fluff from her hair and she laughed and ducked at my touch. And just as music is the space between notes, just as the stars are beautiful because of the space between them, just as the sun strikes raindrops at a certain angle and throws a prism of color across the sky—so the space where I exist, and want to keep existing, and to be quite frank I hope I die in, is exactly this middle distance: where despair struck pure otherness and created something sublime. And that’s why I’ve chosen to write these pages as I’ve written them. For only by stepping into the middle zone, the polychrome edge between truth and untruth, is it tolerable to be here and writing this…”

-The Goldfinch, location 12466

Quotable

“Instructors could teach the basic techniques and methods, but a mastery of mechanical knowledge could never make a person an artist. No one could teach creativity or invention. A spark needed to come from within. It must be something unique, something discovered by the individual, a leap of understanding, a burst of insight, the combining of common elements in an unexpected way.” -Riyria Chronicles

What Gets You in the Mood?

How do you get in the mood?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t want to. Others, I can’t wait to jump right in.

Writing. I’m talking about writing.

So many of my story and character ideas come from dreams so a lot of times I’m skipping any morning routine I pretend to follow to get right to my laptop.

This morning I kept my morning routine but threw on a different playlist. I like fun electronica, something that’ll make breakfast a dance party. This morning, I felt like I needed to get ready for war. I’m two days from my book deadline, so uber-productivity is a must.

Cue Music

Rather than the Lorde station, or Electronic Cardio that’s my go-to, I went with ‘Do You Even Lift Bro‘ a great playlist I typically use when I go to the gym. Since I don’t go to the gym (I workout at home) it’s been a little while since I’ve put this one on. Filled with 90’s hard rock and metal, it definitely put me in the mood to beat out some words (too soon?). Let’s be real, Pantera’s Strength Beyond Strength will get anyone in the mood to kick some @ss.

Honestly…

Usually, my writing playlist, filled with video game scores such as Halo and Skyrim, mixed with a little chill out station, is enough to get me in the zone. Give me a pair of headphones and some music streaming service, and I’m good to go. I don’t even need a writing implement. I’ll daydream my stories to death until I get the opportunity to write them down. Today, I needed a little something extra.

How do you align with your muse?

What tool’s do you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE to be productive? Any ideas of what I’m missing out on? How can I get more in touch with inspiration? Tell me in the comments 🙂

(My streaming service of choice is currently Amazon Prime Music. I pay for prime, I figured I might as well utilize all it gives me. Sorry Pandora.)


Photo by Enoch Appiah Jr. on Unsplash


It’s Not A Flowing River…

…more like trickling spittle that takes it’s time to build into a drainage ditch, then a cute little creek, before raging as something resembling flow.

For YEARS- I was writing a book. Really, what that meant was that I had an idea I had started but I just wasn’t “feeling it” so I never actually got around to working on it. After that initial excitement phase, when the preliminary “fun” parts vomit to the page, there wasn’t much motivation. Like a new relationship. When the honeymoon phase ends, if all it was was nothing more than chemical sparks, with no greater underlying connection, it fizzles out. 

This “feeling it,” “feeling like it,” “inspired” state of mind isn’t a really real thing. Lightning strikes then fades, and you have to find it. After the spark it’s work. And work isn’t always fun.

Not that any of this isn’t something we’ve all heard a thousand times. I think a lot of us just don’t believe it, or use it as an excuse to do other things which means we’re not ready to be writers.

What I’m getting at is: use your allotted time. First of all, set the time. Then, use it for what it was for, regardless if words are flowing. During my latest writing session, it took me an hour to write five sentences, but then, it took me an hour to write 1500 words. The block will fade if you beat on it.

  • Do you think writer’s block is real?