Visualize the End Product
When deciding on the subject for this monthly five-minute writing tip, I scanned the list of bizarre, special, and unique holidays in May. The holiday that caught my attention this month was Garden Meditation Day, celebrated on May 3. I don't have a garden, but my home is surrounded by trees, flowering plants, a bay, and mountains-so my neighborhood is my garden.
I started meditating daily a couple of months ago. It's part of my effort to shift gears, change my way of thinking, and make items on my writing bucket list a reality. I have so many works in progress that it's been hard to concentrate on completing any of them.
Meditation was suggested in a book I'd read, so I decided to give it a shot, even though I wasn't keen on the idea. But it was easy-I don't have to go anywhere or buy anything. I bookmarked a meditation link, put in my earbuds, let go of random thoughts, and focused on my "vision." That vision isn't my works in progress, but the end result of what I expect to gain from them once they are completed.
What quickly resulted were negative thoughts poking me like the devil's pitchfork. I realized that nagging negativity was the primary reason I was having difficulty focusing and making decisions. It didn't seem to be important to understand why this was happening, but doing something about it sure was. And so I began working on releasing negative thoughts. After a few weeks, the clutter in my mind began to clear and nighttime negativity lessened.
As I focused on what was important to me, I learned that faith in myself was weaker than it should be, and so more work ensued. Soon it became less arduous and more like a pleasant daily ritual. Then, things really started to happen and I felt myself moving in the right direction. Exciting opportunities seemed to rush at me like asteroids. Was this a good thing? Had I opened a Pandora's box? Was the fear I felt natural or unhealthy? Again, I had to calm my mind and take faith-meditation to another level. I had to let go of fears and doubts, hush negative voices, and surrender to something bigger than myself.
Some days it's easy, others it's like wading through mud. But looking back on the past two months, I'm happy with the progress I've made; and looking forward to the next step.
I've always believed we should live in the time in which we live (remember the movie Midnight in Paris?). We shouldn't whine about how great the good ol' days were or complain that the present is just too technical and fast paced. But, lately the good ol' days seem kind of nice. I have a desktop, laptop, iPhone, Apple Watch, and Garmin watch, which consume a lot of my time and all seem to act up at once. I feel like I'm wrangling a bunch of demanding brats. But could-or should-I live without them? In this day and time, that idea seems impossible. That might be the reason why I enjoy writing stories set in the past.
While looking through the list of April holidays, I noticed that the 11th was National Eight-Track Tape Day. I began thinking about what was involved in setting a story in decades passed. Here are three tips to get you on the right track: