“Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.” — Walt Whitman
That quote? Most definitely not me yesterday. The morning started bad, got worse, and, by the end of the day, I was pretty much in a misery. Thankfully, my husband decided a light dinner out would be better than heading home to cook. The change of scene was what I needed, so we sat in the bar area of a restaurant at the local mall and watched the foot traffic flow around us.
It was…oddly soothing. I’m not saying what I had to deal with wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the end of the world and what I really needed at the moment was a chance to breathe. Once I could actually stop and not be rushing from place to another, I could figure out how to deal with things. There are some rolled newspapers that have to be applied to certain noses, but part of my distress was I’d been trying to deal with so much input that I hadn’t actually had a chance to process it all. Instead, I was worrying about the next thing. And the next. And the six ones lined up after that.
As you might have noticed, NaNoWriMo is coming, and I can already see people getting frazzled on Twitter, worrying about prep and plots, or if they’re going to participate this year. We’re 47 days out, not even to October, and the stressing has begun. They’re doing what I forgot to do yesterday: breathe. Since, I can’t haul all of you off to dinner (even if my checkbook could stand it, getting a table would that many would be difficult), let me share with you a video I found on Facebook a few days back. It’s fun; he laughs a lot.
Two things of importance from this. First, I love his impression of what many of us look like when we “practice” meditation. Second, the idea that we can meditate even for a few seconds, is a useful one. I’ve been practicing this and guess what I forgot to do yesterday? Taking even a single moment to just stop and let the world swirl around you while you focus on your breathing can be useful. It won’t solve your problems, help you lose weight, or given you this week’s lottery numbers, but it will give you a moment to gather yourself. Once you’ve done that, you’ll hopefully be better prepared to deal with whatever it is, whether it’s the writing going badly or something in your life that’s not going as you’d wish.
For each day of this mad sprint, there is a quote and essay designed to help keep you going at the keyboard, along with other pieces about preparation and the novelizing hangover that comes in December. There are also pages for those other moments, the ones when you’ve fallen slightly behind – or you realize this may not be a year you cross the finish line. No matter how your November novel experience is going, this book will be a companion for each day.
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