November 21, 2007 § 1 Comment
I love Thanksgiving. I am a total, complete sucker for Thanksgiving which is why I tend to go on and on about it. I’ll make it short and sweet here.
Count your blessings and believe me you have many, no matter how it feels sometimes. When working with clients one of the first things we do when talking about making changes is to figure out what is working, what is right, what is wonderful, what is better than one could have ever imagined.
Engage in random acts of kindness. It really does make you feel good while at the same time doing something nice, generous or caring for someone else.
Show and tell your gratitude to the people in your life who have made your year a better one.
Thank yourself. Make a big old list of the good things you’ve done for yourself. Count your achievements large and small, memorable moments, leaps into the unknown, new adventures, new experiences, new feelings, new ways of communicating, new plans, new goals, anything you’ve done for yourself that has improved your life in some way.
Now, don’t you feel better about things? It’s a great mind set to be in before you start working on those New Year’s Resolutions. We’ll be talking about those next month so for now enjoy and indulge.
Thanks to all of you who made my year so wonderful.
November 19, 2007 § 2 Comments
Thanks Brian H. for the article info The Top 25 Locations for Retirees
Seeking a Return to the Workforce in the Wall Street Journal.
Brian is one of many people who is taking a proactive approach and planning ahead even though he’s years away from retirement (he made me promise to mention this if I mentioned him here – even if I only use an initial – how did I do Brian?). As a matter of fact, Brian isn’t even sure that he ever wants to “retire”. He’s in his early 50s, active, young in body, mind and spirit and we both think of the coaching work we’re doing together as planning for a different, new and exciting future.
Here is the information with some very interesting places on the list. Go forward, go further and have fun!
November 13, 2007 § 4 Comments
Great workshop – thanks to all who attended and the great input, comments, advice, questions, grumbles and gripes as well as joys and fun moments in regard to writing. I will just do this as free association and just do a quick draft in order to get the thoughts out there – and worry about editing another day – which was one of the great topics of discussion.
G. hit one of the big challenges of creative writing on the head when he said “I want to just get the story out and I want to make it the best story it can be.” That was it in a nutshell.
I suggested that both of those goals are achievable but possibly (probably) not at the same writing moments. So one goal and the goal of a first draft is to “get the story out”. A second goal and the goal of re-writing and editing is “to make it the best story it can be”. Approaching the writing based on which of the two is the goal for that writing time. If it’s “getting the story out” then go – write and write and don’t edit yourself. Just get it out there. Then when some time has passed, whatever time that is that you need to see the work clearly and somewhat objectively go back and edit. But both at the same time? One will counteract the other.
Some other great thoughts/tips/tools:
* Automatic writing exercises – just write. No right write just write.
* Word prompts. M said that she’s been using that as a writing exercise. She picks a word and just writes about it.
* Getting into the, dare we call it, “hypnotic” state necessary to write. Going to the place of your story. I was describing the sensation of being deeply involved in a book or even going to the movies. With a book, you pick it up and you enter the world that the author has created for you – when writing the story you have to create the world and atmosphere and self-generate the feelings, emotions, descriptions – much harder to do. At the movies you are put into a somewhat sensory deprivation for the few moments before the movie starts. It’s dark, silent there’s a transition until you enter the world of the film which of course has the advantage of being larger than life and engaging your senses.
* Getting rid of those internal editors whether they’re the nasty friend from high school or the college English professor who was so obsessed with grammar she didn’t even read for content, or your favorite author whose work you know you can never match. Ask them to please leave the building while you’re writing. Gone. Out. Away.
* Setting the stage – B. described how at one point she would have a glass of wine and a cigarette in order to get ready for the muse. I talked about sitting for hours and avoiding the blank screen by being on the internet only to have the perfect phrase/thought/concept enter my head on the train. I also talked about how I was teaching first grade while in graduate school for writing and how for me it was an adjustment when my work circumstances changed. Hmmmm now where can I get me 26 6 year olds and a classroom with a leafy view in order to prompt the muse? And the funny feeling when recently at the doctor’s and the waiting room view resembled that classroom so suddenly I felt like whipping out my writing and just sitting there and writing. Go know.
* G. talked about taping dreams and thoughts first thing in the morning.
* R. described asking her patients to keep journals to work through some things and that that works for her as well.
* C. described wanting to write but finding that the idea of a long project made her focus on smaller ones – I suggested smaller projects for her to begin with.
* M. talked about turning chaos into writing and chaotic writing into coherent writing.
*D and B talked about the book by Julia Cameron that is assisting them chapter by chapter to do the writing without feeling pressured.
* Beginning to write what you want to be working on and finding that the page has gotten away from you – the work is something different than you thought it would be. Which will you follow? Which is really the story you want to tell/can best tell/need to tell?
* The difference between writing fiction and screenplays and how learning how to do one can make it difficult, but not impossible to switch and do the other.
Some good writing books were discussed like Norman Mailer’s “The Spooky Art” which has an amazing section on the unconscious and how sometimes it’s just not ready to write what you think you want to write.
Believe it or not there was more. I don’t know how we covered all of that in a bit over an hour but it was great.
Thanks all for a wonderful workshop – I can’t wait until the next one.
November 12, 2007 § Leave a comment
The next writing workshop is tonight, November 12th at 7:00pm at Barnes and Noble Court Street. Seating is limited so please call to reserve a place at 718.246.4996
Bring any thoughts, ideas, gripes, blocks and breakthroughs. See you then!
November 12, 2007 § Leave a comment
It’s fitting that Veteran’s Day is in the same month as Thanksgiving since giving thanks to veterans should be high on our lists of things/people to be thankful for.
We wouldn’t be here living in our free and democratic nation without them. I certainly wouldn’t. Without going too much into personal details I will say that without our veterans I wouldn’t be here today. My parents and (more of) my extended family members would have been exterminated and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to live the free life that I do. I am grateful and humbled by their sacrifices.
I also want to acknowledge the men and women who are fighting for us as we speak and those veterans of this war who have given the ultimate sacrifice or have come back wounded. I am thankful to every single one of you. I have friends who have suffered terrible injuries bothy physically and emotionally and one physician friend who has done more than one tour and who I haven’t heard from in a while….I hope he’s ok.
So, let’s take a moment to be thankful for our veterans and the life they enable us to live.
November 8, 2007 § 2 Comments
I work with some great people and learn so much from my clients. The experience of assisting someone in making a transition is extremely gratifying to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve gone through it myself and know how tough it can sometimes feel and how great it is to finally get to the other side.
Somehow the specter of New Year’s starts way before January rolls around. Most people would like to just START right then and zip right into whatever new mode they want to be in. Theoretically a great idea but most changes have a transition period. When you do it right, the transition period can be a time of great growth and positive change.
Transitions run the gamut of work transitions from one career to another, from one stage of life to another, from high school to college, from college to first job, from job to job, from working to retirement, from working to working retirement, from working to finding-myself-retirement.
Change is inevitable. Make the right change the right way.
Daily Life Consulting
November 7, 2007 § Leave a comment
How’s the writing going? Bring your thoughts, issues, gripes and questions on Monday, November 12th at 7:00pm. We’ll talk about Nanowrimo and other writing topics.
Gabrielle – yes, it’s ok if writing sometimes becomes the Diane Keaton scene in “Something’s Gotta Give” where she’s weeping over the computer.
Sometimes? Why only sometimes? Try oftentimes.
Mandy – yes, it often happens that one doesn’t like what one wrote/doesn’t remember what one wrote/doesn’t like how one wrote what one wrote. Sounds about standard actually. A very wise person and writing mentor once told me that no matter what it is you should love your writing. The piece may not be what you thought, the impulse may have turned into something completely different than what you thought, an idea for a comedy becomes a tragedy, one of your characters has some horrific flaw or past that you can’t tolerate….but that’s the great part of it. The discovery – what you learn about yourself, your characters, your story, your thoughts and feelings.
“Writing is problem solving” a great quote that was in a professor’s office. So true.
Juliet – a soundtrack? Very personal I couldn’t tell you what to use. I would suggest music that is evocative to you and that takes you to a time and place. Because when the writing is going well (the process) you’ll be transported to that place. You’ll be where you’re writing about.
Michael – don’t be shy. Just come by and join the workshop. You don’t have to speak if you don’t want to. No pressure whatsoever.
Shout out of support to the writers on strike. Without them there would be no stories told. How fast have some of the tv shows gone to repeats?
Writer-at-large – I can’t give you specific suggestions on your character because you didn’t give me enough information in your email. Feel free to email again with more details.
Laugh, scream, cry but just write. Whatever it is – just say it on paper or ether or your hand or a napkin or a scrap of paper – just write it!
For more info visit Daily Life Consulting