Do you ever feel like you're busy for the sake of being busy? I know I do. Here's how I finally overcame that. In this article, I talk about what happens when you're just filled to the brim with ideas but get so overwhelming that you never get around to starting and how I overcame that to finally get started on writing my book.
We each mark a place on a thousand spectra of human difference; our looks, our interests, our abilities, our interests, our values, our biases, our likes, our tastes, our gender, our sexuality. No two of us are alike and that’s a wonderful, fascinating thing.
You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say - Ernest Hemingway
Maybe that's what drives all creativity? All artists. All writers. All scientists. All makers. It's not a decision. It's a compulsion. A need to tell a story.
A good story brings the senses to life; captures hearts and minds. Changes lives.
This is a piece of my story. Tell me yours.
It's Self Improvement Thursday and I was going to write something useful and insightful about mindfulness and its benefits for our mental wellbeing. Then I saw this TED talk by Andy Puddicombe. Once upon a time in writing class I learnt that we should always 'show, not tell' so watch this. He shows it better than I could possibly write it ;-)
I'm not sure I'm ready for ten minutes each day. It's not very much but a lot at the same time, don't you think? I'm definitely going to start with baby steps - maybe one minute to begin with and I'll work up from there. With a lot going on with blogging, working, kids, house, life I think my brain could do with a break. How about yours?
About ten years ago I wrote a book with a fellow 20-something psychologist. It was a self coaching / self help book called 'Turning 30: How to get the life you really want'. (Very relevant to me ten years ago). The writing and publishing process was in turns, torturous and exciting and very informative. I know a lot more about the publishing industry than I did before and I'm still uncertain as to whether I'd do it again.
Something I did love about the whole book writing thing was the opportunity to legitimately spend time trawling libraries and the interweb in the name of research. I have loved researching since I was a kid hunting through the World Book Encyclopedia for school projects. There's something about discovering facts, following links from book to book and now website to website and building knowledge that excites a nerdy mind like mine.
Today there are TED talks. A whole new and interactive way to learn stuff that didn't exist when I was working on the book, and another way to lose a few hours in the name of research.
The TED talk I'm showing off today is Barry Schwartz talking about the Paradox of Choice. It's an oldie but a goodie and it was an idea I discovered back in the book writing days of 2005. We wrote about the challenge for almost-30-somethings having to make decisions about careers, jobs, relationships, travel and finances in the face of almost limitless choice and the anxiety that this can create. Today we'd probably hashtag this #firstworldproblems and I think in recent years there's been a move back to simplicity that is perhaps an antidote to the paradox of choice. But maybe it's just that I'm no longer turning 30.
If you haven't seen it before, here's Barry talking about the paradox of choice....
And here's the UK version of our book, just in case you want to take a peek.