Monday, June 7, 2010

Who me? Yes. I can focus intermittently.

Seinfeld fans will remember that it was “the show about nothing.” Similarly, this post is my post about everything. I’ll do it in 500 words.

This year I’ve been working hard to make all kinds of changes. Too many to intelligently tackle at one time, but whatever. The things I want are coming into focus and now that I’m seeing them more clearly, I just want to get on with it already.

One of them, of course, has to do with writing more. This change includes the implementation of my new mantra, BICHOC, which other writer-types may recognize as the acronym for Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. It turns out, this really is the only way to get my manuscript to continue growing steadily. I’ve been applying BICHOC for two months and it has not failed.

Sure, I’m a writer and yes, I like to do it. But I’m also a mother, researcher, fitness instructor, runner, internet addict, social butterfly, and leisure reader and I like to do all those things too. Reminding myself to make time for writing is not as natural as one might assume. I put my progress on display for the world to see (left sidebar) and some of you are actually keeping an eye on it (thank you). This accountability is a huge motivator and--knock on wood--the first draft of the next book has been my fastest so far.

It will take one more paragraph before I get to my point.

On a seemingly (but not) unrelated point, I vehemently dislike “stuff.” What is stuff? Put simply, it’s everything around a home or office. Clothes, cooking utensils, staplers, paperwork, shoes, toys, pictures, remote controls, jewelry, CDs, DVDs, knick-knacks (I especially dislike those) and any manner of clutter constitutes “stuff” in my book, and I mightily strive to have as little of it as possible. The problem is that I have three kids, and while clutter is Kryptonite to me, it is oxygen to them. When I pare down the household stuff, my kids act like they’re going to shrivel up and die without it. So the battle between good and evil, or Mom and Stuff, continues always in my house.

Now it all comes together.

I’ve become a fan of a new website. It’s not solving my clutter problem, my parenting anxieties, or making me a better writer, but it sure is helping me get some perspective and focus more on what is important to me.

Shared here, in hopes it helps you with whatever your goals and demons are is Zen Living. And, although I keep finding wonderful stuff in the archives of this site, my latest favorite that I reference often is 20 Strategies to Defeat the Urge to Do Useless Tasks, which I think might possibly have been written especially for me.

If you like my new favorite web site a fraction as much as I do, we’ll all become better people and I will have done a good deed. Marines say, “Semper Fi!” I say, “Simplify!”



  1. I've always used the cliche writer's write and just sit down and do it. Once I get in the groove, I can type away for hours. But I like the sound of BICHOC better.

  2. Hi David,

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm with you... once I sit down and get my head into a story, time evaporates. The trick for me is staying clear of distractions. :)


  3. I'm terrible with distractions. I also hate clutter. There is plenty of both surrounding me too!

    By the way, I've been following the Zen Habits site for a while myself. It IS generally excellent.

  4. Okay, I looked. Okay, I liked it. Okay, I admit it. Especially, Letting Go of Attachment, from A to Zen.