Friday, June 5, 2009

Dawn's Blog on Working Through Troubles

Welcome to Dawn's Blog, newly added to my website, so pop over any time and you'll get my latest meanderings right here. Cool, huh?

I've been struggling with my writing lately, distracted, troubled by personal and family worries.

I seem to believe that if I work hard and take care of business, I'll arrive at some magical smooth spot in life and stay there. For good.

Nothing is constant but change, as they say, so it's clear that I will never be able to sit down for a day's writing with a clear head. EVER.

I'll be juggling concerns about my father's cancer, my sister's struggle with arthritis, my son's new journey to college this fall, what the heck is making my cat sneeze crazily, and on and on. Ad infinitum, to go all Latin on you.

That's not even counting my doubts about my writing--have I lost my touch, will I make this deadline, have I tapped out on story ideas?

So, the Zen of all this is to release expectations and go with the flow. Yeah, right. I'm such a go-with-the-flow girl. Not.

I write fiction because I want to control how things come out, darn it, not because I'm easy with the rocky shoals and roller coasters life seems to bring.

So, how do I set aside these worries and fears and gather some writerly calm to get my head in the game every day?

Some of it is habit. Like Pavlov's slobbering dogs, or the old Dalmatian who takes off whenever he hears the fire bell, I sit at the computer and start tapping keys, no matter what else is going on in my head.

Beyond that, I try music, deep breathing, yoga postures, candles, guided visualization or a meditation mp3 I own. Sometimes these techniques work, sometimes they don't.

So, tell me, what do you do to quiet what the Buddhists call "the monkey mind"? I'd love some new approaches to get me through the next few white-knuckled, white-water months.

All my best,


  1. It seems that those who visit my website have to come to the blog to actually post a comment. Wish I knew how to alter that in Blogger.
    Happy Saturday!

  2. I've been delighted by the entries to my new contest. Keep 'em coming!

  3. I own my own business and it has been a little rocky with the economy crunch. And I can relate to 2 college goers although we got them both thru their Associates Degree and now working from there. For my office and home I have found picking one thing at a time as a goal to complete helps... I organize and say "Okay, today I will get THIS done." Now - I don't succeed in doing that every day but it helps when I do!!

  4. Thanks for sharing tyour writing experience, and that writing, for you, is not something that can be magically turned "on" and "off", but that you, too, have to struggle to get into the zone!

    As I type this, the summertime cicadas are screaming outside my window. This might have been a distraction (to keep me from writing this comment), but, to answer your question: I can now allow this sound to become part of the background "white noise" -- if I want it to! So psychology plays a big part of "getting into the zone". But I think you said it best: just do it. Just sit down and start tapping on those keyboard keys -- until the sound of "clapping" keys begins to cheer the writer on.

    Prayer and gratitude to the muse is vital too :-)

    Best wishes to all.

  5. Well said for sure, Kristen! An attitude of gratitude is something I'm cultivating, too, especially when times get trying...
    Thanks for posting!