Tag Archives: advice

Those first few weeks

Me, pretending that I don’t, in fact, want to drink an entire bottle of wine with my large frozen pizza after that goddamn run.

I’m a multi-sport athlete.

I run, bike, cross-country ski, and in my “down” time, I sail, hike, lift weights…

I go.

I do all this stuff because it gets me out into the wide world, where the act of propelling myself merges with the beauty around me and helps me find joy, God, the sheer exultation of being.

And though I’ve been active like this regularly for nearly a half-decade, I have a confession:

The first few weeks of a new season suck.

They suck big, hairy donkey balls.

A little afternoon torture session

I went for my first run in a while today.

Oh, fuck me.

Windy. Cold. Tired. Sore. Runny nose. Need to poop. Whiny. Cold-sweaty. Icy puddles.

And my body isn’t used to moving that way anymore.

We’ve been doing this thing on skis for the last several months, and now you’re asking for what???

My brain, on the other hand, is all like, “Dude. Yesterday you skied 15k. You tellin’ me you can’t jog a measly 5k today? Pffft.”

Shut up, brain.

Be gentle with yourself

It takes time for the body to adjust.

It takes time for the mind to adjust.

It takes time for the spirit to adjust.

When you’re starting a new endeavor, be it sport, business, relationship, job, adventure… give yourself time.

Savor the transition.

Drink a lot of water, and a little wine.

Stretch.

Eat well.

Enjoy your time as a beginner (again).

How to write

Going through some older files and found this advice I wrote for someone (me?):

Here’s my advice about writing, distilled just for you from my degree, from my published and unpublished works, and from conversations with other writers about their processes:

1. It’s all about planting your butt in your chair. You show up every fraking day. You write every fraking day. You gladly grab onto the shirtails of your muse when it decides to show up, but you’re at your desk regardless. You turn off your internal editor and spew thousands of words of drek. You stash the drek in a drawer. You come back to it in six months, and sift it, looking for the few nuggets that are sure to be there. Assemble the nuggets. Smelt them. Forge them. Polish them. Sell them. And then do it again.

2. There is no writer’s block. There is only “not writing.” There are plenty of excuses for not writing. There are even good reasons to be not writing (like making dinner for family!). If you find yourself staring at a blank page, simply begin writing. Here’s your first paragraph: “I don’t know what the fuck to write. I’d rather be anywhere else, doing anything else. This sucks. This writing sucks. This story sucks, too. But here we go anyway.” If after writing that first paragraph, you find yourself still not writing, go back and write it again. Do it as many times as it takes for your brain to get bored of it and start writing something else. My personal record is three-and-a-half pages of that garbage. But fuck it; paper’s cheap.

3. If you’re still reading this, you’re not writing. See number two, above