I Think My Brain Took A Holiday

It’s been 10 months now since we took a speed-run north to shelter against Covid in our Canadian home.

And it’s been a spectacularly unproductive time for me as a writer. I’ve had lots of ideas and lots of time but the motivation to sit for hours and crank out the words just wasn’t there. One peek at the headlines and I was done for the day.

As an aside, I’m a compulsive reader and news junkie and I’m really working to stop “doomscrolling.” Given the worldwide headlines, and the fodder that gave me for stories, I was overwhelmed.

Two weeks ago, my brain “apparently” went into gear and redesigned my writing life. I say “apparently” because warning bells started going off yesterday as I was reviewing some of my book stats. There was something not quite right in my writing universe.

(Ever get that tingling in your back/neck that says, “somethings wrong!” Well, I often have my creative muse do that – but this time it was screaming and banging at the back of my head to get my attention.)

Update: OK – the small child won.

This is now a full bore writer’s blog with every fiction genre included as well as my personal blog. There are some times when I should really listen to my inner child and after trying to “fix” some stuff – I realized it was right.

I can spend my life coding or I can spend it sharing stories and thoughts as simply as possible. One site to rule them all… hmm, nice line – I wonder where I got that idea? 🙂

I Did What?

Seriously, I reorganized my writing life? And I did it when?

Who Was In Charge Last Week?

Turns out the inner-child in me was in charge and decided things needed shaking up. An impish grin filled my mind and all I could do was shake my head, rein in that curious lad and investigate what he’d done in my adult-absence.

  • He’d left my gardening sites and ebooks alone. (Thank goodness for small mercies!)
  • He’d taken this site intending to make it a fiction site.
  • And he started an entirely new site for this blog
  • He started a new website for fantasy fiction but did leave the old one for other fiction.

So while some of his ideas were interesting and had some merit, the adult in me is back in charge.

This is my blog.

I’ll be writing about a wide range of things – from issues for writers, for seniors, and for sharing about whatever happens to get through my new filters. (I had to install new info-filters to weed out all the crap that’s out there.)

You can get updates for this blog (about writing, aging research, longevity, and whatever comes across my mind in creative living.)

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Dear Reader: A Career Change Lands

Frankly, it was about time I took this step.

I’ve been “told” by a certain person I happen to live with, that I’m now retired. And this wasn’t phrased as a suggestion. (Every guy knows that tone of voice.)

To be honest, I never thought I would retire and I’ve spent much of the last year trying to understand exactly what it means to be a writer and be retired at the same time.

Complicating this decision is the fact I have a bucket list of places to go and things to do that would choke that poor proverbial horse.

You’d think a large bucket list that would make it easier to switch wouldn’t you but I seem to have been well indoctrinated in the good old work-ethic of my Scottish mother and grandparents. (Note my dad was no slouch on that front either.)

Covid certainly brought these questions to the forefront. There’s nothing like a world wide pandemic and the thought these 70+ year old bones might not make it to the vaccinations and the new normal (whatever that may be.)

Didn’t This Website Used To Be Fiction?

Well, yes it was for a brief time as I built out a fiction career. This one was to be the fantasy story site. Even fiction writing is on the chopping block at this point as I look to other creative activities.

Author note: two weeks after this was originally posted, I made the decision to walk away from fiction. This may not be a permanent walk-away as I’ve left the ebooks on Amazon but have no intent to write more or update the website.

But before this site was fiction, it was my personal blog and to this it returns.

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A Reader Called Me A Fart In A Windstorm

I had a reader email the other day to describe me as a “fart in a windstorm” or of no consequence.

I thought about that for a second or three. Went through a range of emotions and then decided what she thought wasn’t my problem.

My problems are my own — which is a very stoic approach to life. Check out this wonderful website on Stoicism.

And remembering that led me down another few thought trails. One of those trails was a system described by Roger James Hamilton in a free ebook (Amazon link — not affiliate) Read the first section and I believe there’s a link in there to take the quiz to discover your own approach to the world.

I Have A Creative Approach To Life

My approach to life is a syncretic mix of discovery and new. If you’ve read the book, you’ll understand I have what he calls a “creative” approach to life. It’s not that I am a creative/writer, it’s that I look at the world as a playground and want to explore it.

If you’ve watched the movie UP, you’ll understand the concept of “Squirrel!” If not, see below. All somebody has to do with me is point me to something new, something bright and shiny, say “Squirrel!” and I’m off to play. In Hamilton’s terms, that’s a creative.

This happens to be a perfect attitude for a freelance writer.There’s very little I’m not interested in (at least for a short period of time.)

What Readers Think Isn’t My Problem

But to sum up, what any reader thinks of me isn’t my problem. In this case, she owns the delete and unsubscribe button and I trust she used both.

That’s all by way of saying you get to live your own life. You get to take on your own challenges or avoid them. But at the end of the day, your life is a sum of your decisions and attitudes.

My life is full of challenges, lessons and insights.

At the moment, I’m doing one of Joel Runyon’s Impossible Challenges. And I must tell you that water is cold!

I’ve started writing in a new genre and am reading, researching and having way too much fun with it.

I’m continuing researching Alzheimer’s and Fitness topics

And that doesn’t include my normal reading objectives — there’s somewhere around 45 non-fiction books (mostly history) waiting my attention after two months of being on a restricted reading level due to some eye issues. (I’ve just ordered two new non-fiction books — one on current American politics and one on a history of the Ottoman empire.) 
Or the ebooks and websites…
Or…

My attitude to life is that it’s to be learned. And there’s so much to learn — it’s like being a kid in a candy store.

It’s not to stick in one groove.

It’s not to live in a way to gain any reader’s approval.

In short, I’d do this stuff and write about it even if nobody read it. 
That’s my attitude. And that’s my life.

So it doesn’t matter what that reader thought. It doesn’t matter whether she thinks what I do is inconsequential.

What matters is what I think.

What matters is what my attitude is and how I answer the important questions.

And that my friends is all any of us have in the end.

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