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Not much to report

This is one of those weeks where I sit down to update my blog and ... nothing comes to mind. It's annoying. Usually I have lots to say. Reflections. Ideas. Sometimes just thoughts.

But this time I'm just enjoying. Living. Existing. I really like that there's no feeling of "strive" or "reach" or "push" to any of what I'm doing, currently. That's a really nice change of pace.

I'm back in a creative headspace again, too. Even though I'm plunking down words at a fairly slow pace, it's been really satisfying to pull up my manuscript and not feel like it's just slogging through an intimidating muddy bog of word soup. My characters aren't quite writing their own scenes just yet, but I'm starting to get ideas for scenes while I'm falling asleep again. I used to experience that all the time, until my brain got too full of important or stressful things. And each time I sit down with the intention of adding to that manuscript, I'm successfully adding about a half-page. Not a daily routine yet, but at least it's a weekly one.

Also, pro-tip: don't underestimate the value of proper self-care. I saw a post on social media recently that talked about the difference between real self-care and what they called after-care. That little post really brought it home to me; most of what I have done for myself in the past year is to just keep myself functioning a little bit longer. I saw this with no self-judgement or criticism, I needed to be in "survival mode" for the past while; there has genuinely been a lot of difficult things I've been sorting through. But what I was doing for myself wasn't quite self-care, it was after-care. That little piece of knowledge shifted my self-awarness. I was providing myself with bandages and salve. With chicken noodle soup. I was coaching myself to take a deep breath and maybe consider a nap. All of that was very much needed in the moment, and I'm grateful to my nurturing-self for providing it for me. But I needed to shift my thinking. I need built-in proactive activities that will eventually cultivate increased flexibility, increased creativity, increased resilience, increased satisfaction. That's the self-care I need. Planning ahead. Scheduling it. Prioritizing it.

Last week I talked about intentionally setting aside time for solitude. It's been difficult. I still don't know that I've been as successful at it as I'd have liked, but I have been doing it. And I'm trying not to disappear into my phone as often, which is helping. I don't have enough mindful activities to engage in - I still need to have a campfire soon, so I think I'll try for that this afternoon. While the weather holds up, backyard fires will be my weekend solitude mindfulness activity.

Well, mostly just rambling thoughts this week. Nevertheless, I'm proud of myself for keeping up a (mostly) regular weekly blog about my writing journey. Developing the habit of writing just for the sake of practicing the skill of putting sentences together is important too. Not everything has to be meaningful.

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