When I’m Not Writing…

Write every day, but don’t put your life on hold…

— Vincent Mars, “Writing as a Way of Life“

I have been wondering lately if writing here hasn’t taken up just a bit more time than it should. I haven’t really been doing much else and I don’t think that is healthy, or any good for my writing in the long run. I have to step away more often and do other things so I can come back with a fresh perspective and tons of inspiration. I have to make sure to keep things in balance.

So what do I do when I’m not writing.

Reading

Every writer has to read, that is the number one rule of good writing. Honestly I have never really met anyone who liked to write that didn’t like to read too. I haven’t read nearly as many books as I wanted to so far this year but I have been reading more literary journals and magazines. I’m into flash nonfiction right now so that’s what I read. I love New Philosopher magazine and the Black Warrior Review.

I already feel like I need a change though and I imagine I will be back to fiction (and maybe writing some fiction) very soon

YouTube

Usually I would tell people to stay away from such a time suck but I have learned that YouTube has some very interesting, informative, and educational channels. I watch them while I write and I watch them when I don’t know what to write about, YouTube Always helps. My favorite channels are The School of Life, Vice, Nerdwriter, and TED. I follow a bunch more but these are the ones I check everyday.

Podcasts

I’m new to the whole podcast thing. I thought they were all stupid until I found Joe Rogan’s podcast. A friend recommended it and I finally listened so he’d stop bugging me. I expected to hate it but it was actually very good! I listened to him while doing the dishes, a chore I hate. Then I started listening to other podcasts through Soundcloud and Stitcher, A few of my favorites are The Partially Examined LifeOn Being, and Mortified. I listen to them as often as I can, downtime at work or out walking the dog.

Walking 

I try to walk as much as I can. I don’t think it’s the best excersise but it’s better than nothing. I figure as long as I get up and move at least once an hour or so I am doing better than most. I like that my phone comes with S Health, an app that helps me track how many steps I’ve taken. I also have Google Fit another fitness app that tracks that amount of time I am active. I try to walk for an hour a day. Not all at once, but broken up between a lunch break walk, and walking the dog a few times a day.

I think it’s a good thing to do something where mind can wander. If I’m sitting it usually means I am doing something I have to focus on. If you are up and moving there is no particular thing your mind has to do.

Brains need breaks too.

Movies

I don’t watch a ton of movies but I like getting out and going to a theater and focusing on a film for two hours with no distractions. I think it’s important as a writer to study other mediums of art and expression. You can gain inspiration that you wouldn’t think. I tend to like movies that are witty, that make you think, and are subtle in their humor, preferably with an “indie” feel. I like Wes Anderson, I like Tarantino, and I like the Coen Brothers. I know, how very hipster of me, right?

I also watch a ton of documentaries, I’m currently getting through all three volumes of Human on Youtube.

Art

I want to make art even though between all my other activities I have no time for it. Soon I hope I will though. In the mean time I like to collect art and inspiration in places like Tumblr and Pinterest. I like anything that has emotion to it and good design.

I wish I could have known da Vinci or asked Jacques-Louis David about his painting “The Death of Socrates“. I love the iconic Frida Kahlo and I love the easily recognizable Audrey Kawasaki. I like the comic book artist Jae Lee and the elusive Chiara Bautista, who’s “characters and their ongoing stories are made as gifts for people I love”.

I love all art!

Time with Friends

My friends have similar interest to me. We like to discuss philosophy and movies and art and books. We also have some different interests and ideas about right and wrong and funny or not funny. We get along well and we debate often. Talking with them get the wheels turning and ideas flowing. They are good friends, supportive but not perfect. Sometimes our debates get out of hand but we always let it go. We try to learn from each other.

My activities outside of writing aren’t the most exciting but I do feel they feed the muse and give me a well of information and inspiration to pull from when it is time to get back to work. I think I will spend more time on them going forward because while I should write often, I should also live my life too. I should cultivate my other interests and let them compliment my writing.

In response to Daily Post’s Blogging U. course, Writing 101 assignment: Writing and not writing

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The Week’s End – A Round-up of Interesting Stuffs

 

Now with more STUFFS!!

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting reads to check out while you kick back and relax, look no further, I’ve got you covered! Every weekend I like to share with you the most interesting things I found across the great, wide web. Enjoy!

5 Grammar Rules That Make No Effing Sense – Lit Reactor

I have been teaching a grammar class for 3 years now, and one of the most common complaints I get is that the rules people have learned have no context or are based on antiquated practices.

I like grammar rules but some times I just feel confused by them. English is such a shit language.

25 Ashley: Why I Hate The SATs – The Mortified Podcast

The diaries of a high school misfit who in an attempt to fit in found herself in a series of epic, embarrassing moments — culminating at the SATs.

Press play and laugh your ass off :)

The ADA at 25: How One Law Helped Usher in An Age of Accessible Design – Curbed

In 1990, a group of activists and legislators were fighting to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a far-reaching piece of legislation that sought to guarantee equal rights for then roughly 40 million American citizens with disabilities,

I work with children with special needs so the ADA pertains to my job directly. It’s a very important piece of legislature and we all ought to know more about it.

Going Nowhere – Only 100 Words

‘Don’t you wish we could move in at the top of that watchtower and leave the barrier between us and the world?’

New blog I found with 100 word stories. I envy anyone who can say anything in only 100 words, such brevity eludes me in writing.

New Dark Matter Theory Says It’s A Type Of Particle We’ve Known About For 80 Years – I

A team of scientists has theorized that dark matter is not the exotic particle everyone thought it would be, but is instead nothing more than a different version of the humble pion, known to science since 1935.

It’s like when I’m getting ready for work and I can’t find my shoes and I freak out until my girlfriend points them out right in front of me and tells me to put my damn glasses on….sort of.

How Will We Die? – The School of Life

Death will come to all of us, but how and when? A little film investigates – and is meant to scare us in good way, remembing us of the preciousness of each new day.

Press play and get real slapped with reality. It’s depressing but you’ll appreciate it.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday: John Roderick – ZEN AND Π

I realized I’m not so special and that ideas rarely belong to one person for very long. They are slippery, flighty things. They are fickle. But I have learned that while they are with me I ought to roll around with them and make the best of the time we have together.

This ones from me. I wrote about how other ideas become our ideas and only to then leave us to become someone else’s ideas.

And that’s it for this week. Have you read, watched, heard, or written an interesting thing this week? If so, share with the class by leaving a link in the comments :)

 

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Blue Moon Morning

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“I am strangely tired, not from having talked so much but at the mere thought of what I still have to say.”

— Albert Camus, The Fall

The Week’s End – A Round-up of Interesting Stuffs

This weeks list is mainly about videos. I don’t normally spend a ton of time on YouTube but I found a some new channels to follow and watched a few new ones from my favorites. Plus some tips for when you have no ideas and a new idea I’ve been thinking about. Enjoy!

The School of Life – YouTube Channel

This week I discovered a really interesting YouTube channel called The School of Life. It’s basically a crash course in great thinkers from all over the world and through history. The videos are short and to the point and very interesting.

I had chosen math and science for my 30-Day Learning Challenge but I don’t see why I can’t add a few of these videos to my daily learning routine too.

At The School of Life, we’re fascinated by the sort of questions we’re never taught enough about at school or college: How can relationships go well? What is meaningful work? How can love last? How can one find calm?What’s  gone wrong (and right) with capitalism?

We’re all about wisdom, emotional intelligence and self-understanding.

What to Do When You Have No Ideas by Elise Blaha

One of my biggest frustration in life is the fact that I have a ton of ideas but never when I need them. I think of ideas when I don’t even have time to write them down, but when I am sitting in front of a blank screen, nothing. Fortunately I found a couple of tips to help get through it.

I wish this one had a simple solution. But it’s a harder one to fix because you can’t just narrow it down or force something to work. This one takes effort, but also timing and luck.

Chimps have feelings and thoughts. They should also have rights – TED Talks

Why is it that we treat other living beings as property while corporations get so be classified as legal persons? Our closest relatives in the animal kingdom have proven to be quite smart and self aware. They have emotions and culture and yet we lock them up and use them for testing. They have no rights and that is wrong.

Chimpanzees are people too, you know. Okay, not exactly. But lawyer Steven Wise has spent the last 30 years working to change these animals’ status from “things” to “persons.”

Write On Campaign

This isn’t actually something new, I found it a couple of months ago and had been rolling it over in my brain since then. A letter writing challenge. A letter a day for 30 days? Do I even know that many people who would be up to receiving a letter? Or maybe that is the point, to strengthen relationships through letters?

I love sending mail and receiving mail so this might be something I would enjoy. I could mail letters to people I don’t know too. People I admire and even you, my readers. It officially runs in April (National Letter Writing Month, or something) but I see now reason I can’t do it whenever I want right?

Yeah, I might just do it.

Write_On is a campaign to promote joy, creativity, expression and connection through hand-written correspondence.

You Can Learn Anything – Khan Academy

As I mentioned before, I’m kinda working on this 30-Day Learning Challenge thing and I thought I would share a video of theirs I watched. I had been using their site to teach myself all the math and science I missed due to dropping out of high school. It was a personal goal I set for no other reason than to prove to myself that I could do it.

Well eventually it got hard and I quit pushing myself but Leo Babauta gave me the motivation I needed when he challenged all his readers to learn something new this month. I chose to pick up again with Khan Academy and see how far I get with a few minutes every day in June.

Anyway, check out the video, it’s pretty inspirational and motivating.

It starts with knowing you can learn anything.

Hope you enjoy the list! Let me know what you think or if you have some interesting internet gems to share drop them in the comments :)