Monday, December 31, 2012

Quoteworthy: Beginnings

I'm feeling a little cruddy as I continue to recover from whatever it was that hit me over Christmas--the flucoldplaguesinusinfection monster.

So I'm taking it easy on New Year's Eve for the first time since... well, probably Kindergarten.

My first legal New Year's Eve. ID at the ready.

Today I'm thinking a lot about beginnings. I used to write a lot of resolutions for the new year--sometimes up to 50. Most were specific ("spend more time with Papa", "plan a kayaking trip") but sometimes they were general, too ("complain less", "eat more greens"). Aside from writing more, I don't have any resolutions in mind going into 2013. I'm trusting the universe with this one.

Instead, I am going to ride the coattails of the inspiration that comes from beginnings. Here are a few quotes I found to be particularly heartening. Wishing you all a healthy, happy, inspiring New Year.

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." --C.S. Lewis

"What you seek is seeking you." --Rumi

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." --Semisonic (Oh why yes, I went there.) 

"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life--and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." --Georgia O'Keeffe 

"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling." --Eames (Tom Hardy), Inception

Beginning (n): a source; an origin

Inspiration (n): a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul

Here's hoping 2013 brings you divine influence.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Brain Crush: Ray Bradbury + Writing Prompts for 2013

Well, my, my, my. I have been slacking.

I feel inspired, though. It might be because after spending the last 6 days in bed with the plague flu, I am vertical and I don't feel like I am simultaneously choking on poison and enduring a medieval brain surgery. It also might have something to do with the 72 hours of TV I watched, because now that I am coming back to life, my brain is buzzing like crazy. I have so many ideas floating around in there, thanks in part to Seasons 1-3 of United States of Tara, Seasons 1 and 2 of Breaking Bad, Season 4 of Gossip Girl, Season 4 of Mad Men, etc, etc, etc. I mean every single one of those etceteras, people. It's been a long and lazy week.

One reason I've been avoiding this blog is that, after a technical mishap in October, I lost the bird theme for blogger, so I was left with pink on beige... blech. So yesterday while hacking up a lung, I fixed up my blog. It's nothing fancy, just a quick Photoshop header with some free font, and a sprucing up of colors, plus a little self portrait from when I was playing with a new photo editing app during The Great Instagram Privacy Scare of 2012.

So, with that excuse out of the way, I am (re?)pledging to write more often in 2013. Don't call it a comeback, just call it a garden variety resolution.

During my horizontal time, I came across this video interview of author Ray Bradbury:

It's full of advice Ray gave to young writers. These tips are not only useful, they are funny and, like all good advice, many apply to life outside of writing.

It's funny because on Pinterest the other day I came across something a friend (who is a 5th grade teacher) pinned: 52 Writing Prompts for Your Class. I thought, Man, I wish someone would give me prompts. I wished that because some of my favorite things I've written have come from a really random suggestion: "You should write about that, Bobbi." Don't get me wrong, there are times that I scramble to find a cocktail napkin because something inspires me, but there have been considerable amount of times that my initial motivation to write something has been external.

But what's interesting about that is what Mr. Bradbury says in this video: Write down 10 things you love, and 10 things you hate, and start from there. He says you can "kill" the former by writing about them. Then do the same with your fears.

Okay, I can totally get behind that.

What I realized, though, is that while this list motivates me to write, the 20 things on it (and countless fears it encourages me to tackle) are actually internally motivated. Sneaky, Mr. Bradbury. Exceptionally sneaky.

10 Things I Love and Need to Freaking Write About
1. Being an independent woman... and all the fears, freak-outs and fabulousness that come along with it
2. Friendship... in all its complex and oftentimes incredibly difficult glory
3. Food... nutrition, food sensitivities, managing a healthy lifestyle, recipe ideas galore
4. Personal development... the balance between loving who you are and loving to grow
5. Travel... why going from here to there and back to here is about so much more than just sightseeing
6. Finding meaning in the small things... stopping to smell the roses, so to speak
7. Family... "a group of people missing the same imaginary place" (Garden State, anyone?)
8. Design... universal, necessary and a heck of a lot more accessible than most think
9. Relationships... while the Lack Of One should keep me busy (writing, that is) for a while, I've always enjoyed reading about relationships. Maybe it's time to join the discussion
10. Writing... whoa, that's meta. Writing is important to me, why not write about it?

Funny that most things on this list also gel with other popular writing advice: Write what you know.

10 Things I Hate and Therefore Need To Kill By Writing About Them
1. People who take themselves too seriously
2. When people, particularly women, compare themselves to one another
3. When people forget to take care of themselves first and get lost in the job, family, kids, money
4. Anxiety and how it's true when they say you don't cure it, you just manage it
5. When people are afraid to tackle a new project for fear of failing (myself included)
6. How friendships change as you go through new life stages
7. When people say they can't afford to be healthy (step. away. from. the. chicken. nuggets.)
8. Misunderstandings
9. Feeling uninspired or stuck
10. Anything or anyone not genuine or authentic

Thanks, Ray.