Staying Productive

9 Novels for Kids Who Feel Like Outsiders
October 16, 2019
Meditation-To-Go Basket
March 25, 2020

“Do good and do not forget to share what you have.” -Hebrews 13:16
Daily Action Plan:
Every day, there are three core practices I use to replenish my creative reserves and prep for the day’s work. In order, they are:

Morning meditation. Here is just one of the many books I love. (I’ll share a video next week on how to make a mediation basket for yourself, filled with whatever you need to start your day off peacefully. Right now, I can’t have my “quiet time” in the same spot every morning, as the kids are home from school and hubby has to work from home, too. I need to be able to move outside when the weather allows, and to my bedroom when the kids pillage the kitchen.)
Exercise (Ever since reading SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, I never miss a morning workout if I’m going to write or create. The science behind aerobic exercise and creativity is compelling.)
Morning pages (Lots of writers and other artists are fans of the classic text, The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. Morning pages are a discipline that involves freewriting for 2-3 pages nonstop to clear the brain and prep for the day’s work. I read that John Steinbeck used a technique very much like this every morning while writing The Grapes of Wrath. He would sit and compose a letter to his editor, explaining the work ahead for the day, what the problems were in the manuscript, and how he hoped to fix them. Most of these letters, he never sent. However, just thinking about the manuscript like this and freewriting often opened up new possibilities to him and the letters acted like a warmup for the hard work.)

Also, beyond my daily core practices, I make sure to find ongoing inspiration:

Keep Going by Austin Kleon
This is the book that really motivated me to focus on daily routines and small, actionable steps. Austin Kleon is a master at identifying the pivotal moments in every creative’s life when we’re tempted to shut down and shut off. If you need help building a daily plan, check this book out.

If you know what you should be doing, but you’re still not doing it, you must read:

Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your own Way by Steven Pressfield
From the jacket copy:
“There is an enemy. There is an intelligent, active, malign force working against us. Step one is to recognize this. This recognition alone is enormously powerful. It saved my life, and it will save yours.” — Steven Pressfield. Could you be getting in your way of producing great work? Have you started a project but never finished? Would you like to do work that matters, but don’t know where to start?The answer is Do the Work, a manifesto by bestselling author Steven Pressfield, that will show you that it’s not about better ideas, it’s about actually doing the work. Do the Work is a weapon against Resistance – a tool that will help you take action and successfully ship projects out the door.

Until next week, stay productive, stay healthy and make great art! (Oh, and I need to mention that this post contains affiliate links.)

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