Re-blog: Codswallop – Word of the Day Challenge

LOL. This word made laugh out loud. Still have to figure out what it is, but that has time as I am not writing any more today. But if you need some inspiration, head over and figure it out. Have fun!!!!

The Word of the Day is ‘Codswallop”. Write a Poem, story or anecdote, inspired by this word. Please create a ping-back to your post by including a link to this page in whatever format you are using to post. Not sure how to do that? See how to create ping-backs here. https://en.support.wordpress.com/comments/pingbacks/ Most Importantly, Have […] […]

Codswallop – Word of the Day Challenge
White Tea mug with Love written in red writing. Background eyes and top of head of Bee

You’re not Dancing on your Own

Hi peeps, how are you? I hope your life rocks and if not feel free to dance to this song that keeps me going… 🙂

video credit: AVA MAX via YouTube

“Kings & Queens” copyright by AVA MAX

If all of the kings had their queens on the throne
We would pop champagne and raise a toast
To all of the queens who are fighting alone
Baby, you’re not dancin’ on your own

Can’t live without me, you wanna’ but you can’t, nah-nah-nah
Think it’s funny, but honey, can’t run this show on your own
I can feel my body shake, there’s only so much I can take
I’ll show you how a real queen behaves, oh

No damsel in distress, don’t need to save me
Once I start breathin’ fire, you can’t tame me
And you might think I’m weak without a sword
But if I had one, it’d be bigger than yours

If all of the kings had their queens on the throne
We would pop champagne and raise a toast
To all of the queens who are fighting alone
Baby, you’re not dancin’ on your own

Disobey me, then baby, it’s off with your head
Gonna’ change it and make it a world you won’t forget
No damsel in distress, don’t need to save me
Once I start breathin’ fire, you can’t tame me
And you might think I’m weak without a sword
But I’m stronger than I ever was before

If all of the kings had their queens on the throne
We would pop champagne and raise a toast
To all of the queens who are fighting alone
Baby, you’re not dancin’ on your own

In chess, the king can move one space at a time
But queens are free to go wherever they like
You get too close, you’ll get a royalty high
So breathe it in to feel alive

If all of the kings had their queens on the throne
We would pop champagne and raise a toast
To all of the queens who are fighting alone
Baby, you’re not dancin’ on your own

image of mountain in clouds and quote by Confucius about travel

Come Away With Me to France & Beating Cancer

Welcome to another week full of opportunities. Currently, I have to remind myself that there are opportunities in all situations. I believe it is a question of attitude, even though my behaviour seems to suggest something different.

I struggled with the last chemotherapy

Unfortunately, I struggled quite a bit after the last chemotherapy. I am now in the second part of the FEC-T chemotherapy. The chemical that is given to me now is Docetaxel. My doctors decided to give me a higher dose on the first of those chemotherapies. Apparently, this is what they do because it provides a better chance of fighting cancer cells. Or so they explained to me.

But good grief did that knock me out after a couple of days. The first few days, I was absolutely fine and hoped: “Wow if that’s how the rest goes, I am happy.” At first, I experienced the usual exhaustion but was so glad that my unladylike bowel problems had receded. All seemed well until I developed thrush in my mouth. YUK! Then the soles of my feet started to burn. Then I got nosebleeds.

I tried to stay positive despite the chemo trouble

We went to the hospital every week so that my doctor started to call me a regular. It’s an excellent department I admit but hey: There is a vicious virus on the loose! I can do without visits to the hospital, especially as my blood tests showed that my immune system was underperforming.

Never mind, as much as I could I stayed positive and kept going, but I just couldn’t get myself into keeping the blogging up. Or more to produce newer content. Yes, yes, I know I do not need to blog. It’s my hobby, but I had planned to be 4 weeks ahead with my posts. And I love blogging. And why the heck can’t I just keep my habits going?

It bothers me.

However, I have started to suspect that maybe it’s time for me to learn to relax a little. It’s August after all, and some people have holidays. I could let go of some things for a little. I have also started to suspect that my inner critic has taken over (again!). Never a good adviser that one.

Are you coming away with me to France?

I am still in the process of figuring what’s going on. And no, I do not accept cancer as an answer. That would give the bugger power over my life, and that’s not gonna happen!!!!

Well, next week is the next chemotherapy, but until then we’ll come away to France. Are you coming with me?

I assume we know a lot about France, so a little different introduction

Ah, France! The country of legends. Romantic cities and castles, glorious food & wine and proud people who love to speak their language and nothing else. Oh, and I forgot the coffee. I love cafe au lait.

I think we all know a lot about France. It’s a famous place, after all. So I chose two videos which show a not so touristy France or places we know anyway. Please enjoy them as an intro into the country.

video credit: Peaceful Travelers via YouTube

video credit: Happy Hoppe via YouTube

I’ve been lucky enough to have been to France a couple of times

I was lucky enough to grow up in the South of Germany, where France is comparatively close. Germany in the 70’s ad 80’s when I grew up was very much into teaching its children that other countries are friends. To encourage that we had school exchanges with France, the UK and other countries. I had the luck to visit Alsace with one school and Paris with another. My step-mum used to be a French teacher which meant I had another visit to Paris with her, my father and a friend. I also travelled through France many times on my way to and from Germany/UK.

I have to admit though that I never felt as passionate about France than about the UK. Up until the Brexit referendum I had hardly any negative experiences in Great Britain being German. The British were always polite to me and encouraged my language learning. The British are very good with that in my experience.

I like France despite difficult experiences

France, however, is a different kettle of fish. So proud of their language. Once I ordered stamps in France, but the gentleman behind the counter pretended not to understand me. I asked my step-mum afterwards what I had said to get such a reaction, but she said I ordered stamps. He should have understood me. I also experienced people in France, treating me differently when I speak English and come across as a Brit. Well, maybe not now after Brexit. I haven’t been to France since. Unfortunately, these experiences have shaped my feelings towards the country.

No, don’t get me wrong. I like France. It’s a beautiful country, and I am sure most French don’t have these old WW2 hang-ups anymore. But I just could never connect as much with France than I did with the UK. But maybe that will change now that my feelings towards the UK are so much more complicated than they used to be.

Enough said. Now music.

I am going to make a little change to the music part of “Come Away With Me”. For all the countries that I have “visited” with this blog so far, I found it quite hard to “just” chose one artist to represent the country. There are so many out there. So from now on, I will showcase one artist but also offer a playlist with different artists so you can explore a little more.

video credit: Zaz via YouTube

Today’s artist is Isabelle Geffroy known by her nickname Zaz. She is an incredibly versatile artist, and if you saw the film “Hugo” you know one of her songs: “Cœur Volant”. She seems to be more famous on the continent and Canada than here in the UK. So please discover an incredible artist.

Zaz homepage

Zaz on French Music Blog

I searched on YouTube for “Top Ten France” and found a couple of songs that I liked very much. Not sure if they are in the charts currently or if it’s a YouTube top ten but what struck me was the humour many of these videos showed. Please enjoy.

Bee’s playlist: Come Away with me to France ~ video credits belong to the artists not me

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, August 17th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we move to neighbouring Switzerland. Please find Swiss rock musicians here on the Ultimate.Guitar.Page .

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

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Tommy Lee Jones on Climate Change

I feel more & more uncomfortable…

View this post on Instagram

Good morning everyone, how are you? I hope you have time to check in with yourself and figure out if what you are doing is healthy for you and those coming after us. 🙋‍♀️ I have to admit, that I feel more & more uncomfortable with the notion "to go back to "normal"". 😕 In my opinion "normal" is toxic. ☢ Do you really want to go back to air polluted cities, that kill 1000s every year? 🧐 Do you really want to go back to fast-paced stress-filled jobs, that give you stomach problems? 🤯 Do you really want your children to go back to schools where they might get bullied by peers and feel stressed by pressured exams? 😧 Do you really "love" "fast food" that pollutes our beaches and forests with plastic packaging that will deteriorate to small bits that get into your body via our drinking water? 🤮 I am fully aware that there are no easy solutions. But if we do not start to ponder solutions, we will never find any. 🌻 From what I gather from climate science, this virus is just the beginning. From what I gather from climate science today's refugee "problems" are minimal to what is going to come. 🌩 Do you really feel it's "normal" that some individuals and some nations are incredibly wealthy and the rest has to see how they survive? 🧐 I have no answers to these questions and no solutions either, but I want to start to dream up some. And I invite you to do the same. 🌱 Let's believe in a future where all have what they need and can lead happy, healthy lives. I believe this way, the solutions will grow. 🏡 A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. John Lennon

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Book Review: The Many Lives Of Ruby Iyer by Laxmi Hariharan

August 2020

I published this review first in June 2015. You can now buy the whole series.

book cover ruby iyer book series
cover taken from Goodreads
Publisher: Amazon White Glove
Publishing date: 13th November 2014
Edition: Kindle E-Book
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Formats: Paperback, Kindle E-Book
Source: BookTourTips in return for an honest review
Bee’s 3 out of 6

About the story:

Ruby Iyer, a young woman with a troubled past, gets thrown off a train platform. When waking up, she realizes she has survived an electric surge of a thousand volts which has tattooed a lightning tree on her back. That is not the only “gift” though: She has gained enormous strength and her so far hidden anger erupts more easily. 

This leads her on a journey through her home city of Bombay, which is in danger of being destroyed by the teenage army of Dr Braganza to save her best friend. Will Vikram Roy and her be successful?

About the author:

BookTourTips says about Laxmi Hariharan: “A near life experience told Laxmi Hariharan to write. She never stopped. Laxmi is the creator of Ruby Iyer, and the Amazon bestselling, eLit Gold winner The Destiny of Shaitan (Bombay Chronicles, 1). She has been a journalist with “The Independent” and a global marketer with NBCU and MTV. Laxmi also blogs for Huffington Post, among others. London is where she writes. Bombay is what fires her imagination.

Honey Bees in the book:

“The Many Lives Of Ruby Iyer” is an action-packed story that does not get boring. You are lead through the city of Bombay experiencing its heat and claustrophobic masses of people. An exciting tale evolves before you about the end of Bombay but maybe also about the end of the world. 

Ruby’s mother’s words pop up many times to remind her where she comes from and makes the reader want to find out what happened before. And you hope she will find her place in the city that she never felt belonging to

Stinging Bees in the book:

I had a hard time to get into “The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer”. You get thrown into Bombay and Ruby’s life with hints of her past, but I could not figure out precisely what lead her to be the person she is. For me, there seemed to be too many jumps from one situation to the other without a logic development in herself.

I also had trouble with the language used. It seemed to me very American and not in sync with Bombay. But I do not know an awful lot about Bombay besides it being a significant city for filmmaking and software development. It might be that a more Americanised English is used as many might have studied in the United States. Besides, it is a YA novel, and this sort of language might appeal to a younger audience.

And the mead of it all?

“The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer” is an action-packed, fast-paced story that never lets you get bored. If you like YA novels you like this one but if you prefer books that show you more of the psychological development of a character this one is probably not for you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please find out more about Laxmi Hariharan and her books here:
Laxmi’s Authorpage
Laxmi on Twitter
Laxmi on Amazon
Laxmi on Goodreads

How to Stay Alive: Guest Post by Joan Barbara Simon

This is a re-post from May 2017:

HOW TO STAY ALIVE

The doctor said it was too late. Soft medicine would be of no use to me now. I cried into my pillow as the visions of what I still wanted to achieve in my life flashed before me then ran off into the bushes.

Don’t move. If you do, you could bleed to death in less than three minutes.

I practised being dead, resisting every urge to cough or twitch, but first I called the children to hear their voice in case…

And as I practised being dead – getting better and better at it – a familiar face ventured almost apologetically into the room.  So grateful was I to see him one more time that I cried in earnest. It wouldn’t matter if I bled to death now.

That was nearly two years ago. Two years, over 600 pills a month and the will to prove everyone wrong. Whenever anyone says ‘no’ to me, I make it my mission to prove them wrong. The doctors had been telling me for years that  I would be on medication for life.

‘Are you sure that I won’t be able to get off these pills one day?’
‘No. Let’s be honest’.

That was their No. Not mine. On my miraculous journey back to health from a chronic kidney disease, I encountered a wonderful soul with a simple message: we can eat our way back to health and the way to do so is to practise intermittent fasting. It sounded like just another fad to me and I challenged the author to give me good reasons why I should take him seriously. He won me over. I read his book and you know what: I feel GREAT! I’m not going to twist your arm or try to talk you into anything. There is a growing body of research on the benefits of intermittent fasting. I only know it is helping me to regenerate both my body and my mind. If you would like to know more:

Habit Ever After: How One Habit Can Change Your Life

If we want to stay alive, physically and mentally, then we shouldn’t play dead. We should be open for new encounters that have the potential to refresh our souls. I first learned this lesson in trust, courage, and yes, this lesson in love, from my grandmother. Her personal story has inspired a book that is dear to me, Long Time Walk On Water:

A black woman and single mum, starting over. A white man who wants something more. Will they take a chance on each other? Everything gonna be alright?

London, 1960. Rose is looking for a new start. Thousands of miles away from her Caribbean home, she scrapes together money to send for her children while adjusting to a strange, new world. Jack’s life is full of disillusionment. Living on the seventh floor of a council flat with his two children (he hopes they won’t turn into ruffians) and his wife who cleans spud juice from her fingernails with a knife, Jack knows all too well that the streets of London are not paved with gold. With dog shit more like.. The only thing that gives his life sparkle? His Jamaican friends down at the docks.

They happen to meet at a bus-stop one day. Jack and Rose. The rest is history.

This historical novel with its splash of something quite unique, its rich settings and realistic characters, its touch of romance, reggae style, is now an Amazon #1 in three categories. What’s more, it’s now FREE!!

Long Time Walk On Water Vol.1

Thank you, Grandma. Thank you, Loui. Thank you to all the people who have encouraged me. I’m still here, clinging to the vision of myself as an old woman (as old as my grandmother, one day!), hobbling along the beach, hand-in-hand with my husband and listening to the celebratory roar of the sea. That’s worth staying alive for!

I hope you enjoy these two reads and would love to dear from you about the visions and people who have helped you to achieve the unthinkable so that you are still here, full of life, of laughter and love.

Best,

Joan

joan-barbara-simon.com

Blog by Joan Barbara Simon

Interiew on Smashwords

Thanks, Barbara for your time and openess. I appreciate you very much!

The Cut-Up-Machine-Poem

August 2020

I love to play with words. Even though I mainly write haiku-like poems currently, it is nice to have a look back at some of my experiments:

October 2016

Yes, I know when this is posted it will be November but does it matter? In the last few days, I have written some new poems and posted them here. However, I need some fun and a little playing around and therefore I am going back to one of my favourite poetry sites: Language is a Virus.

It has a lot of writing prompts, writing gizmos and gadgets, and all in all, it is just great fun for any writing block to just vanish. Today I am using The Cut-Up-Machine and enter this text:

I’ve cut it up

It is October

and I sit on

the sofa.

No  mug of tea.

I had coffee.
Lot’s of it.

Now I am hyper like a

chicken on crack.

I can see the branches of 

the trees outside

dance in the wind

It winds them up

and down skillfully.

And I wonder

What

The Cut-Up-Machine

will make of this.

Let’s see what “Language is a Virus” will make of it :-). It’s been cut twice:

~~~~~~~~~

I’ve cut it up

down winds winds on wonder

What The the trees sit sofa.

No mug of wonder

What The branches this.

on the winds on down wonder

What The coffee.

Lot’s a chicken sofa.

No coffee.

Lot’s crack.

I am outside dance

had mug up and skillfully.

And mug the I trees

had mug

can had is had

in down wonder

What The….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am sitting here barking with laughter…… 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

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over the roofs of Noerdlingen, Germany

Noerdlingen ~ A little romantic corner in this beautiful world #photography

August 2020

Now that most of us can’t or don’t want to travel a little virtual tour to Noerdlingen in the South of Germany might be something you enjoy. So here my post from 2012:

August 2012

We are just back from our holiday in Germany and even though I do not want to move back I have to admit I come from a beautiful corner of this world. And romantic too.

Image of house in Koenigsbronn, Germany

This is not in Noerdlingen but in Koenigsbronn

There are some lovely medieval towns left in the south of Germany and one of it is Noerdlingen am Ries. Space~freaks and geologists might know the place as millions of years ago a huge meteorite hit the place and left a great big hole and a new sort of stone which is called suevite.

Image of trees and fields

I am not sure if it was destroyed in WWII and rebuilt afterwards as many German towns and cities have been or if it still has the original medieval buildings and structures but no matter what it is a great place to visit.

Roofs of Noerdlingen, Germany

The “Daniel” is the church tower of  St. Georg which is supposed to be 90m high and my goodness is 70m of stairs a lot to climb. But believe me, the view on top is worth all the fear and struggle ;-).

Noerdlinger Church seen from below

There are little side lanes where the Woernitz the little river that runs through the town can be crossed on little bridges. You can also climb up the town wall and have a walk all around Noerdlingen.

image of river Woernitz and shadows

image of medieval town wall of Noerdlingen

There are the Meteorite Museum as well as others which are worth visiting but we preferred to stay in one of the Italian ice-cream parlours as it was really, really hot.

Well, if you ever come to the south of Germany stop by and have a look for yourself!

man standing on medieval town wall in Noerdlingen

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

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Re-blog: COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 189, #POET’SCHOICE by Willow

Please head over to Willow and read her extraordinaryly kind and thoughtful haiku. I currently have no words.

It’s the first of the month and you know what that means! Poets, choose your own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. It’s up to you! So the news intervened in my choice today. The explosion in Lebanon’s capital Beirut yesterday prompted me to write the chain of Haiku below. As if the Lebanon […]

COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 189, #POET’SCHOICE

The Habit of making Habits ~ The Snowflake Guy

August 2020
I think many of us had to develop new habits because of the pandemic. So this post from 2016 might help to keep doing so.
January 2016

How is your writing going? Do you achieve what you have set yourself to do or are you behind?

Randy Ingermanson has written about habits in his latest e-zine and I thought I better share it with you:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This article is reprinted by permission of the author.

Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, “the Snowflake Guy,” publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 14,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visitwww.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.

I can only encourage you to sign up to his newsletter. It’s always good advice on anything writing- and publishing-related. Also, his newer articles can’t be re-published. Enjoy!

2) Organization: The Habit of Making Habits


If you hate New Year’s resolutions, you may be a little gun-shy about trying to make any changes to your life in January. Just on principle.

I don’t love New Year’s resolutions, since they rarely live to see February, and therefore seem a bit useless to me.

But I do like to spend some time around the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one mapping out my next year. Change happens when you plan to make changes, and January is as good a time as any to make those plans.

But change is hard. Change takes willpower. And you only have so much willpower to expend each day. So it might appear that you can only make a limited number of changes for the better, because eventually you run out of willpower to enforce those changes.

But that’s not true. Habits don’t use up any willpower. A habit is something you just do because it’s a habit. You don’t really have to think about it.

This means that revolutionary change happens when you launch a new habit. Because a habit is something that, by definition, lives on with you forever. It’s something you do routinely.

Effective people use their willpower creating good habits. They have a habit of forming new habits.

It’s often said that you can form a new habit in about 21 days. That may or may not be true. Different people are different. But it seems to me to be approximately true, so let’s run with that.

The technology for forming habits is pretty well-known. A habit needs three things in order to survive and thrive:


  • The Cue
  • The Routine
  • The Reward


The Cue is an event that reminds you of your habit. The Routine is the action you take when the Cue fires. The Reward is the payoff you get for executing the Routine.

Let’s say that you want to check e-mail at least three times per day—first thing in the morning, again at 3 PM, and last thing at night. And furthermore, you want to do what all the experts say, which is that you’ll work your in-box down to empty.

How do you set up that habit?
You need to define the Cue, the Routine, and the Reward. Here’s one way (out of an infinite number of ways) that you might do it:


Define the Cue: set an alarm on your phone to go off at exactly those times of day when you want to check e-mail.

Define the Routine: you promise yourself that when the alarm goes off, you’ll drop whatever you’re doing and check your e-mail. Furthermore, you won’t stop until the in-box is empty.

Define the Reward: you promise yourself that when you’ve worked through all the e-mail, you get to lean back in your chair, close your eyes, and listen to your favorite song on your phone, inhaling that sense of well-being that comes from having done a good job.

This is a good habit to have. It means that you’ll take care of your e-mail with reasonable promptness.

Now, you may already have a habit of checking e-mail whenever you hear a new one come in. And you may consider that bad, because it causes you to lose focus on what you were doing.

In this case, you might want to break this instant-response habit. How do you do that?

Start by figuring out what the Cue, the Routine, and the Reward are. Then figure out how to disrupt them.

The Cue is the little beep that your e-mail program makes when an e-mail arrives. You can disrupt this by turning off the beep in your e-mail program.

The Routine is that you stop whatever you’re doing and open the e-mail and read it. By disrupting the Cue, you disrupt the Routine a bit. But even without the Cue, you may periodically feel an urge to check your e-mail. The most effective way to resist this urge is by replacing the bad habit with a good one—setting up a good habit where you check the e-mail at set times each day. Then you know for sure that the e-mail will get checked.

The Reward is whatever psychological boost you get from having dealt with your e-mail. Again, by disrupting the Cue, you disrupt the Reward. And by replacing the bad habit with a good one, you switch out the Reward for the bad habit with a Reward for a good habit.

For writers, one of the best habits you can make is to write every day. (Or at least every working day.)

Writing a novel is a large project, not likely to get done in odd moments. If it takes 100 hours to write a novel, and you write for an hour every weekday, it’ll be done in 20 weeks, which is less than 5 months.

If you write for 2 hours a day, it’ll be done in half that time.

Do you write every day?

Do you want to write every day?

If you do, then take five minutes right now to figure out how to make that a habit.

What Cue can you set up that will ensure that you remember to write every day? Can you set an alarm on your phone? If you write a daily To Do List, can you make a To Do List template so that the first thing on the list every day is to work on your novel?

The Routine is pretty obvious. Choose how many minutes you want to work on your novel every day. Or else choose a quota for the number of words you will write every day.

What Reward can you use? Some writers keep a running spreadsheet that tracks the number of words they write each day. Filling it in each day and seeing that you’ve now worked 98 consecutive days on your novel can be a HUGE motivator to make sure that you work on your novel on day 99.

We’re now well into January, and I’m guessing the shine has worn off of any New Years Resolutions you’ve made. Don’t despair on those. Instead, turn those resolutions into habits. By defining a Cue, a Routine, and a Reward for each one.

And put a note in your calendar to reassess your habits once every quarter. Are there good habits you want to make? Are there bad habits you want to break?

Make a habit of making good habits.

 
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What do you think of habits?

Are they boring and hampering your creativity or do they help you to get writing done?