English translation of Og Mandino quote

Blast from the Past: Good Morning Mindful Monday ~ De-cluttering

January 2020
I published this post first in October 2015 but feel it is also a good one to consider at the beginning of a new year. Enjoy this de-cluttering Blast from the Past:
🙂

Good morning writers and other mindful ones!

How is your life going? How is your writing going? Does any clutter in your life drag you down?

Feng Shui or not

A few years ago I read up on Feng Shui. It was the hype in Germany where I lived at the time, and I tried to organise our house in a way that energy could flow smoothly. I cannot say it made a big difference to me, but on the other hand, us westerners are not that good at sensing the subtle flow of energies in our lives. So who knows maybe me living in Great Britain now had to do with some changes I made to our house then.

I do not know much about Feng Shui, but one thing that stuck with me is the practice of de-cluttering your home and your life.

The Practice of De-cluttering

Since I had to move for the first time at the age of 17, I have been moving many many times and it always astonishes me how much clutter accumulates in a home. So many things you cling onto because they seem to have an emotional worth or might come in handy one day, but you never use them.

Over the years, I have experienced an urge to de-clutter my belongings and my/our home every so often, and I feel that it usually is a sign of a new stage in personal development. I also experience that it keeps your mind, heart, and probably also your body free of blocking energies which in turn helps to achieve your goals.

De-cluttering our internet habits

I am not the first to tell you that it never pays out to have a tab open for Twitter, one for Facebook, one for… when you are writing. To keep it simple and to stay just with your writing program and nothing else is a sort of de-cluttering too. It is worth to check ourselves and develop a little discipline in keeping our phones off too.

A few months ago I had de-cluttered my online games too. I used to play at least 4 – 6 games on Facebook but it started to use up a lot of time. So I decided for two games that are my favourites and keep the rest of my day for reading and writing.

A busy time

Life has become so much more active nowadays. The demands of our professional lives are tougher, and we have so  many opportunities on the internet to occupy ourselves. I believe one skill we have to develop more than in any time before is to set priorities and stick to them.

Autumn a good time to take stock

Autumn is a good time to take stock of your life and see what can go and what is important to keep. Not only in things but also in habits and goals. Just allow yourself an hour or so to go for a walk and afterwards have a look at your home with a fresh eye. Then sit down and follow your heart at you want to say “good-bye” to in your life. It is worth it because it will make your life lighter and help you to achieve more happiness.

In this sense: have a de-clutter-some week!

Blast from the Past: Three songs to get you and me writing ~ Good Morning Writers!


October 2019
 
If only I would write more nowadays…
 
June 2015
 
How is your writing going? Are you stuck on a paragraph in your novel or expression for your poem? Or are you in the flow?
 
I’m a little bit of everything lately: from writing like mad for hours to not a word in a day. I guess, this is how a writing life shapes itself. You have the deserted times when it just doesn’t work or the overflowing times.
 

Writing with music?

 
I just switched my music list on YouTube off because it started to distract me. Quiet time was what I needed to get the idea for this post going. But that is not how it is all the time. I usually start my writing day with the #amwriting/Schreiben list on YouTube. 
 
It seems to be my kick-off to get into the flow. Some days it stays on all the time. Some days like today, I switch it off after a while. And some days I just make it a little quieter.
 

Music to get me writing

 

So what music does get me into writing? Well, to be honest, I listen to a little bit of everything besides brass music and any fascist music groups whatever their style. My husband and his kids often shake their heads when I happily type along to Nancy Sinatra or Lynn Anderson (even though these are in a not public extra list…). 
 
If I’m in a bad mood and don’t really want to write, it has to be a little harder. I do some headbanging to Seether, Linkin Park or Evanescence and kick the sofa… (yea you wish…) . When I sit down after that something does come up.
 
And there are times when it has to be classical and meditative: then I switch to Bach, Merlin’s Magic and Vivaldi. That does not happen very often though.
 

Three songs to get me writing

 
If I try to narrow it down to three songs that really get me into writing then it would be these three (for now):
 

 

  • Broken by Seether feat. Amy Lee
  •  
  • Skyfall by Adele
  •  
  • Halte Durch by Xavier Naidoo
video credit: Adele on YouTube
 

Why those three songs?

 
Don’t ask me why! I have no idea whatsoever why it is these three songs that get me into the mood and my muse working right now. I believe though that there are some things you do not need to ponder too much. Just be grateful and accept that there is a gift in your life that gets you to do what you need to do.
 
And yes I wrote: “right now” because these three songs change every now and then. I add and delete songs from my #amwriting/Schreiben list as I go along probably to keep it fresh and my writing mind in action.
 

What is the music that gets you to write?

 
Do you care to share your three songs that get you writing no matter what? Or are you one of those reclusive writers who can only do it in silence? I would love to hear from you.
 
There is also a great post on “The Write Life” about “Music to listen to when writing“.

Good Morning Writers! ~ Friends

September 2019

Ok, I admit this week is a little full of writing advice and resources. I hope you enjoy it anyway 🙂

I can’t believe it is five years ago that I last saw her here in the UK and four over in Germany. But we talk on WhatsApp regularly. No matter how many problems the internet causes it is also a great way to stay in contact with friends

December 2014

How are you doing? How is your writing going? Do you have new plans? Do you need some inspiration? Or do you just want to hook up with a friend and celebrate your achievements?

Met a friend three weeks ago

Three weeks ago I met a friend in London whom I have not seen in three years. She is from Germany and took the cumbersome travel with a bus just to stay for about 12 hours in London and then get back for about 12 hours. I have to admit that I admired her for putting up with it. She had promised her teenage son to go to London with him so there we were.

Was like we met just yesterday

As we have not seen each other for a while and as much had changed in our lives, I was a little worried how our meeting would turn out: We met at the London Eye and she spotted me first, hugged me and we started chatting like we had seen us the day before over a coffee.

Hope everybody has a friend like that

I hope everybody has a friend like that. Actually, I am blessed with a few of them and I thank the Universe every day for them. My friend and I often do not communicate for a year or so. Maybe a Birthday card but that is it. And then suddenly we write to each other very often or like three weeks ago meet up and it is just like we never left.

Not only celebrating but encouraging each other in tough times

This meeting was more about helping one another to get to grips with great changes in our lives not so much about celebrating our achievements. However it could have been the total opposite as well: Talking about our families, her new career and my writing. We are the first to cheer each other when we arrived at a goal and also the first to encourage each other to get on with whatever troubles us.

Need someone like that in your life

You need someone like that in your life: You just do not need to explain anything. There is just that deep understanding no matter what goes on in the other person’s life you know deep down nothing has really changed. You just understand each other without speaking.

Meet a friend

So no matter if you are celebrating your writing achievements or need a little push to get on with it, just go and meet a friend this week. Give yourself the time to chat over a coffee and just take in the motivation and boost of energy it will give you and then go back and write!

Good Morning Writers! ~ Procrastinating

September 2019

What shall I say????…

December 2017

I topic I still struggle with. Here is what I wrote in summer 2014

June 2014

How are you doing? Has your writing gone well in the last 7 days or have you been procrastinating?

I have. Lots of and regret it deeply as I want to help a friend moving today and won’t have a lot of time to write. So getting ahead with my writing schedule was really important.

But obviously, I was not alone. Linda G. Hill wrote in her blog post “Forcing Myself” about all those tempting household chores and foods that kept her from editing her novel. She found lots of encouragement and advice too, as her readers are very supportive.

One comment made me think about procrastinating in itself, though: Irene from IreneDesign2011 asked Linda if she had thought about the fact that she might just not have been ready to do that kind of work on that day.

It made me wonder if our perception of procrastinating as something bad might be adding to the problem. What if procrastinating is just a message from our souls or higher selves that something is not right? Either we are afraid of something, in this case, maybe of “my writing is not good enough” or maybe it is just that we need a break and really should be doing something else for a little?

I have often experienced when I procrastinated, but did not scold myself for it and just went with what I felt I needed to do, I got much faster back into what I needed to do than if I was being negative towards myself. Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” I think suggests that procrastinating is just

an expression of a fear we need to address. Once we are aware of the fear we can let it go and we won’t be procrastinating. So the theory. To be honest, there is something to it. At least in my experience, since I read her book and try to figure out what might lie underneath my actions I have become a lot more productive. I haven’t really found out though what was the cause of my last procrastinating binge. There’s some food for thought…. 🙂 What do you think? Would changing our attitude towards procrastinating make a difference?

Good Morning Writers! ~ Describe your mood!

June 2019
My unprofessional thoughts on creating a character from 2015
June 2015
How is your main character doing? How is your poem doing? How is your article, blog post, essay doing? And: how are you doing?

Not asking questions

So often, we do not ask ourselves these questions: How are our main characters, poems, articles, blog posts and essays doing. But most of all: How are we doing?

Do we want to know the answer?

Do we really want to know the answer? Maybe not. Maybe we should though. Maybe our resistance to being mindful of our real being ~ be it well or not so well ~ makes us writers who could improve.
Because if we are mindful how we feel and how we act when we feel a certain mood or feeling would teach us how our characters feel and how we could put the words in our poem.

What we could do

We could find new words, new expressions, new images based on how we experience the cycle of moods that go round and round. Because moods and feelings, in the end, are just a cycle. They come and go. Sometimes they are more intense and sometimes less. I suspect that we are more capable of feeling our main characters’ feelings if we know our own and be able to name them.

Sounds simple

I can hear you say: “But Bee that’s simple!” Of course, you know how you feel. But try to express them to your partner or your friends when they ask: “How are you!” How much more than: “Good”, “I’m ok”, “I’m doing alright!” would you answer?
For a while, I answered “Could be better, could be worse!” which put it down quite nicely. But it did not show any of the anxiety I was experiencing whenever I entered work or the relieve I felt when at last I took St. Johnswort again, and the anxiety subsided.

Of course, we don’t want everybody to know

Of course, we do not want everybody to know how we exactly feel in our “real” life. In our “fictional” life though we need to let them know because otherwise the reader won’t get an insight into our characters. The reader would not get an emotional experience and according to the pro’s that’s what they want.

So, how ARE you today?

Feel free to use this question as a writing exercise today: Write down in as exact words as possible how you feel. I bet that will give you a boost of creativity!

Good Morning Writers! ~ You Know where the Rabbit Runs

June 2019

A lovely “Blast from the Past” post which I had already re-posted. Hope it doesn’t get too boring or confusing

January 2018

After a bit of a hard time in our family, we have discovered a brilliant PlayStation 4 game that makes us all laugh: That’s You!. I suggest it highly to you if you need some jeering up and new inspiration for writing.

But it also reminded me of a post I did in 2014:

August 2014

How has your writing been last week? Has it been fun? Have you struggled? Do you enjoy yourself?

For me, finding time to write was a big struggle, but writing itself was fine. I hardly ever have the problem of not knowing what to write about. It’s rather a question of being motivated to work with my ideas. Last week I worked more on the day job which was good for our finances but I just about managed to write what I wanted to write.

So on Saturday I was quite down and out and decided to do it slowly. My day included mainly to play on Facebook and bake and I enjoyed that thoroughly. It is fascinating how much you can recover from a difficult time when you do things you really enjoy. This kind of mindset obviously gives me great blogging ideas as well as you can see here.

By the end of the day, I stumbled over a shop in Germany, which sells t-shirts that have German expressions and sayings translated into English but done literally. I could not stop laughing. My step-daughter looked at me quite astonished but understood when I explained it to her.

The title of this blog post is one of them: “Du weisst, wo der Hase langlaeuft/you know where the rabbit runs” means that you know how things work. The trouble is that you don’t find it funny if you do not know both languages. Or maybe it is a special German kind of humour. Who knows.

My step-daughter obviously enjoyed my laughter and started showing me funny animal pictures and we both giggled away like 3 year-olds discovering colours. It was great fun.

That made me think to prolong the fun and do something different on my blog this week. Do something fun. Bring joy to the world. That seems to be what we need right now with all those killings, illnesses and financial problems going on.

It is also good to step out of your comfort zone every now and then. That gives a great boost to your creativity and often leads to a breakthrough to problems you had. Therefore I encourage you to try out something different this week. Buy yourself some crazy clothes. Drink some booze if you never drink or do it healthy if you prefer an unhealthy lifestyle. Write something serious if you usually do the funny thing or the other way round. Just go crazy and enjoy yourself!

In this sense: May you have a week of fun and changes!

Fellow Bloggers wrote about funny translations:

Trendslator: Birdwatching for Translators

Blast from the Past: Good Morning Writers! ~ Je Suis Charlie?

May 2019

I have to admit I still don’t know the answers to the questions at the end of this post. But my suspicion from 2015 after the Charlie Hebdo attack that radicalisation and fundamentalism would grow has proven to be right. Brexit and a President Trump are just two of the examples for it. My feeling is that the internet is an invention of the magnitude of the wheel, farming and the book print. When these inventions happened the world as our ancestors knew it fell into turmoil and we are at this point again. Where will it lead?

It can go in both directions I believe: More freedom and peace or more oppression and war. And we don’t even fully take into consideration that the climate changes far faster than previously thought and that the internet and its consequences might soon be of no importance anymore as all of us might have to fight for simple survival.

For some time now I practise mindfulness and my over worried mind seems to calm down a little. That doesn’t mean I am not worried anymore but I think of ways to do my bit to create a peaceful and healthy world for all of us. I might be a dreamer as John Lennon sang many moons ago but its the dreamers who change the world and we will soon find out whose dream will win…

January 2015

How is your writing going? Are you brimming with creativity or have the latest terrorist attacks taken away all urge to write anything?

My mind is brimming with questions, and maybe this post will just be one of the questions but no answers.

Je Suis Charlie?

When I first heard this expression I could not really relate. Of course, I understood that this sentence was meant to be a statement of solidarity with freedom of speech and the magazine Charlie Hebdo.

But to be honest, I wonder if it is the right way of using freedom of speech when you make fun of something that is really important to some people. You might not understand religious feelings of any sort but shouldn’t you still respect their traditions?

If you are made fun of in a confrontation it’s not considered proper behaviour so why should it be proper for magazines, newspapers or writers & journalists in general?

Respect?

It seems to me that nothing is held sacred anymore, and that might be a reason some people find it the right way to use violence to bring back respect for something holy to them.

Of course, it is not the right way to use violence but if you look into yourself ~ if someone does not respect what is really important to you and even makes fun of it do you really stay calm and think:” Oh it’s his/her freedom to say something like that?” Don’t you get aggressive?

Don’t you expect the other person to respect your feelings? So why should it be ok for media to react differently?

Provocation?

Provocation of any sort seems to be the only thing that sells and in the end what sells seems to be the only thing that’s important. But maybe that is a dangerous way, and maybe that is a reason radicalism, and fundamentalism grows: it is just a reaction towards a provocation.

Does freedom of speech mean you can say anything?

That is one question I ponder about since last Wednesday. Where are the limits? Do we still have limits? Or are limits & respect considered censorship?

What do you think?

Good Morning Writers… To Blog or not to Blog and how much to Blog ~ That is the question!

This was first posted in July 2016

Good Morning Writers! How is your writing going? Have you started a blog or are you still just writing your novel?

I wrote the blog post which I put at the end of this post in September 2013. That was right at the beginning of my old blog ” The River is flowing…”. Funny to see that 2 1/2 years later I still am occupied with the same issues: How much can/do I want to write, how to blog effectively and how many blogs can I afford to write.

However, in the years in between, I seem to have let the idea of writing a novel go. Maybe blogging is my calling and maybe I can make a difference that way. It also feels that I have found my writing home with  “A Spirit of Healing” and “Just Fooling Around With Bee”. However, when I wrote this post it was May and I was taking part in #frapalymo (A German poetry project) and that always makes me long for my mother tongue. So this blog will see some bi-lingual posts in the future. Well, if you have a look into older posts you will find my bi-lingual posts from “Something Random Now and Then” which I have integrated in this blog in May :-). But now to what I’ve written in 2013:

Since Friday, I am occupied with figuring out how to organise the new blogging routine the best. For getting readers it works so well to have several blog posts a day but alas I only have 24 hours which are also filled with a day job, some sleep, housework and eating (I love to eat 🙂 so you understand my dilemma lol).

My little knowledge of search engine optimisations also tells me to have the blog posts at the same time is a good thing and I still want to do “Something random now and then”. Plus I need to get some translations for “Please help Aurela” done. Indeed a full enough schedule for this week.

No wonder the inner artist child Morgaine gets a bit frustrated and has no will to write at all :-). I struggle as well to find a new routine to get everything in my day.



How do I get about it then?

For now, I have decided to do one blog post less in “Something random…” which was a hard decision but a necessary one. I like blog posts to be at the same time for some strange reason. So “The River is flowing….(The Bee Writes…)” posts will be at 10 am (morning pages), 6 pm (Story Time) and 2 am (Poem at night) while “Something random….” posts will be at 6 am (whatever comes to mind bi-lingual), 2 pm (photo of the day), and 10 pm (quote of the day).

Yesterday I  made a list of ideas for this week to get it all going and then I hope it will kind of work by itself. So far it always has :-).

I agree with Julia Cameron that routines are deadly to any creativity because it sounds like being boring but I feel that creative habits which are a sort of routine are quite helpful to get the work done.

I have assigned our dining room table beside the window towards a magnificent old oak as my writing area. Sitting there somehow makes me write while when I am sitting on the sofa, I rather tend to go to Facebook and play. Which is a nice break now and then but if it gets too much it is not a good thing.
Also, a cup of tea and sometimes some music helps. For me writing in the early morning hours works the best. As my hubby is a baker he often has to work very early and I can get up with him and start my day creatively. Some minutes meditation to ground me energetically and some breakfast, later on, helps as well.

Insofar I have developed creative habits that help get on. But now it is time to take it more serious and take it that step further. Find my blockages, get over it and then write that novel :-).

I wonder what your creative habits are? Do you work at a certain time? Do you wear anything special or have a special place?

Julia Cameron encourages writing groups which work together democratically and support each other’s creative work. It would be nice if this blog could become a kind of international, online Artist’s Way group where we can help each other over the hurdles of creative life but also celebrate the successes we are bound to make.

July 2016

It didn’t happen that way. I didn’t create a writing community but throughout my blogging life I have found many friends all over the world who blog too and who have enriched my life enormously. Thanks!

Blast from the Past: Good Morning Writers! ~ I don’t wanna be in that dark place!

May 2019

I never realised in what a bad place I was in the last couple of years until recently. Hopefully, I managed to get out of there now…

January 2015

How is your writing going? Are you inspired or in a rather dark place?

After a spell of activity and writing like mad, I am going back into the dark places. Winter is always a hard time for me as it seems to be more difficult to keep my thoughts and feelings on a positive path.

St. John’s Worth has always helped me and so does it now, but I do not want to take it longer than six months which is probably too long anyway. I start taking it in October one pill every day but now I try to wean myself off it. Meaning I take one every two days.

It has an effect on my mood, of course. I am back on the coffee and a little alcohol which does not help. My usual downing thoughts are arriving: “I do not want to be in that dark place.”

It’s no point though to pity myself. I know I suffer from depression and it just needs managing which I can after 20 odd years of living with it. No matter the healing I have gone through. It’s just part of my life.

I also think it’s part of my creativity. There are so many who have and still suffer from it. Some are highly successful no matter what. Some aren’t, and some have not survived it.

That’s a matter of fact if I like it or not. I just go through my cycles and keep on writing. Because there is one thing I have learned in those 20 odd years: If you give up doing what you love you have already lost. No matter how hard.

How about you? Do you have cycles of writing and not-writing?

Blast from the Past: Good Morning Writers ~ To read it or not to read it…. in full

This post was first published in January 2015

How is your writing going? Are you buzzing ahead or lacking behind? And what about your reading?

About four weeks ago I read a post on Deb Nances “ReaderBuzz” that is called “Browsable books or … (GASP)… I don’t always read every word in a book“.

She admitted that she does not always read every single word in a book, but it depends on the book of course. That made me think a lot.

Firstly I realised that I have started to skip bits in books. Boring bits. Something I would never have done before. I would have skipped scary bits or bits that would cause me a flashback, but I would have worked through the boring bits acrimoniously.

When I realised I have started skipping bits I also started to wonder if this is a side-effect of our so fast-moving internet age. You rather consume a book than reading it.

Even though I do it at times I feel like I have not read the book properly, and I try not to it with review books unless I am honest about that and write it in it. The reader has a right to know.

But on the other hand, you have to skip something if you have a certain amount to read in a certain amount of time. There are ways of fast-reading which I never managed to master. Not that I really wanted to.

I am not really shocked by Deb’s post, but it leaves a somehow dreary feeling inside of me. Can you relate?