Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Balance, Writing and Dairy Dreams

Everyone is looking for balance in their lives, for all of the pieces of the pie to have enough  . . . girth. But sometimes trying to balance everything stresses us out so much that we fall off kilter and lose our way.

I have been perfectly happy just balancing my work, family and health these past couple of months, but I had to drop my writing in order to stay steady. I've lost 15+ pounds since March 15th. YAY!

Now I'm ready to add novel writing back, but I don't want the other parts to teeter totter. (It's amazing how much we need to do to take care of ourselves, isn't it?)  I have to regroup and get back to my novel, get back to writing essays, even if it's small.  I just gave myself a music prompt and posted what I wrote, going to many places in my heart. That was fun. (Two posts in one day - whoa now!)

I need to write an outline. I have the setting and primal character arc - I've already written 25k or so, but I don't know where it's going!!!! Thus the refusal to get butt-in-chair AND since I have gone dairy-free . . . I can't hang out at Starbucks anymore. I might as well be going to a bar.

In fact, I had a dairy dream the other night. Like a drunk dream, you know? (Well, for those who don't, a drunk dream, important to those in recovery, is a dream where you think you've messed up and slipped but you really haven't. You wake up either a) grateful, or b) with a new understanding that you really need to stay away from that substance.)

I dreamed that I had cup after cup of coffee with half and half and sugar. You see, since I've taken the dairy away, I don't drink as much coffee. Maybe I'll have a small cup once in a while with some almond milk. It's the coffee that I miss the most. It's working in Starbucks. But green tea just ain't the same. (I love green tea, but Starbucks is for strong coffee damnit!) I miss coffee with half and half more than I miss ice cream.

So instead of going to Starbucks this morning, I came back home after spin class and stuck in my ear phones and went back to 1986 to write the previous essay about a certain night at The Palladium, dancing to Art of Noise. Then I put on some Daft Punk and decided to write this and come up with a semi-public game plan. My readers, will you keep me accountable?

1) outline novel
2) 300 words a day - start out small. Can always write more! But something every day to keep characters in head.
3) one personal essay a week, based on a song from the 70's or 80's

Thank you for your support y'all!


  1. All the best! I just got past the 33K mark on my WIP. Trying to get this first draft down by the end of the month, but I might need a few extra weeks.
    300 words a day is a great starting point. I try for 15 minutes, twice a day and usually go twice that long and get over 300 words on average.

  2. one personal essay a week, based on a song from the 70s or 80s. I love that idea. I am co-opting it. My personal journal has been focused on exactly one topic for about a year now, and I need a way to break out of that. This seems perfect. Thank you for the idea.

    1. Thanks for saying hi Robin - co-opt away! The music takes me back to my teen self which is important for my fiction.

  3. Very good plan. Good luck.

  4. Lena, so inspiring, sharing how you choose small steps and teeter-tottering and finding balance ... reminds me of the Laurie Anderson song about how walking is actually half walking and half falling?

    1. Diana! Thank you so much for reading - and yes - Laurie Anderson! I have to find that song. xo

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