Jan 1st 2013. We get out of bed and we want to do things better this year even though we might just slide back into the old ways, we’re starting with resolve and a heightened optimism. As we stare out the window and think, yes, i should get out there we know that we need to galvanise that wish into something more focussed. Our minds are wimps really, they need goals and encouragement and a kick up the…
As I writer I’m well aware of the swings between enthusiasm and doubt, as a parent of young children, one of whom has aspergers, I know about trying, about joys, failures, frustrations, exhaustion, delight, about getting up from setbacks over and over and keeping going. Across the world the recession has hit families badly and here in Ireland a harsh budget will bring massive trials and difficulties to already stretched people.
When I started this blog Head above Water meant mainly being able to juggle the demands of at that time, a very young family while finding headspace to write. Now I want to broaden that to incorporate the range of demands people find themselves under.
Note: As this series goes on I’ll add the 31 links to this post so you can access all other posts from here, so you’ll get the full 31 by the end of January.
Day 1: How writing & running help you get creative Day 2: Finding the space & time to create
Day 3: Why flash fiction can change your life Day 4: Flash fiction creative writing challenge
Day 5: Incubation and how to find your novel’s Eureka moment Day 6: Inspiration and Daily Practice
Day 7: Writing Goals: How to achieve them and what if you can’t
Day 7a: Creative Flash Fiction Comp Winners Day 8: Celebrating the creativity of David Bowie
Day 9: Stop or HALT, have a day off and Smile! Day 10 Guest Post: Photography – taking up a new creative pursuit
Day 11: Photo Write Prompt Comp Day 12: Finding Wordfire
Day 13: Saying Thank You Day 14: Sad Thinking and How to turn it round
Day 15: Say what you want to be Day 16: Thinking about others
Day 17: Guest Post: Derek Flynn: When is a poem not a poem
Day 18: Five Fives for Inspiring the Mind Day 18a: Photo Write Prompt Results
Day 19: I’m not here Day 20: Questions of Flow in Writing
Day 21: Fiona Melrose: Poetry performed alchemy on my prose
Day 22: Reasons to Live, Reasons To Love, Reasons to Write
Day 23: What’s important to you Day 24: Using your writing creatively for financial resiliance
Day 25: Bowie WritePrompt & Gerry O’ Donnell Story Day 26: The benefits of laughter
Day 27: Claire King: How do you keep the joy in writing?
Day 28: Take Heart
Day 29: Guest Post Eliza Green: Why Self-Publishing can be good for Debut Authors
Day 30: The Benefits of Creative Pursuits: Feltmaking and more
Day 31: When writing is at the heart of us we will not let it go
HEAD ABOVE WATER
The dictionary definition of keeping head above water says:
1. Lit. to keep from drowning when swimming or floating. I was so tired I could hardly keep my head above water.
2. . Fig. to manage to survive, especially financially. We have so little money that we can hardly keep our heads above water. It’s hard to keep your head above water on this much money.
3. Fig. to keep up with one’s work. It’s all I can do to keep my head above water with the work I have. I can’t take on any more. We have so many orders that we can hardly keep our heads above water.
These definitions cover the physical, financial and organizational challenges we face. But there are also emotional and creative aspects.
So what I want to do in these 31 days of January is to explore ways of keeping our heads above water in all the areas above. I want to talk about keeping ourselves mentally and physically able, to enhance our creativity and to deal with financial issues as well. These are all things that have been covered here to some extent but this will be a more focussed and practical approach, using real examples and including fun activities and challenges. Alternatively we can have a long nap till February comes.
There’ll be an at least weekly creative challenge, some of these will be competitions for prizes. We’ll also have various other fun challenges and exercises. Every post will be interactive and allow people to share their experiences good, bad or indifferent of what we’ve been doing.
I’m not a guru. I don’t have all the answers. I want to know what works for you, what you’ve tried and if we suggest something new here I want you to tell me if it worked or if it didn’t and if the idea sucked. I am also very open to suggestions as to areas to explore. My background is psychology and communications so while I might lean in those directions I’d be glad to be drawn to other ways of looking at things.
For anyone who has done the Nanowrimo writing challenge (or any other) or Weightwatchers or anything of that ilk, what really gets us going is the camaraderie, the sense of charting our progress alongside others, comparing our ups and downs, so I’m hoping to get a good sense of community here. If you like what’s happening, share with friends and always comment and reply to what others are sharing.
If you want to make sure to receive all the 31 ways to keep your Head above Water posts, sign up for email notification on the sidebar. This is my general blog notification but if you get fed up of me after 31 days you can unsubscribe! I’ve also set up a twitter account specially for this. It’s @31HAW (the more obvious handles were taken!) Otherwise I’m at @alisonwells. I’ll also hashtag on twitter mainly under #31haw and #headabovewater. I’m on facebook as Alison Wells but if we move to anything specific will let you know!
FIRST CHALLENGE – GET UP AND GO FOR A WALK/JOG
Posts will commence later today with a walking/running post. So my first challenge to you is to go for a vigourous walk today and come back later and answer some questions about how it worked for you creatively and energetically. We’ll also see how walking goals work & if there’s any point!