Dare to be Delighted (and Writer Unboxed Redirect)

delight[pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]I’ve had a wonderful day, peeps. I haven’t been remotely productive in the sense that people would traditionally call “worthwhile.” I’ve written no words that will be seen by anybody else, save for this post. I’ve done no exercise. I haven’t cooked. Many of these things will be shortly rectified, but for a moment I’m going to dwell in a sense of things well done.[/pullquote]


That blog post beginning was written yesterday afternoon. Why the contentment? Because despite having a quiet house and plans to dig into work, when life offered alternate choices, I:

Connected with someone on Facebook and arranged an interview I really want to do based upon gut instinct.

Doing this required me to pitch a virtual stranger, but I know it’s going to be fantastic. Said stranger didn’t remain unfamiliar long, and I love it when I just know to do these things; in my world, decisions are so seldom effortless.

Laughed at the unfortunate tagline of a live show that’s making the rounds:
“A Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse.”

Okay. I know it’s the O’Hara mindset that makes everything sound dirty, but in casual conversation lately, I’ve noticed many people musing about hot sex with a centaur, so what do you expect? (Don’t know what’s up with that, but if you write paranormal erotica, get on it. Equine shifters are the new meme and you heard it here first.)

Bought this 50-pound bag of steel cut oats from Barb’s Kitchen Center for $30 Canadian.

steel cut oatsIf you live anywhere near central Alberta, do check them out. The store is family owned, teaches canning and breadmaking so its customers know how to use the specialty items they provide. The goods are all quality. For instance, this bag comes from a local farmer, is organic, and at 80 grams a serving, that 50-pound bag will give me 283 mornings of a full belly at $0.11 a pop.

Resisted writing a blog post simply to fill the schedule.

I’ve had Tartitude for three years now, and in that time, gone from infatuation and obsession to obligation to a steady, burning love for the blogging form and for you guys. (Thank you for being here.) Part of that is accepting my capabilities, warts and all, and feeling less anxious about finding an audience. I’m going to put up blog posts when it’s right, or not at all. I know I’m not speaking from bravado, either, because I’ve stopped watching the stats and numbers I used to track with breathless enthusiasm. Yet I’m still here.

See how that works?

So if you’ve noticed today’s theme is about ditching the schedule to follow your bliss, that would be correct.

On a similar note,  my post last week on Writer Unboxed was about making a Writer’s Emergency Hope Kit.

When we’re most stressed, we’re least likely to be mindful and recall the simple things that give us joy, contentment, hope. This post was geared towards writing, but it’s applicable to all career paths and to life in general. If you’re looking for a mental-health tool, check it out.

This Product Prevents Literary Wedgies. Good for Multiple Uses.

What have you done this week to cultivate delight? What will you do this weekend? Do you let yourself abandon longstanding plans to pursue interesting avenues, or would that mess with your mind? 

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19 thoughts on “Dare to be Delighted (and Writer Unboxed Redirect)

  1. Glad you had such a great day, Jan. Also a perfect week for me to have this post to respond to. My first example is not exactly ‘following my bliss’, but it is about following my gut, not such a bad thing either.

    The day before yesterday I had a testy email exchange with someone and after clicking Send on my final email I had this sudden thought that I wasn’t helping anything by my last statements, except to prove to myself that I was right. Before I could rethink it, I picked up the phone and called the person, told him to ignore the last email and ended up having a good, productive discussion that cleared the air. Made me feel so much better than just being right!

    Yesterday, I wrote a blog post because I really wanted to! These moments of blog post compulsion are few and far between for me, but this one was effortless to write and gave me a great feeling of satisfaction.

    1. I wonder what would happen if we acted more from that place of pure knowing. Could be a scary world if certain people were in power I suppose. 🙂

      So smart to reach out like that by phone, Deborah. Email *seems* like a safer medium sometimes because it allows for space and time to reflect, but I’ve had grave misunderstandings over tone. Phone calls or in-person contact can be critical when the relationship’s struggling.

      Woot for effortless blog posts! Maybe you have many more.

  2. Great job on trusting your gut and seeking the connection for the interview. Laughed about the equine erotia possibilities. Wow, on the oatmeal. Eleven cents a meal, and for something so good for you, too!

    And I’m so with you on not blogging to fill a schedule. As you know, I came to blogging pretty late in my writerly journey. I’d heard a lot of advise, including a lot of ‘you must have a schedule/do a certain # of posts per week’ etc. I chose to ignore it. Because I ignored, I kept my expectations low. I am enjoying it, too. And I’m always amazed and honored by the response.

    Tartitude is an inspiration. I’ll take whatever you dish (even oatmeal), whenever the urge strikes, and be grateful, Jan! 🙂

    1. Doesn’t that $0.11 a serving say a lot about our food industry? I’m always amazed at the economics and politics of food.


      You’re smart to enter blogging on your terms, Vaughn. I don’t regret anything I’ve done, because it’s all been necessary to determine what I believe and what I’m able to do–a work in progress, obviously. That said, I’ve found the dominant voices advocate a schedule and are hard to resist. (More on that later, though. I hope to address this in a post.) Kudos to you for knowing what’s right for you.

      ETA: Of course, I’m not saying one shouldn’t take their readership’s preferences into consideration. That’s a given. Just that it’s rather like that sexist saying about families: “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

  3. Sex with centaurs? Wha- what?! You and Vaughn are both trying hard to get me to wear my coffee today, but you have kept the literary wedgies at bay– so it’s a good trade. Ahhh, bliss. Great stuff, good medicine. Take 1 (or 5 or 1000) and call me happy. We are sooo productive when we’re happy, too. It’s a win-win. Thank you for a lovely start to the weekend.

  4. Good for you, Jan, going with our instincts is usually a great idea, and I’m glad you enjoyed your day!

    I’ve taken time off everything to enjoy a “sister week” – 4 sisters (the fifth couldn’t make it, and we really missed her!), dinners out, coffee + time in hot-tub = an awesome gabfest! It was awesome; memories I’ll treasure forever!

    Today is back to packing for moving day (a month away) and back to writing, feeling much refreshed! Have a great weekend, Jan! ~ Julie 🙂

    1. I think it’s important to set aside not-writing time and enjoy it, with nary a whisper of guilt to spoil the fun. A sister-week would definitely qualify.

      Good luck with the packing! Wishing you many words and a happy, productive weekend.

  5. Bonus if you encounter a magical horse…you have a not so magical alternative to offer. “It’s me or the oats, Pal…”

    (So glad you haven’t kicked me off you email list. Although I have been getting duplicates lately.)

    Tonight I’m finishing the rewrite on my screenplay so I can post it on Stage32.com, a social networking site for filmmakers. The people who have read it so far seemed to enjoy it–and I interrogated them thoroughly to prove it. I think you’ll like the title: Mating With Humans. It was a lot of fun to write and imagine as a movie. I think the motivation for my writing is how much it entertains me. Being able to entertain others is the icing on the cake…the powdered sugar on the oats, perhaps?

    1. “It’s me or the oats, Pal…”

      According to conventional wisdom, one shouldn’t offer him a choice.

      Yeah, I went there. 😀 Ba-da-bum.

      Phyllis, I love the title of your play and I’m sure it’s witty and unconventional. Hope it goes well.

      Re the duplicate posts: Yes, I can see you listed twice in my list–one subscription brought over from my old place, one when you signed up here, both through the same email address. It doesn’t look like I can delete one. Would suggest you unsubscribe through the option on one copy. I’m not sure if that will undo them both, though, so if you want to remain hooked in here, perhaps you can check back in 10 days or so if you haven’t heard anything.

      Make sense?

  6. I’m with you on not being so concerned with finding an audience for the blog thing. I’ve been blogging two years and am finally deciding that it’s something I really can’t (and shouldn’t) worry about. I have to admit all the posts I’ve read that basically give the okay to not be a wildly successful blogger have been incredibly welcome considering I wasn’t really achieving stellar success, anyway!

    1. Lara, I think I have an idea that would do well in the blogosphere–at least vanity says that’s true. But I’ve seen what it takes to get to that level, and I think it’s more than most writers can sustain while they’re managing everything else, at least for the long haul.

      As you say, too, blogging excellence doesn’t necessarily translate into sales, particularly for fiction writers. Convenient to know that, yes? 🙂

  7. Sometimes I have to schedule the bliss. Today I hiked with a friend along to Bow River near Bowness. Then we walked the streets along the river and dreamed of building a place right there on the Bow. Lots available $800,000. Until I sell a million copies of Death at Bandit Creek, I will be staying put.

    Then I came home and effortless wrote 500 words. The point is that I need the bliss to be creative. When I set my 3 main goals for the week, hiking in Bowness was #3. So mission accomplished.

    Love your blog, Jan. Its always food for thought.

    1. Amy Jo, I’ve always known I work better when I’m content, but I’m reading a book on brain function that spells out quantitatively how much of a difference mood makes to creativity. It’s rather staggering. (That’s not to say one can’t or shouldn’t write when they are down, because sometimes the mindfulness involved in writing brings on a mood change, of course, not to mention that people must eat. 🙂 )

      That’s a long way of saying you’re smart to schedule in your bliss!

      Thank you for the high compliment, chica. Most appreciated.

  8. I forgot to put steel cut oats on the grocery list for this morning!

    Aside from that, I’ve also had a blissful day. It involved listening to an audio book in the sunshine, watching a Monarch butterfly hatch with my kids, and taking a much-needed nap. Good day!

    Now, if I could just let go of those audience obsessions . . . I’m going to learn from you, Jan.

    1. That sounds *wonderful*. I’ve never managed to see a butterfly hatch. Tent caterpillar moths, yes, which still felt plenty miraculous.

      As for audience obsessions, I suspect it’s one of those things a person has to burn out on at their own pace, never mind what others advise. (If you’re incredibly stubborn like me, it might take longer than the year I’m told that works for most people.)

  9. Believe me, Jan, having sex with centaur is way, way down on my list of things to do. I try not to even think about how that would work. I’m betting you thought people would skip right over that part and get to the meat of your post, lol.

    I’m a lucky guy. I make very few plans, but I do try to be nice to everybody– well, most people.

    Those oats sound like something that might perk me up!

    Great post, beautiful!

    1. So you’re saying I need to hand out brain bleach with my posts now, are you, Dannie? 😉 LOL. Maybe it’s part of the 50 Shades phenomenon that people are so lighthearted when talking about sex lately. Maybe it’s the circles where I hang out.

      The ToolMaster has your philosophy about life, and he’s generally a very content guy. There’s a lot to be said for being a Type B!

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