30 DAYS FEATURED - K & C

30 Days of Writing: Write Yourself Alive

Andrea Balt (Creative Rehab | Rebelle Society) and I (Kale & Cigarettes) are organizing a challenge – 30 Days of Writing!

Simply put, if we don’t start writing more we are going to rot inside and die having left thousands of words unwritten and unlived. We want to write them out before that happens and try making a priority of our writing for the next 30 days.

Challenges are fun and we can all hold each other accountable. So let’s get straight to the point.

Here are the rules we’ve come up with. Join us!

*Written by Andrea…(lengthier version here)*

Drumroll…

30 Days of Writing!

Yes. 30 Days of Writing. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…30.

If you’re not an everyday writer, this will definitely kick your writerly ass.

If you are, this will add a twist to your regular writing routine and help you get more deeply into the practice.

The Challenge: Write for 30 days, first thing when you wake up in the morning, from 1 to 3 hours.

 

Why first thing? Two reasons…

1. The way you start your day determines not just the outcome but also the journey. If you start your day with to-dos that — although necessary for survival — aren’t your top priority, the rest of your day will be determined by more to-dos. Think of the first hours of your day as a compass. The way you spend them marks your North.

When you start your day with honoring your superpowers you surrender to your highest, truest self and get back the reigns over your life. Who knows what miracles will be born out of this?

2. Because a life priority (a.k.a. your passion — whether this is writing or if it comes as a result of this written self-discovery) should be put in the first place or it will never get done and the overall quality of your work will suffer. 

What we ask of you and of ourselves here to have a little faith and trust that if you wait a few hours to check your email, get started with the daily work, talk to your partner or house mates (cats & dogs don’t count), or turn on the radio, TV, news and other daily noise — and instead, you try to put your self-discovery and self-expression in the first place, you’ll give your creativity permission to take over your day, and as a result, experience a deeper satisfaction with your life, no matter the circumstances.

As Thoreau realized,

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. 

Depending on your (always busy) schedule, you may think you don’t have the time for this treat  – and you may even be right. So make it. Wake up an hour earlier, whatever it takes, make any arrangement necessary with your self and life companions, so that for the next 30 days, you can get at least 1 hour of uninterrupted time with yourself and practice your writing.

Don’t wait for the stars to align and magically offer you this extra time. That’s never going to happen. Time can’t come on its own — because, actually, you are that time. Your stars are anxiously waiting for you to align them. You lead your way into your Renaissance.

Why you should do this even if you’re not technically a “Writer:”

Because see, deep down, you are. You are a story-teller. You tell your story to yourself and to the world, and write your truth every day, on this piece of reality you’ve been given for a short period of time.

Putting your truth into words will expand your understanding of yourself and your journey, and it will at least help you figure out what your deeper story is — whether it’s through journaling, or an article you never have time for, or that unfinished novel gathering dust in your head, or a memoir, or that book that you have always known, deep down, you have to write. You can write anything about everything, the point is… just write.

And this applies to closeted writers, as well. If you’ve always wanted to write and never found the right time or circumstances, or whatever else you thought you needed, take this as a sign that you must do it now. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how late it is. If you can read this, it’s obviously not too late. In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert,

Writing is not like dancing or modeling; it’s not something where – if you missed it by age 19 – you’re finished. It’s never too late. Your writing will only get better as you get older and wiser. If you write something beautiful and important, and the right person somehow discovers it, they will clear room for you on the bookshelves of the world – at any age. At least try.

Rules of the Game:  

- I don’t fucking care what else you have to do. You’ll soon be dead and your worries and long to-do lists won’t matter then. You need to write first thing in the morning. Period. Your true life depends on it. If you must get up earlier to do this, then get up earlier. I know I have to. But instead of a duty, now it’s an adventure and it gives me joy. You can pull one hour a day out of all your other distractions. If  in order to do this, you need to sacrifice something else that isn’t a priority, then do it.

- Writing time: 1-3 hours. 3 hours is the ideal amount of time to make you see a major change in 30 days. But for most people, it can’t be all or nothing and in many cases your current circumstances won’t allow it, as hard as you may try. So do what you can with what you have, right here and now. Martin Luther King Jr. just texted me to say:

If you can’t fly — run, if you can’t run — walk, if you can’t walk — crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.

Translation: If you can’t do 3 hours a day, do 2,5. If you can’t do 2,5, do 2. If you can’t do 2, do 1,5. If you can’t do 1,5, do 1. But don’t you dare convince yourself that you don’t have 1 hour a day to dedicate to your self-expression and the recovery of your creativity. I don’t believe you. Even if you feel it’s impossible, it’s not.

Don’t say you don’t have time. Time is all you really have. Every-thing else will disappear. You’re not supposed to find the time, you’re supposed to create it.

- It has to be first thing in the morning (not at night or during the day), because in this experiment we’ll measure how the realignment with our priorities affects our life for the better and helps us evolve.

- The only thing you’re allowed to do BEFORE you “sit at your typewriter and bleed” is your physical morning routine: drink water, poo, go for a walk, exercise, shower, have your tea, coffee, breakfast, whatever your body needs to function.

- What you can’t do: Don’t check your email or social media, don’t make or answer phone calls, don’t engage in any conversation beyond a sweet good-morning to your life companion/s (if any) — until your morning writing routine has been completed. FOCUS 100% on making this happen without any interruptions or distractions.

- It can be ANY type of writing, but it has to give you pleasure: your current unfinished manuscript — or start a new one, a blog post, an article, poetry, fiction or just journaling to figure yourself out — any type of writing that gives you satisfaction and calls forth your creativity, and helps you forget time, and makes you a better writer. You can also alternate the writing genre or project, from one day to another. If you already work with words, this time is not about catching up with work, but about catching up with your pleasure.

- Stay in touch via social media / email / etc. and document your progress with status updates, silly pictures, jokes, self-quotes, realizations, musings, tips, suggestions, epiphanies, whatever you feel like sharing. The point of this is: Community & Accountability. Community keeps you engaged and cheers you up. Accountability keeps you from falling off track. Someone is out there doing the same thing as you…and it matters.

Use these hashtags — so we can find each other and exchange a supportive smile — on FacebookTwitter & Instagram mostly:

#30daysofwriting

#writeeverydamnday

#writeyourselfalive

 

Variables of the Experiment:

This is soul science, baby. And as with any other creative experiment fueled by passion, we’ll be measuring some mind-body-heart factors here, or did you think this was just for the fun? During these 30 days, try to be more sensitive and observant of your whole person in all your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social dimensions — and check on the following:

- Your level of satisfaction with life, your mood and level of energy throughout the day. Does it increase your hope, optimism and belief in your dreams and talents? Does it make you more open to your own creative possibilities? Does it make you feel like you’re being reborn – or taking baby steps into your own Renaissance?

- How this morning exercise affects the rest of your day – that is, putting your self-expression, self-discovery and creation first. How does it make you feel about the remaining tasks you have to perform throughout the day — even the most dreaded ones? Does it make you handle the worst, better?

- What type of physiological effect it has on you. Our mind and heart and soul may extend beyond our body, but they are married to the body in sickness and in health, til death do us all together; and every single thought or feeling triggers a physical reaction. We may not know how to identify this because most of us haven’t been trained or educated to pay attention to our mind-body-heart interaction, but once we tune in to our body, we’ll begin to hear its whispers.

- How much your productivity increases. When your heart is nourished and satisfied, it doesn’t call for distraction. When the life you imagine becomes the life you are living, you don’t need to waste time talking about other people’s lives or watching them on TV. You begin to be interested in your own adventure and discuss ideas, instead of people or things.

So measure what you get done. Does this practice make you waste less time and manage your remaining hours better? Does it help you advance in your creative projects? Do you feel like you’re moving forward? This goes hand in hand with your self-satisfaction.

- If it triggers new ideas and opens new doors inside & outside of you. There are doors that can’t be opened unless you: A) Knock, and B) Invite yourself in. Within the infinite field of creative possibility, one door leads to another door. And when your world expands, it does it as a whole — your reignited creativity will light up the whole house, not just one room. So, can you hear your cells multiplying and your aliveness catching fire and expanding in ways you never thought you could?

The Hypothesis of this Experiment:

Your Purpose = Your Passion. That your passion is the language through which your purpose communicates with yourself and the world. That your only mission in life is discovering, nurturing and practicing this passion at all costs. That by making a priority out of your passion instead of merely an option, and surrendering to your purpose in the hands of that wise old universe that imagined you into existence, little by little, you’ll create the life your heart wants, and needs and must become.

Soul fuel to get you through the 30 days:

We’re screwed without inspiration, right? Thank god we’re not alone. It’s the most contagious diseases and the one virus you absolutely need to catch and hopefully die from — only to your smaller limited self — and be reborn into a hotter, wiser, cooler, phoenix version.

For added soul fuel, here are some short articles containing Tips & Tricks & Wisdom Bites from writers and for writers. In addition to these resources, we’ll be posting juicy tips, articles & bonuses weekly, to keep us motivated.

Additional, recommended reading for this adventure — the modern classic, an inspiring must-read and unputdownable Creator’s “Bible” – The War of Art by Steven Pressfield:

the-war-of-art - steven pressfield

 

Also, some extra mind snacks to put on your desktop:

Ernest Hemingway

ray bradbury on writing

Join us!

 

30 Days of Writing - Join us!

When?

The challenge starts on Monday, February 24th, 2014 and ends 30 days later, on Tuesday — March 25th, 2014. But you can hit Play and Repeat any time. 

Where?

Planet Earth, Your City, Your Home, Your Computer / Laptop / Notepad / Journal, Your Fingers, Your Heart, Your Story.

How?

This is a FREE open-house 30-days challenge. You don’t have to sign up anywhere or pay anything in order to participate. We’ll be posting daily updates about our own journey via Social Media, to hold each other accountable and stay connected. We hope you join us and share your journey with us through your own updates. You can stay connected with us via Facebook (Here & Here), Twitter (Here & Here) & Instagram (Here & Here) for daily nuggets, shoutouts, fun & inspiration.

You can also use the following hashtags in your social media posts. We’ll be checking,  updating & replying on these topics daily. Bookmark them & join the conversation.

Bonus Giveaway

In addition to your/our personal growth and self discovery through this self-experiment — we’re offering a juicy giveaway to close our magic 30 days. Stay tuned for more details coming next week.

Remember this: 

Stephen King - Writing Quotes

And this:  

d2dd220b78bcd31b8445b8fd0bb38969

So chill out and…

keep calm it's only a draft

 

Monday, February 24, 2014.

We have a date. Don’t bail.

We know where your heart lives.

 30 Days of Writing - small - centered

 

{GIVE US A SHOUTOUT ON FACEBOOK: KALE & CIGARETTES + CREATIVE REHAB}

 

Spread the word!

    5 Comments

    1. February 24, 2014

      Day 1 was inspiring.

      Reply
      • kirk hensler
        February 24, 2014

        agreed! good start :)

        Reply
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