Mile 21 - BE GOOD TO YOURSELF (AND OTHERS)
Again, I'm pushing the edge of what's a writing rule vs. a life rule. But if you strongly believe that writing is life, then they are one and the same.
I've got five rules I encourage you to follow:
1) Get enough sleep
2) Eat right
4) Love yourself
5) Love others
Now you'll think I'm trying to be some cross between your doctor and your priest, but trust me when I tell you all these rules make sense and are for your own benefit. These rules will make you happier and more productive as a writer. (Note I'm promising productive, not successful--that's between you and Lady Luck, I'm afraid. And I'm not her.)
Also, I must admit that I fail at these rules all the time--some more than others.
1) GET ENOUGH SLEEP
I confess to everyone reading that I suck at this rule. I'm a "burn the candle at the both ends" kind of girl. Or, since I'm a medical woman, perhaps I should say I'm a "squeeze the adrenals from both ends" kind of person.
A lack of sleep makes me crabby, less efficient, and just plain tired. I need to get better at this on a consistent basis, not just when I'm exhausted from only getting 5-6 hours a night for a week. Now maybe that's enough for some, but it's not enough for me!
2) EAT RIGHT
Don't worry. I'm not going to hype up one of the latest eating fads. I'm old enough to remember when carbs were our savior, and now they're the devil.
I don't need to tell you exactly how to eat--we're all adults here, right? More or less? Just eat right. That's all I'm going to say to you.
I know I already harped on you during Mile 11 that the benefits of exercise are too numerous to count. So just put away your computer, get out of your chair, and go outside and play! (After you finish reading this first, of course...)
4) LOVE YOURSELF
This isn't always easy, except for the egotistical (you know who you are). I don't care what anyone else has told you, if what they said was mean. Who cares what their opinion is? I'm writing this blog, not them, so listen up. I'm here to tell you that you matter. You belong. You're important. It's up to you to figure out why and where and what you're meant to do. But be kind to yourself, even if others are not. And if your friends are mean to you, then get yourself some better friends. The same thing goes if your girlfriend or boyfriend is mean to you. DUMP THEM! There is somebody better out there, just waiting for you. Maybe it will take awhile to find them. Maybe it will take years. Maybe, God forbid, you never find them--is it really better to stay with someone who tears you down instead of building you up? NO! It's not. So cut away the bad parts of your life, like you'd cut away the bad parts of an apple. Do it now. I mean it.
See? This puppy loves you!
And love yourself, even when the rejections come in (and they will--unless you're Stephanie Meyer, of course-haha).
5) LOVE OTHERS
Whether you're religious or not, this is still a good thing. Volunteer, help the elderly cross the road, or just plain be nice to the checkout girl at the grocery store. They're people, too. With feelings. Don't ruin their day.
Just be a good boy or girl.
Play nice, why don't you?
And remember (I'll borrow the wisdom of the Desiderata poem again):
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.