Writing

A Few Discoveries That Changed My Life

I’m a scaredy cat.

My first response to anything new or challenging (I’m talking creating a new website to going to the dentist) is, “I just can’t do it!” And even though I’ve usually done the thing before, and my dentist is a really nice guy, I freeze.

For 25 years (yes 25) I tried to write a memoir. In my mid twenties I held creativity parties, gathering friends in my living room. One girl brought her feathers and did an indigenous dance. This was way before I was into such things but I still clapped politely as the sound of her rattle finally died down. Others sang or brought drawings. I was the only writer.

I enrolled in two different college programs, filling at least 30 journals and creating numerous Word documents entitled, The Book.

As part of me was trying, another part was freaking out! I always gave up. For one thing, I had no idea how to write a book despite my growing collection of how to books. And I hated the feeling of fear and anxiety it brought up – like something tearing through my upper belly and squeezing my heart tight. Who wants that?

In 2016, my friend Tanya and I were leading a book group and I realized I had to write the book! It came to me somewhere between Think and Grow Rich for Women by Sharon Lechter and Big Magic by Liz Gilbert. As luck (what I call the universe) would have it, Tanya is an editor, so I hired her. I was finally going to write the great American/Brazilian memoir.

My first big discovery – I can get help from a living, breathing person that knows what they are doing. Then came the second big discovery, “Just write 20 minutes a day.”  It occurred to me that I could set a timer for a small, manageable amount of time. And twenty minutes a day got the book written.

Want to do something big in your life?

  • Get support! Like from a human, someone who cares about you
  • Set a timer for 20 minutes. Some days 20 minutes is torture, other days I’m in the flow and write (or clean, or walk, or meditate) for longer. I now use the 20 minute rule and my timer for just about everything.

P.S. After starting this post I made the dreaded appointment to see Dr. Gold.

“I’ve been having a sharp pain in this tooth,” I said, pointing to the lower left side of my mouth.

“How long does it last?” He asked.

“Not long. But the tooth stays sore for a little while.” I didn’t tell him I douse it with essential oil because Doctors give me a funny look when I start that stuff.

“Okay.” His smile grew bigger. “Here’s what we need to do. I’m going to put a bite plate in your mouth and you’ll bite down repeatedly to create the pain response. Then I can pin point what’s going on.”

I thought I misheard him. His expression, that smile, was saying, Good news! I’ve never seen such perfect teeth. 

“Wait, do you mean I have to bite down so I can feel the pain over and over again?”

Sandy 🙂

Now he’s looking a bit sheepish cause he knows I’m on to him, “Well, yeah.”

I glanced over at my hygienist. I confessed to her, as she was cleaning my teeth earlier, how I had put this off. “See? See what I mean Sandy? This is why I avoid coming here!”

What are you aching to do in your life? Who can support you? And which timer app will you use?

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