Family, Power, Reflections, Writing

Chow Mein for Breakfast

I’m alone—in a quiet house—today, so I ate leftover chow mein for breakfast. That’s the sort of wild and crazy thing I do when left to my own devices. My youngest son, Daniel, is visiting from Nebraska and took some of the family to the Cincinnati Reds game in Oakland today. I stayed home to care for the dogs.

connect_heartNo next novel in production, yet, but I may get my brain in gear to revise a short story today. Otherwise, I’ll probably read the afternoon away. I’ve surprised myself by reading seven novels since I wrapped up An Illusion of Trust. For me, since I started writing seriously, that qualifies as binge-reading.

Maybe soon I’ll be able to shut the doors, insert the earplugs, and binge-write. I’ve been a little nervous that one of my novel ideas hasn’t taken me captive. But now I’m trying not to listen when the dark side whispers, “Does that mean none of your story ideas is worthy?” I’m trying hard not to take my Muse’s silence as a sign that I shouldn’t write at all. I’m trying to keep my distance from that perfection trap.

I wish I could remember where I saw the link to Brené Brown’s TED talk, which I’ve linked to below, but I thank, thank, thank whoever posted that so I could find it—and watch it over and over. I’m learning to have the courage to be vulnerable. I’m learning the difference between shame and guilt. I’m learning to accept my short-comings and still feel worthy. I’m doing this because I want to connect to life wholeheartedly.

More than anything, I seek connection through my writing. But as an author, just as in my real life, I allow my fears to restrain me. I write from my heart, but I don’t write wholeheartedly. I let my perfectionism steal that from me. Maybe when I learn these lessons, I’ll be free to write another novel.

Also read: Knowing that my friend, author Michelle D. Argyle, struggles with some of the same issues, I shared the link with her. Brené’s talk inspired her to blog about The Price of Perfection.

How are you living wholeheartedly?


8 thoughts on “Chow Mein for Breakfast”

  1. Well, now you’ve gone and put me in the mood for Chow Mein! lol. I haven’t had it in years!

    I love what you’re doing, what you’re striving for. Good for you. I think it’s the most important thing we can do–live wholeheartedly (as often as we can). Good luck with it and with the revision and with the beginnign a new novel! You have a lot ahead of you!


  2. Writing seems to have a timing of its own. I’m a bit stuck on my next novel right now. So I’m going to Alberta to spend time with my grandchildren. It will be fun and I’m sure I’ll come back inspired. I think you should eat whatever you darn well want for breakfast, anytime. I’ve had cold pizza for breakfast and enjoyed every bite!!


  3. Hmmm, I can identify. Could use a little less blogging and reviewing, and spend more time binge writing. But, I go in spurts — I can be totally engaged when I have something I believe. Excellent video — watched the entire thing. She made some interesting points about connections, some things I hadn’t heard put in that manner. Hope others watch it.


  4. As a fan of yours, I do hope you never stop writing, even if it takes awhile to begin another book. I’ve read so much this year, and honestly, I’ve seen it help my writing, when I thought it would take away from it because it takes up a lot of time. Happily, it’s the opposite! Today is Saturday, which means, like every Saturday for the past 6 months, I put down all my writing and pick up a book for the next two days even though I’m dying (and I MEAN DYING) to write more on my novel because I’ve finally hit a groove. I think in the past I would have been afraid to lose that groove if I took two days off in the middle of it, but now I’m not, and I think it’s because I’ve learned to trust that my muse is better at working with me if I feel creative and energized. Only regular breaks will do that for me.

    Anyway, sorry to ramble on and on. My point is that I hope you trust your muse to work with you again when you feel truly ready. I’ve wanted to seriously work on this book of mine since March, but it hasn’t really happened until now, the end of June. It was worth the wait. 🙂


    1. I saw your status update on FB, Michelle. I’m happy you’re writing again and have so many new ideas waiting. 🙂 It made me excited to think that might happen to me again soon.

      On Wednesday, when I was alone in the house all day, I wrote a blog post and revised a short (adding 500 words) and it felt great. I think I need more quiet time—literally. So, yes. I’ll wait on my Muse and trust that she’ll come up with something awesome!


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