Monday, December 13, 2010

I've Moved! Please Come to My New Site!!

Hurry to the new location, and sign up again (or for the first time) to follow or subscribe.

It's still the Boldness Blog. And I'm still an "Anxious Writer Attempting An Adventurous Life."

The address is I'm eagerly awaiting your arrival.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Live It Up!

Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.
-- Wendy Wasserstein

quoted at She Writes

(I also think one can stay in and do something remarkable.)

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vivid Reminders to Live Boldly

These trees are across the street from my office. Fall color can be an irresistible reminder to dare to live with one's innate flair.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

After Four Years of Procrastination ....

Last week I committed myself here on this very blog to finish by last night a project that has been sitting on my desk at home for four years. This job was to go through the thousands of slides and negatives and B&W prints from the years when I was doing a great deal of travel writing. And to sort, cull, and properly store the ones I want to keep.


And only because I staked myself out here publicly.

If I hadn't made a public commitment, I'd have put it off once again. Once I got going it probably took five hours, spread out over two days. Could have done it years ago. But I've finally done it and I'm thrilled.

I highly recommend a public commitment for anything you want to get done. Care to make yourself a promise today? Feel free to do it here.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Funny Thing about Procrastination

Thursday morning, I started working on a little project that has been sitting unfinished on my desk at home for FOUR YEARS!!!!

The wee task is culling and properly storing the photos I took in the many years when I was doing a lot of travel writing. They have been sitting in little yellow boxes and ancient plastic slide sheets in a blue steamer trunk. The trunk was full. Thousands of pictures of places I've been: Jerusalem, Krakov, Quito, Kerala, Chapel Hill...

In the late fall of 2006, I realized that, if I wanted to keep any of them, they would have to be put in archival plastic sheets, not the kind that stick to the emulsion.

And so I began.

You might think that this would be a very pleasant project, and it is, but just too large, and such an interruption of my precious reading-and-crossword-puzzles leisure time. Also there's the enormous number of slides, all reminding me of a moment, and each one requiring a decision: keep or toss. Toss? Keep.

So I allowed myself to be distracted by a teaching assignment. Now, almost exactly four years later, I'm back to the slides again, and determined to finish. I'm only a couple of inches from the bottom of the trunk.

What I discovered was that I could have finished what was left of this project in one weekend, and done it long ago.

I can probably wrap it up now in three or four nostalgic hours. The feeling of actually getting close to the end is wonderful.

This phenomenon was well-described in a recent Daily Om message. Here's how it begins:

"Most of us have had the experience of tackling some dreaded task only to come out the other side feeling invigorated, filled with a new sense of confidence and strength. The funny thing is, most of the time when we do them, we come out on the other side changed and often wondering what we were so worried about or why it took us so long. We may even begin to look for other tasks we’ve been avoiding so that we can feel that same heady mix of excitement and completion."

I can't say that I'm currently hunting other stale mega-projects to tackle, but maybe when the last slide goes to its permanent home. Then I'll see the amount of space in the room and exult. I wouldn't be at all surprised.

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Bold Bonus Life: House-sitting

I had no idea that house-sitting was an industry.

In August, when I enjoyed a three-week bonus life as a "a New York writer," I was staying in a studio of a daughter of a friend of a friend. It was an informal arrangement. And I was thrilled to get the chance to do it.

House-sitting is good way to work in an extra life in a different state or country. Or even in the same town.

This week, when a friend mentioned that his college student daughter was certified as a sitter and also had nanny skills, I learned that there is more to it than I brought to the job. And that some folks make it a way of life.

Therefore there are tips, referral agencies, policies, standards,and such. If you're looking for an extra life "sitting" somewhere, a good starting point is this job description of house-sitting. BTW, this is Bold Bonus Life Tip #8.

Apparently, when I killed one of Manhattan homeowner Audrey Hepburn's plants, I should have been bonded.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Not Feeling Like Writing

In the last couple of months, I haven't been at all in the mood to write. And I've taken some time away from it.

However this week and last week, I did it anyway, which is more typically my strategy.

But I did it quickly, without looking back, without being very impressed, without much giving a damn.

Then in my regular feedback group today, I read the last week's worth. (I hadn't so much as looked it over since tapping out the rough draft.)

They liked it.

They thought it worked.

Intellectually I know that working with a light touch (not caring very much) can be very effective. The writing usually doesn't sound labored, trying-too-hard.

But in the moment, writing while you don't give a damn doesn't feel like a good strategy. Not all that much fun either.

Nonetheless. I'll be at it again tomorrow.

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