Sunday is realistically the only day of the week I have to slow down.

It's often my slowest writing day, too. Sometimes, I don't write a single word, but I'm always thinking about the story in my head, writing in my mind. Those words rarely make it onto paper because I'm busy doing other things while daydreaming about what my characters are doing at that moment.

It used to cause me incredible anxiety to think about my story and not be actively working on it. Anxiety and creative brains go hand and hand, but that's a post for another day. It took me many years to realize that just because I'm daydreaming about my story doesn't mean I have to drop everything and hurry to get those thoughts down. I don't have to feel anxious about it. I don't have to feel like I'm not working hard enough.

You know why? Because I spent so many hours rushing to "work" and get the thoughts in my head onto my computer screen, but they were often the wrong words.

Incomplete thoughts. Strings of action with no direction. Nonsense that I'd just spent many anxious hours trying to pound into my keyboard.

My brain was trying to tell me something, and instead of listening and letting it percolate, I tried to beat the information out of my head. I wasn't relaxing into the creative flow. I was fighting it.

When we relax, our brains often come up with the magic all on their own. In bits and waves. Spurts and pieces. And I found that the longer I busied myself with other things-- calming or purposeful things-- the better and better the ideas became and the easier they flowed.

I no longer worry about scrambling to force words on the weekends. The weekends are my time to do other things, slower things, and simply let the ideas churn and bake. At the end of the day, the good ideas/thoughts/character conversations get jotted down in a notebook on my kitchen table.

My Slow = Snowshoes On

It was in the 30's on Sunday. Too warm for this time of year to NOT get outside.

Nothing calms my anxious writer brain like being outdoors. And since it's not the time of year for me to long-distance hike as I'd prefer, I make do with 1-2 miles on my snowshoes around our property and the surrounding fields.

I grew up in the deep Northwoods, miles from the nearest town. As a kid, one of my favorite things to do with my mother was walk after a snowfall and look for animal tracks. I still enjoy that, but also, seeing how the snow decorates everything around it.

We've got deer, fox, ermine, coyotes and wolves on our property, but make no mistake, these woods belong to Stark! Until there's a loud noise in the woods, or leaves flutter too fast, or something crunches in the snow and sends him running back to the house. Some protector, huh?

We'd just heard the hoot of a barred owl close by, and he was thinking if he should stay, or go.

Yeah, go it is.

Stark and I like to go a mile or two before coming in. And then I bake something. If you're a newsletter subscriber, you're no stranger to the recipes at the end of each newsletter. Those usually come about on a Sunday. And since I'm the only person in my house who eats anything, I'm usually stuffing my face until it's all gone!

Dark chocolate, orange and cranberry oat muffins.

I slightly modified this amazing recipe from Calico and Twine

I used gluten free oat flour with an added 1tsp of xanthum gum as a binder. I also added gluten free dark chocolate chunks.

They are delicate and rich with a full aftertaste of dark chocolate. And they didn't last long.

Nothing quiets the mind like sugar, am I right?

Er, well, you know what I mean!


Deep breath.

Get outside. Eat something decadent. Breathe.

And get a dog that will actually protect you from things, like these scary bits of bark dancing on the breeze.

How do you slow down?

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