As I move through life, I frequently make minor adjustments to better enable my wellbeing and happiness. When I was in my 20s I learned that the myth of the tortured artist was just that – a myth. I write and create much better when I’m happy.
That being said, my body’s first reaction to just about anything is to stress out. Mentally, I’m much better about this. Physically, I can tell that my body just gets stressed out easily.
I recently read an article by an internal medicine doctor about how being in ketosis can stress out your body. (I’ve read more than one article along the same lines, actually.) One of the other things that everyone seems to agree on (myself included) that if you’re in perimenopause and in ketosis, that you need to carb cycle, that is, take yourself out of ketosis at least once a month, if not more.
This article finally related the one with the other – ketosis puts your body into some level of stress. So does perimenopause. So does intermittent fasting. And so does exercise. And dieting. And you need to destress yourself regularly by taking in more carbs.
Guess what? I’m doing all of the above at the same time. There’s a reason why I’ve been feeling as though my body is constantly stressed out.
I have been deliberately taking myself out of ketosis once a week. We go for sushi Wednesday nights. I’m getting good fatty fish, seaweed, and rice. It’s a high carb meal once a week, takes me out of ketosis and resets everything. Frequently I get a glass of wine as well, though not so much as I’ve been dieting. (I’m looking forward to that again.)
So what change am I making? I’m adding coconut milk back to my tea in the mornings. Not a lot. Just a tablespoon or so. But that breaks the intermittent fasting. Instead of not eating from 8 PM to about noon every day, I’m having a few calories first thing in the morning. I’m not eating breakfast – I really don’t like doing that anymore. But a little bit of coconut milk in my tea first thing in the morning will hopefully get my body a little less stressed out.
Minor adjustment. Hopefully big rewards.
The other change that I’ve made concerns the writing process. This novel kind of makes me crazy. I haven’t been making my word count at all. And it isn’t because I’ve been sick. I just can’t write this novel fast.
What happens: I write a scene. I may write that scene very quickly. I get to the end of the scene and….I stop. I need to figure out what the next scene is, think it through. The times when I’ve forced myself to just keep writing have ALL turned out badly. Either I write the wrong scene next or I end up throwing out everything I’ve done and rewriting it.
I’ve tried planning out more than one scene in advance, but my brain really doesn’t work that way. It’s being very slow and methodical and wants to discover each and every scene on its own.
Before this novel, my process has been: write 1000-1500 words (or more) the first hour. Take a long break, go for a walk, etc. Come back, dive into the writing, generally do 1500-2000 in an hour, basically, finish off what I need to do in order to have 3000 words. Go to lunch.
I cannot do that with this novel. So I’ve had to cut out the long break/walk with my sweetie. Instead, I write a scene. Take a short five minute stretching break. Maybe walk around the exterior of the tiny house. Then sit back down and plot out the next scene. Write the next scene. Repeat.
Doing this, my best day so far has been 2800 words. Typically, though, I’m getting 2000 or less.
I’m at 17K right now. I figure I’m just about to the end of act one, where people the main character cares about are all under suspicion of the murder, and something else even WORSE has happened. (Seriously makes me giggle.) I’m guessing that act two will also be about 20K, then act three will be about 10K. We’ll see if I’m right, but that’s what my gut is telling me currently.
Hopefully the writing of this novel will speed up at some point. Otherwise, I am likely to bitch more about it. (^_^)
So what project have you recently started that’s gone completely sideways on you? Doesn’t have to be writing related.