In Search of Clarity

November 8, 2011

Clarity Definition from

We do some pretty strange things in the pursuit of writing success. We sit in the same spot for hours, ignoring our friends and family but listening intently to imaginary people. We blog and tweet, which is sort of like talking to ourselves and hoping someone is listening. We subject ourselves to brutal rejection time and time again. We set ridiculous word counts and deadlines and race to an imaginary finish line while we lose sleep, live in squalor and drink too much red wine. (Okay, maybe that’s just me.) And now I’m doing something else. I’ve been inspired by fellow writer, Tania Dakka, to eat and move with purpose, so that my mind works equally as well. Tania calls it being a project assassin. While I have no need or desire to “assassinate” anything for any reason, I do want to boost productivity.

For me, a recovered bulimic, my emotional relationship with food is complicated, and I’ll spare you the details. Just know that I adore living in a way that allows food to not be the motivating thought. For months now, I’ve been complaining about wanting the family to eat healthier, but something always got in the way or made my new pursuit seem complicated. What I’m doing now is simple, thanks to something Tania wrote: Your food should have had a mama or come from the ground.

I’m not preaching. (I swear…ooh, literally, probably too much, even in front of my kids, not the big guns, but I pepper in hell, damn and ass on a regular basis for emphasis. I’m all about getting impact from my words, but that’s another blog post.) I just wanted to blog about this for my own sake and for the sake of anyone out there who might be fed up with the way their mind is working at the moment. The haze? The disconnect? The exhaustion? It makes sense that it could be connected to food.

It’s not terribly hard. I’ve replaced my morning breakfast bar with fresh fruit and a handful of nuts. Yesterday I made a colorful salad with garbanzo beans and almonds and squeezed fresh lemon and lime over it. For dinner, we ate chicken breast, baby baked potatoes and asparagus. I snacked on fruit and nuts throughout the day. Do I miss chocolate? Not at the moment, but I’m sure that moment will come. I’ll decide what to do then. Same with wine. (Although, that moment is coming tonight, and I’ve decided to enjoy a glass or two.) I’m not setting myself up for failure. I’m trying to be realistic. I won’t do it if it doesn’t (A.) fit my lifestyle and (B.) yield some results.

I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of writing success? Do you keep your manuscript on you at all times just in case you bump into a famous author, editor or agent? Did you visit a psychic for career guidance? Do you have a ritual like drinking the same thing before you write for good luck?


3 Responses to “In Search of Clarity”

  1. Tania Dakka Says:

    Thanks, Elley!! I am so happy to hear that you are jumping in with us! For the record, I opted for assassin out of shear necessity. LOL I wanted to go with ninjas, but they EVERYWHERE. While I confess, I only want to KNOCK OUT my projects, I will be coming up with a new moniker with the December challenge. Thank you for the acknowledgment and all the best! Hope to hear how it is going with you later:)

    LOVE your blog!

  2. Yes, ninjas are overexposed these days. 😉 Seriously, though, it’s a fantastic idea, because writing is hard on our minds and bodies. (Oh, I can see my husband rolling his eyes now.) But really, we sit for hours. Our minds are wrung out like a wet towel. And we eat like crap, often WHILE we’re sitting for hours and wringing out our minds. How can we produce our best work if we aren’t at our best mentally and physically? I totally buy into the training mentaility. I need to finish this manuscript. I don’t have time for foggy brain and cramped ass. It’s as simple as that!


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