We are so different and yet the same. Our imaginations and our thoughts make us different, but our emotions and environment make us the same. We are all creatures of habit, whether we accept it or not. We all have something we do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis that if we were to deviate from would fill us with dread or unease. The only difference is to what degree.
I’m an avid creature of habit. If I don’t have my strongly caffeinated coffee the minute I awaken each morning, odds are I’ll be in an irritable mood for most of the morning. The same goes with getting a good night’s rest. I need my six to seven hours of sleep each night, too little or too much and then everything is out of balance the next day.
When it comes to my writing, well that gets complicated. It’s great to be a creature of habit as long as your habits are healthy, beneficial, productive, etc. But when they aren’t, then there lies the problem. When it came to my writing and work, I noticed that my attention span was getting shorter and shorter and I didn’t understand why. I thought it was caused by writer’s block. But although this did factor into it, I noticed that when I was freed of writer’s block, my attention span was still not like it used to be.
I blamed it on getting older. I thought the older we get the harder it is to concentrate on something for long periods of time. The same thing with our memories. The older we got, the more we forgot. But then I thought of my grandmother, who at the age of 91 still had the memory and mind of a woman in her twenties. She had what is called exact memory or total recall and could remember the exact time and date when she bought her living room sofa some forty years ago. And what was shocking was she could remember when we bought ours, or when I lost my first tooth. Minor things that slip our minds as time passes. But she remembered it all, accurately, the minor and the extremely important. Precisely everything.
I know I can never have my grandmother’s brilliant mind, but maybe I could get back the brain I used to have. The one where I could concentrate on something for over an hour and not become distracted, where I could remember an appointment without having to write it down in my electronic calendar.
I looked at my daily habits for the cause and the remedy. What was I doing differently in recent years that I wasn’t doing before? It was obvious, web surfing. I had picked up a bad habit of web surfing on my writing and work breaks. I thought reading daily entertainment and worldly news would recharge me and help me focus on my work at hand. It did initially, but the truth be told, as time progressed, it hampered my productivity and my focus. How?
Well, the fact that I could jump from one news or entertainment article to the next with a click of a button. So easy, so addictive, and so distracting. Do that once or twice and that’s okay. But when it becomes a domino effect, well, then that not only zaps your time away, but it changes your thinking patterns. Thanks to web surfing, my attention span and focus were shortening.
So I decided to curb this bad habit once and for all. I am staying clear of the Internet when I write or work. My Internet connection is closed until the evening hours. What do I do now on my work breaks? I meditate. I close my eyes and cleanse my mind and body with deep breathing and relaxation exercises. I also use my recumbent bike and peddle for half an hour at a time. So far, so good. I see the positive results. My attention span is expanding as is my physical endurance. As for my memory, well that is the same. But I think that it’s due to another bad habit I picked up these past few years, and that’s I’m always posting reminders in my electronic calendar. It has become one of my daily lifelines. And that’s my big mistake.
After all, our brain is an organ and like all organs if we don’t use it to its full capacity, then it becomes less productive. And thanks to my bad habits, that’s what happened to me. But I’m changing that one day at a time, changing my bad habits to good ones and in turn hopefully getting my memory and my writing and work focus I used to have years ago.
How about you? Are there any bad habits you want to change to good ones?
The Forsaken Prophecies
Genre: Paranormal romantic suspense
Number of pages: 324
Word Count: 78280
Cover Artist: Ghislain Mallet
In the blink of an eye Megan Johnson’s perfect life turns into a nightmare. Her beloved husband mysteriously dies in a car crash and her fourteen-year-old son, Tristan, runs away with a diabolical cult leader named Vincent Hellion. Her world is spiraling to destruction. She leans on her husband’s best friend, Rhett Foster, for support and help. But when feelings she thought she never had for Rhett begin to surface and unknown psychic powers possess her, she becomes more confused than ever. She tries to push her feelings for Rhett aside and focus on her visions to save her son before it’s too late.
Rhett Foster has loved Megan for so long. But he never confessed his feelings to her because his best friend was her husband. Now that her husband is dead, he struggles with his conscience. Should he tell Megan how he really feels or should he honor his best friend's memory?
Megan's desperate quest to find and free her son sets them both on a path of love, danger, and renewal. If they return, their lives will be changed forever.
Giovanna Lagana is a freelance author. Some of her short stories and poems have been featured in magazines like Tales of the Talisman, Short-Story.Me, Static Movement, and Fear and Trembling Magazine, etc.
To learn more about Giovanna and her writing, please check her website at: www.giovannalagana.com
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