Updated: January 14, 2018
It’s time to write a book!
I love writing and illustrating these articles, but the endgame for me has always been publishing a book. This is the year. I mean, I’ve already written over 74,000 words, which a respectably-thick book.
There: I committed.
The articles will continue, but they will be part of a larger effort to sew together the chapters of a book. Not the “compilation of blog posts” format that I despise. It will be nonfiction – my specialty – but with a story arc.
I sincerely hope that you’ll hang around for that, because you will (of course) see it all first. I plan to publish most, if not all, of the chapters as I go, and my followers will always get crazy discounts on the finished digital product.
My writing process revealed
In addition, I plan to pull back the curtain on my writing, illustrating, video, audio, and publication process, for anyone out there who aspires to write long-form articles of the sort you see here. It takes a disciplined effort to keep it all on track and making sense from start to finish.
I’m not naturally a “one-draft writer.” More like a “twenty-draft writer.” The one-draft version is always wildly bloated with excess content that takes multiple unnecessary detours from start to finish. I’ll show those who are interested my process for ending up with a lean, mean, narrative machine.
Last article published
How to Say “No” and Make It Stick: Your Comprehensive Guide to Putting Yourself First
Is your time sucked away because guilt and lack of confidence stop you from saying “no,” the nearly-forbidden word? Why it happens and what to do.
Upcoming articles in progress
These will (probably) be published in this order. Some are working titles. I put them on this list once I’ve started outlining.
- Part 2 – How to Say “No” and Make It Stick: Your Complete Action Plan for Putting Yourself First
- Why Following the Rules Hasn’t Made You Happy: How You Got Lost on the Path to Success, and What to Do About It
- The Myth of Aging with Grace: Winning the Struggle for Lifelong Health
- All About Luck: Making It, Faking It, and Learning to Live Without It
What I’m thinking and doing
I’ve gone from experiencing the worst depression I’ve ever suffered in September to being in control and actually feeling pretty good every day. What worked? Let me start with what didn’t work:
- Everything I’ve ever tried in the past and everything that used to work.
I tried it all: sufficient sleep, careful nutrition, exercise, SAD1 light, reasoning with myself. No impact.
Restarting my testosterone supplementation helped a little. But what really made the difference? Finally accepting that I need to take an antidepressant, after decades of avoiding it. I’m on Wellbutrin 450 mg per day (the maximum dose). It’s been a revelation.
Wellbutrin (bupropion) “recycles” dopamine and norepinephrine. The dopamine is the key; I’ve also had undiagnosed restless leg syndrome for years, which is also dopamine-dependant. When I finally put everything together, Wellbutrin was the obvious medication to start with. After adjusting upward, it just works. Aside from relief from depression and mood swings, no more extensive cramping and jerking at night.2
1. Why did I resist this for so long? Even after I wrote an article about coming to terms with my depression? I don’t know. I’ll be writing another article about that soonish.
2. I was a little bit freaked out about the dopamine shortage. My father has Parkinson’s, which is the classic lack-of-dopamine disease. Am I predisposed to getting that? My research says “no, it’s not a thing.”
It was fun. My wife doesn’t like to do the same tree, so every year we have something different. We’ve had a two-dimensional tree on the wall, a fake palm tree, a sort-of-teepee tree, among others. This year we had four trees, one for each of us plus our two adult kids. Kind of a small forest. Pic below.
After years of trying to get this down on my own, I finally decided I needed to take more-aggressive measures when my coronary calcium CT scan score went from zero to 40. The scan is a measure of calcification in your coronary arteries and is actual hard evidence of heart disease, as opposed to just high cholesterol labs, which may or may not be causing hardening/blockage.
I started a Statin at the lowest dose on January 1st, taking extra COQ10 to avoid muscle weakness. I’ll see how it goes over the next few months.
Images from my life
* Answer: fake bird ornament perched at the top, stuffed frog and Otis the cat underneath.
A random piece of writing, either a reject that didn’t end up fitting or text/ideas for a coming piece. This month, I’m sharing from Part 2 of my “saying no” series.
The fine art of avoidance
If you aren’t present, you can’t be asked. Thus, avoidance is an essential technique. If you master nothing but avoidance and never get any better at saying “no,” you’ll still make serious progress on reclaiming your life.
It takes some thoughtful planning to not show up, or to at least cut way back on showing up to places or situations where takers congregate.
That might be the den of vipers in the office breakroom. It might be your neighbor’s out-of-control backyard party or your extended family’s annual mud fight reunion. It could even be the local charity meeting that is starting to overwhelm your life.
You know the places where you’ll be asked to donate time, emotion, attention, or money that you don’t want to part with.
Pull away, using whatever excuse you think will work, until a new pattern has been established and your attendance is no longer expected…
An image from an upcoming article
What I’m reading
I’m on the fifth book of The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey…with a short break to read Fire and Fury, Inside the Trump Whitehouse by Michael Wolff. I only made it 1/4 of the way through this…interesting but mainly just additional details about what I already knew by keeping up on the news.
How about you?
What’s going on? Do you have a comment about any of this? If so, use my contact form. Happy to hear from you!
Until next time…remember: Think about it. A lot. Then do something.