I am about an hour away from finishing my first 24+ hour fast in a long time. I forgot how good fasting makes me feel. It is a lot like meditation, I know I should do it and I’m always glad I did it, but it can be tough making it happen in the beginning. I’m not particularly tempted by food while fasting, it is just a matter of getting myself into the right mindset in the beginning. Once I commit, I am good to go.
Today, only one of my readings stood out to me. I’m a little bummed that “A Year with Rumi” really hasn’t impacted me. I really have not gotten much out of it and once the year ends I’ll probably start a new yearly reading, probably “A Year with C.S. Lewis”. That was recommended to me a while back by two brains that I respect. Though, that would go against my 2019 plan to read 75 books that are not by white men. Maybe I can make one exception for that morning practice.
Actually, that makes me wonder. How exactly am I going to define “white”? Most Latinx individuals are technically “white” because white is a race while Latinx is an ethnicity. But I don’t think I’m going to refuse to read books by Latinx authors. Maybe I’ll refine my statement, “In 2019 I am going to read 75 books that are not written by non-Latinx white cis-gendered men”. Should I add heterosexual in there? Hmm, maybe. I’ll give that some thought.
That still really doesn’t help me narrow down “white”. The US Census defines white as “a person having origins in any of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa”. That doesn’t work for my purposes. I’m trying to expose myself to points-of-view that differ from my own. The truth is, I don’t understand what life is like for someone who lives in or is from Morocco, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, or Turkey. The government may call people from those areas “White” but they don’t match my experience, so I have something to learn from them.
Ugh, definitions are difficult.
I guess what I’m trying to do is read books by people who aren’t culturally “white”, which is admittedly a bit more difficult to nail down.
“In 2019, I am going to read at least 75 books by authors that are not cis-gendered men from a Christian white privileged culture similar to my own.”
Okay, I’m happy with that statement (for now). I really didn’t mean to go through this debate with myself today but I kind of love when I get off topic and just spill my thinking system onto the page.
What I really was going to blog about was my reading from “The War of Art” . I think this will be pretty short… maybe.
In today’s reading there was much discussion about the difference between a professional and an amateur. Every one of us is a professional in at least one area, our job. Unfortunately, many of us (including myself) treat the things we love and our passions and our Work like an amateur would. Pressfield identifies 10 ways that professionals differ from amateurs (see below for awesome visualization that took me hours).
And, that about sums up my treatment of writing and other passions. I’m a damn amateur. Admitting that is the first step to defeating Resistance. Maybe these steps will fix it:
- Show up: Schedule time to sit in the chair and create, no matter what. Don’t leave until the allotted time, even if the house is on fire or my dog is being dognapped (false: I will stop for those things). Make this a routine that I plan on keeping until the day I die.
- Commit: Start gaining income and then become dependent on that income.
- Be More: Have a life beyond the Work, be able to laugh at it and be a well-rounded person.
- Improve: Constantly work to improve my craft through real-world criticism and study.
As is often the case, planning is easy and executing is difficult. We shall see.
Feel free to reach out at any of the ways below while I take a Facebook break!
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions: pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Also, I wrote a book about a cross-country bicycle ride I did!
“Wandering Oak: A Rite of Passage”