Living in the Moment

The past is history; the future is a mystery. But now is a gift. That is why it is called ‘the present’.

Countless writers have talked about how you have to live in the moment and experience life. You have to let go of the troubles you have about the trivial details of the inevitable future. You have to stop wallowing in regret. You have to forego all your shortcomings and just move on with life.

But the fact is, writers themselves are the worst when it comes to living in the present.

Well, for the exception of Oscar Wilde, Charles Baudelaire, and other writers in the circle of rockstardom status. If that wasn’t called living, I wouldn’t know what is.

Once as the Editor-in-Chief of the Sparks, I had written my staffers a letter before I left the publication. I told them that they have to be living in the front lines, participating in the news, then going home after to write about it. You have to live to write about life.

But for most writers? We’re stuck at the desk, staring at a Blank Page of Doom or BPoD (the writer equivalent of BSoD for techies) while we wait for inspiration to strike.

Admittedly, there is no perfect piece of writing. No matter how much you edit it, you’ll never be satisfied. The thing is, as a writer sits down and takes the time to re-read and revise, the world goes on. The writer changes. Life continues through the months he’s spent editing his novel. The world batters him up a bit and shows him a lesson or two. And the next time he gets back on that desk, he sees something he wants to change. And as he changes, so does his writing.

And that will never get you anywhere.

Truly, the only way to get anything published is to abandon your work.

Learn to let go. Accept mistakes. It’s what makes you human. It doesn’t mean your piece is horrible. It just means you’re growing as a writer. And you have to let this one go, and continue with life writing a new piece.

I don’t think I’ve learned that lesson well enough yet.

So to push my ass off the edge of my seat and get something accomplished for once, I am participating in the National Novel Writing Month challenge, of writing a 50, 000 word novel by the end of November 30th. And like an athlete training for an upcoming game, like a soldier preparing for battle, to prepare for such a feat, I am also participating in WordPress.com’s Post-A-Day challenge for 2011. Starting today, October 1st.

Yes, I solemnly swear to write something down on a daily basis, and get it published here. Even if I think it is imperfect.

I also promise to use GoodSearch as my default search engine. What’s good about NaNoWriMo is that it helps fund creative writing courses for children and adults, as well as over 200 libraries. Nanowrimo has its own sponsors, and participants are always welcome to donate in this initiative. But if you’re broke, GoodSearch donates a penny to the cause for every search query you enter.

Yay for major hyperlink use?

Anyway, for Firefox, IE and a couple of other browsers, you can install a toolbar. If you’re using Google Chrome, like I am, where the address bar is integrated with the search engine, then it’s a different story. I’ve switched mine to GoodSearch as well, by the way.

To use GoodSearch as the default search engine on Chrome, you have to do the following:

  1. Visit this link and search at least once. Any search will do.
  2. Click on the wrench icon at the top right corner of your Chrome.
  3. Choose the options menu.
  4. In Basics, look at Search and hit the “Manage search engines…” button.
  5. Scroll down to an empty box where you can add a new search engine.
  6. Add in: “Good Search” for the first box.
  7. Type goodsearch.com in the second box.
  8. In the third box, copy-paste this: http://www.goodsearch.com/search.aspx?keywords=%s
  9. Click add. Then look for Goodsearch in your list of engines. Hover over it, and “make default search engine” will appear. Click on that.

That’s it. And you’re on your way to heaven.

Anyone else wanna jump on board?

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