The Bathroom Reader

bathroom reader

 

During college, a roommate of mine had the perfect book—a paperback specifically designed for bathroom reading. I don’t remember checking it out then, as the thought of reading someone else’s bathroom book did not seem quite right.

 

As a side note, another friend of mine was curious about a thick book of money tips sitting I had on the back of the toilet. When he started to flip through it, my bookmark—an Our Daily Bread pamphletfell out. Into the toilet. He quickly retrieved it and attempted to clean and dry it. Afterwards, he held it out to me and said, “This book fell in the toilet.” No apology, no explanation, but hilarious to me. Not mentioning any names…

 

At a recent yard sale, I found the book my roommate had—Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, written by none less than the Bathroom Reader’s Institute. It was “especially designed with the needs of bathroom readers in mind: It’s full of brief but interesting articles that can be read in a few seconds, or a few minutes.” (p4) More importantly, it has topics ranging from historical myths to riddles, Mark Twain and Einstein quotes to vocab etymology, little known facts about Barbie to the story behind Louis, Louis. It even has a table of contents.

 

This yard sale version looked unused, so I figured it was safe to buy. I don’t suppose I can ever resell it, as most of the pages are now dogeared. Then again, I may keep it as a reference. There are few things so beneficial for authors as wide reading. Maybe a fact about Gilligan’s Island can strike a thought for a character, or a quote by Nixon could be spoken to add realism.

 

Check it out. The Bathroom Reader is meant to fill your mind as you empty your bladder. It is not meant to be read straight through. Their advice: open a page and “go with the flow.”

Small goals—underchallenge yourself

Neil Armstrong Moon

Under exaggerate.

Sometimes I feel like I cannot be a real author since real authors have huge goals like 1,000 words every day. I’ve done this before, even developing the habit at times.
I feel envious when I hear of some writers, who top this lofty goal by writing several thousand words in a single day. I did that. Once.
But what about when life steps in?
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Get it done already! Why short-term goals are better than long-term goals

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What’s the biggest project you have ever given up on?
For me, I wanted to make a polyglot Bible, with Hebrew, Greek, and Latin in three columns, marking all major differences. (Yes, I’m a nerd!) Working full time on this, I could have finished in a couple years. Maybe.
The problem? Nobody else wanted this. Worse, I found a computer program that could do this almost as well, a website that could do this with even more languages, and a scholar who already did my exact idea with two of the languages. Bummer.
I realized the importance of first making sure your goal is worth the cost.

But let’s say you know your goal—you want to write a novel. And publish it. And make money from it.
Let’s start with the first of these.

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You’re on Fire—Three Keys to Writing Success

Blender3D_LoopingParticleFire

Fire needs three things—fuel, heat, and oxygen. Without any of these, there is no fire.

 

Success is similar. It needs these three—time, motivation, and a plan.

 

Time

Did you know that you could save over $8,000 for your child’s college by saving $1 each day starting at birth? Wow! Or if you invest $5,000/year for 10 years beginning at age 25, you could have over $600,000 by age 65. (Compare this to the $400,000 earned by investing $5,000 from age 35 to 60.)

Bill Gates said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.

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How can you write with the kids around? Part 3

my family b

How do you write when you have a family, job, and possibly even a life?
   Make sure you check out parts 1 and 2 first.
   https://danielfbowman.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/how-can-you-write-with-the-kids-around/
   https://danielfbowman.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/how-can-you-write-with-the-kids-around-part-2/

1. Communicate
In a good novel, you need dialogue.
Same in relationships.
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The Single Largest Cause of Writer’s Block–Might Not Be What You Believe

Writer’s Block?
The cure may be something you’ve never asked. Check out Kristen Lamb’s blog for the answer.

The Single Largest Cause of Writer’s Block–Might Not Be What You Believe.

3 Reasons to Give Yourself a Break

dog

It’s 11:00 at night and you known you can’t reach your writing goal of 1,000 words for the day. Because so far you have zero. So you choose not to write.

What a lame excuse!

But is there any other way to handle failing your goals?

Try this: lower your expectations.

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Procrastination is your friend?

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How do you live the life you want? How can you slow life down so you can look around and enjoy it?

How do you make time for the important things in life, when everything else clamors for your attention?

Drum roll please…

Procrastinate!

The important part is what you procrastinate.

My whole life, I have wanted to do everything. And as I get older, the list of goals keeps growing. In college, I realized that I could put in 60+ hours a week practicing music, exercising, writing, thinking, traveling, learning … in all, not working! Now I have a wife and two kids. And a job. That 60 hours has shrunk to about 60 minutes—travel time included.

“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.”—Brian Tracy

So I have to decide what I will procrastinate.

1. Email and Facebook—check it once a day.

2. Answering the phone—I bought a nifty device that politely takes messages when I don’t answer.

3. Work—As a teacher, I often save my grading and prepping until after I do my own work. Because I fear getting fired, I know I will be ready for work. But if I do that work first…

4. Putting things exactly where they go—make a pile of things for other places, then take the pile all at once.

Do not procrastinate these:

1. Rest—you need sleep and will actually accomplish more with it. Plus, you can enjoy and remember your life this way. Live the dream, not in a dream.

2. Marriage—never let things get between you and your spouse. Not work. Not even children.

3. Exercise—five minutes can wake you up and give you energy. Keep it simple—pushups or squats. Take a walk. No equipment necessary.

4. Your goal—do it now! Before you check your email and Facebook. (Yes, I’m serious.) Set a timer and stick with it. Only then can you stop procrastinating.

One final tip—in order to best procrastinate, never end your work without planning your next stop. Otherwise, you will forget to procrastinate.