Friday Roundup: Exercising Commitment Edition

Remember that time I was trying to do something on a consistent weekly basis and lasted seven weeks?

Well, here I am, trying again! That’s nice, that’s good.

Once in awhile I get a wild hair saying, “Hey Megg, you should be consistent about things sometimes!”

It’s a pretty crazy thought, I know, but I’m going to give it another go.

A friend recently told me he’s going “off-romance” for a year. He’s trying to clean up some emotional habits and addictions, so, no dating, no innocent kisses, no porn, no masturbating. Which means yes, some “romance” things that aren’t actually romantic at all.

I said, “But what if you meet the perfect woman?”

And he said, “This is isn’t just about becoming healthier, it’s an exercise in commitment.”

He’s good-looking, highly sociable, under thirty, and the thing is, he’s going to rock this celibacy thing.

clergymen standing in a catholic church

In pondering this topic, it seems the only thing I’m able to commit to is drinking water and eating regularly.

So, to bolster my commitment resume, I’m tentatively adding a few recurring weekly practices to my calendar and hoping (sidebar: “tentatively” and “hoping” are great words to use when talking about commitment) to treat it like my college schedule of yore—a return to those days when I unquestioningly attended classes and hit homework deadlines.

The truth is, we can strengthen our self-control muscle, so I suspect we can do the same with commitment (they’re practically siblings, anyway).

Here are my baby-step commitments:

Sunday: fill out Twitter quotes for the week (I use Buffer)

Monday: Instagram post linking to this blog

Tuesday/Thursday: Study Russian for an hour

(By) Friday: Roundup post

And on that note, here are five things I found this week that have been great. Let’s round it up!


Weekly Roundup: Commitment Edition

1. Writing: Association of Authors’ Representatives

When I took a writing workshop with Douglas Preston last May, I had no idea that he was the author of such bestsellers as The Cabinet of Curiosities, Relic, the book below, and many more. He just seemed like a chill Santa Fe nice guy, not an uber successful author/adventurer.

He taught a killer workshop on submitting book proposals and has since been RIDICULOUSLY kind enough to review and edit my query letter for the Free Travel book. What?! As if that wasn’t enough, he’s connected me to some agent and introduced me to the AAR, which has the best layout and possibly the best collection of agents out there. Tentatively, I’d suggest this for the book agent hunt over AgentQuery, QueryTracker, or WritersMarket.


2. Quote: Mel Robbins, The 5 Second Rule

In her book of the same title, Mel Robbins states that the 5 Second Rule says:

“The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you . . . . Hesitation is the kiss of death. You might hesitate for a just nanosecond, but that’s all it takes. That one small hesitation triggers a mental system that’s designed to stop you. And it happens in less than—you guessed it—five seconds.”

Her speech on “Motivation is Garbage” tends to revisit my head often. Given that I’m the sole gatekeeper of my daily schedule, I often give myself more wiggle room than I should. I.e., I’m very good at letting my brain talk me out of doing stuff. Sooooo, that quote, that book. Over and over.


3. Book: The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story

This book is insane. The writer, Douglas Preston, literally went on an expedition deep into the jungles of Honduras to unearth a forgotten city of an unknown civilization. It’s a real life adventure—drug cartels and poisonous snakes included.

Oh, and half of the expedition (including the author) contracted a flesh eating disease that they’ll have to contend with for the rest of their lives.

When I took a workshop with Mr. Preston earlier this year, he said he’d go back in a heartbeat. Adrenaline is addictive—even when it involves face-eating parasites. It also makes a great book.

sunrise view over fog and potland

the sunrise view (seen from my desk) at my current housesitting digs.

4. Gadget: Plug-In Lamp Timer

Yes, fine, this is random, but it’s also great. Stay with me here. Because I have no social life, I go to bed relatively early, thus it’s still dark when I’ve had enough sleep 7-8 hours later. But my mind sees the lack of sun and is like, “Stop this.”

I wanted one of those fancy sunrise-mimicking lamps that slowly comes on to naturally wake you up, but they’re out of budget. So, hello, this lamp timer is like $6, and if I strategically place the lamp and cover it with a scarf so the light isn’t too jarring, I kind of get the same effect.


5. Money: GasBuddy

Given that I don’t really have an income, a big part of my creative quest thing is about preserving money so that I can actually do the quest thing.

Little expenditures add up. Classic coffee example: a $5 coffee five days a week is $1,300 in a year. A lot can be done with $1,300.

Similarly, within just a four-mile radius you’ll find gas prices vary by as much as .70 cents per gallon. If you get 11 gallons weekly, you save less than $8 per week, but more than $400 a year. Watchu know about that?

Take a quick look at the GasBuddy fuel map before heading out and see if you’ll be near a cheap spot.


There, that’s it, my first (eighth) roundup!

Let’s close with my favorite video of the week. Monkeys aside (astride?), this is mostly great because of the sustained deer eye contact throughout and the wink we get at 1.08.

Your thoughts? I’d love to hear ’em below…Oh, and get an email when I post something new.

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