East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Making changes (still writing -related)


After the bout of bad health I suffered through early this year, I decided to make a few changes. After all, my life has changed: I was a researcher working in a lab, a teacher moving between universities, now I am a writer spending most of his time sitting in the dark in a room full of books, typing.
So, different life, different problems, time to make some changes.

I have already mentioned my five weeks plan about reducing procrastination – I have not posted regularly about it because a lot of what I’ve been doing to reduce procrastination is pretty boring (making lists, auditing contacts etc), but I must say the method is working: yesterday I paid a bill with one full week of advance. Wow!

I also went back to my philosophy reading – adding stoicism to my usual zen and taoism mix. There are a lot of connections between these different schools of thought, and there’s a lot to reflect upon.

At the same time, I’ve been doing a sort of detox diet.
In this, the heat and the lack of funds helped a lot: when you don’t have very much to spend on food, you automatically cut the sort of things that, especially id consumed in excess, can be really bad: crisps, soft drinks, sugar, red meat…
As a result I’ve lost weight (I have been steadily shedding the excess kilograms that stress piled up on me while I was assisting my late father) and I feel generally better.
It’s a good thing I like cooking, as I get to experiment a lot with healthier foods, and keep my dinners exciting.

Then there is the problem of sitting.
Have you notices how many writers suffer from heart disease and often succumb to heart conditions?
Turns out there is a link between spending too much time sitting down and heart disease…

One of the biggest studies done on the dangers of extended periods of sitting was done by researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Leicester (a public research university in the UK) in 2011. It involved 800,000 people and found that those who sat the most, in comparison to those who sat the least, had:
. 112% increase in the risk of diabetes
. 147% increase in cardiovascular events
. 90% increase in death caused by cardiovascular events
. 49% increase in death from any cause

found HERE

So I went to the Heart Foundation web page and checked out their literature.
I am not as much scared of death as I am pissed off at the idea: I want to see what comes next!
So I’m trying to live as long as possible and as good as I can.
And it is a fact: writing full time will damage your health, unless you are careful.

Given the heat and the humidity, I’m back to my night rambles through the desert village in which I live. Lots of ideas for horror stories, there, and walking is good exercise.

Finally, today a friend pointed me in the direction of an old post on a writer’s blog, where there is the Stop Complaining 30 Days Challenge.
The idea is, complaining is a waste of time, a bad habit and in general something that pushes other people away. And while I claim my right at saying things are not right, everybody hates a whiner.
Hence, the Challenge: keep ten one Euro coins in your pocket, and hand one to the person you are talking to every time you realize you are complaining. The goal is to make it through the month without giving away all ten of them.

The basic idea remains – never give up on improving yourself.
Given the current state of the world, it is not just a matter of remaining healthy – physically and mentally – but also of resisting the encroaching darkness.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

4 thoughts on “Making changes (still writing -related)

  1. It sounds like you’re really making progress, congrats! I love the 30 day no complaining challenge.

    I sit a lot, so I try to DO something every time I get up, stretch or pushups or a physical chore. I like to think that helps.


  2. I used to be a Draftsman before I retired. The link below was sent out by the company I worked for. It definitely got a lot of the employees attention.


    Glad to hear you’re shedding some weight and getting some practical exercise (ie: walking) Keep it up.


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