Thursday, April 28, 2011

Calgon Take Me Away!

When you hear those words, "Calgon, Take Me Away," you understand the meaning. Some person has too much on her plate and has to escape, relax, and do nothing but enjoy a calmness provided by the scent of bath gel, bubbles, salts or beads. Eyes closed, head back, alone... (Yes, alone - a partner would mean a different lesson altogether.)

I don't have to explain the meaning of a Calgon commercial.

We have to rejuvenate to be productive.
  • Runners have days off to let muscles rest.
  • Students take fall and spring breaks.
  • Gardens lie fallow between seasons.
  • Chickens lay fewer eggs in the winter.
  • Batteries recharge.
So how do you rejuvenate if you're fighting the obligations of your days and nights for an hour to write? You don't have time to rest to jumpstart your writing. You're either petered out or keyed up before you sit down.

I don't know about you, but I can't run to the keyboard after a long hard day and expect to be productive. Few people can shut off the boss, the kids or the economic situation like a toggle switch. Nor can they write while jumping up and down for other callings. On, off, on, off. Vacuum, write, answer phone, write, argue with the plumber, write, clean up dog poop, write.

Try a different method. Think about your writing all day. Lunch, waiting in line, during commercials, whatever. Make your day a mental writing exercise. Not only will it ease some of your daily stress, but it'll prep you for the act of writing.

You know how doctors tell you to prepare for bed with a routine? You do it for children. Bath, brush teeth, read a book, "good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" and then lights out. I read two to four chapters in my bed each night. Such rituals tell your subconscious that it's time, easing you into sleep mode. Same goes for waking up. You know your routine.

What is your writing routine? Create the ritualistic actions leading up to it until it's instilled in your psyche that your day isn't complete unless you've churned out a few words. Don't wait until you need Calgon. Let your writing BE Calgon - the catalyst that takes you away.

(BTW, the Calgon site has a $1 coupon for you coupon clippers out there.)

Hope is presenting "How to Find Grants and Financial Resources for Your Writing" - a Writer's Digest Webinar on Thursday, May 5, 1:00 PM Eastern - This presentation is jam packed with links, resources and ideas on how to turn writing into an include grants!


  1. One of my rituals is a nightly soak in a tub filled with hot Calgon-scented water while I read some chapters in a romance novel or edit chapters of my own. That time does help me transition from the busyness of my day into a restful state.

    And right now, Calgon is calling. =)

  2. I love to read historical fiction when I can, this also helps me with my WIP. Now that you mention it, I need to take some down time, for I am feeling stressed with several projects. No time like the present, right? :)

  3. Lying in a tub of water with or without Calgon would drive me to drink.

    So, I get away from it all by reading. If the book is good, then it's the perfect non-Calgon moment.