Just Stop!

That’s right, take a moment and just STOP!

Stop writing. Stop cleaning the house. Stop watching TV. Stop reading this blog–after you’ve reached the end! Stop whatever you’re doing, find a quiet, peaceful place and just….


Let your brain quiet. Let your breathing slow. Let the tension in your neck, your shoulders, your arms out. That’s right, just let it out…even for just a few minutes. Forget about the bills. Forget about the time. Forget about deadlines. Just stop for a minute and just…  ..be.

When was the last time you did that?

For me…it was about an hour ago.

It was wonderful…for the few minutes it lasted.

After only a couple of two-hour naps last night, one before and one after Job #1, I got up early, got both kids ready and off to school, I paid some bills, chatted with some new followers on twitter, checked my emails, advertised my fantasy ebook a little on twitter, ran some errands around town, took a walk to strengthen my foot (the tendons are doing better but I still have a slight limp), ate lunch on the town square and then realized I’d been ‘on the go’ not just since morning but since….

I couldn’t remember. I couldn’t remember the last time I just sat and did–Nothing.

No talking. No selling. No reading. No writing. No working. No cleaning. No parenting. No driving. Nothing.

So, I walked over to one of the benches on the square, sat down in the shade, and tried to let my mind blank. Story ideas don’t like to quiet once they’re rolling, but I managed to push them aside for a moment. Thoughts about bills, jobs, life in general…pushed them aside. One by one, I shut down the various issues rolling around in my head until my brain felt clear and I could hear the gentle breeze rustling the leaves overhead. A peaceful calm settled over me as I simply sat on the park bench and listened to the wind. Nothing more.

It was delicious.

It also didn’t last for long. My brain doesn’t like to stay quiet (shocking, I know) and suddenly it’s jumping at the chance to ‘use’ this sense of calm in some constructive way. In a story? In a novel? In a blog entry?

But why? Why Stop? Why do Nothing?

Because even for that short time when I was sitting and doing nothing…I suppose I was actually doing something. I was recharging my mental battery. I know, you’re supposed to do that while you’re sleeping, but a) I don’t sleep much and b) why not be aware of this amazing calm?

And while I absolutely love being a husband, a father, an author, a ______ (fill-in-the-blank with any of an assortment of titles: son, brother etc.), for that brief moment of…Nothingness…I was simply–present–in the world. Now perhaps this experience is common among people. Perhaps there’s a fancy term to describe such a feeling…(wait, is THIS what a ‘vacation’ is supposed to feel like?!?) …and perhaps if I’d had more than two two-hour naps last night, I’d know what it was but since my brain is ‘functioning’ (and I’ll use that term loosely) in a semi-mushy state right now, I’ll just be pleased I had that ‘calm’ experience and that I was able to string together a good 600+ words in order to discuss it with you. 

So that is your task for the day (aside from writing!). It’s a simple one…really. It may sound hard and it may sound odd but I want you to find a few minutes and let every go. Just be calm and present in the world. Let it pass you by. Be still.



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About inkcompetentwriter

Author of The Penitent Assassin and The Rush of Betrayal duology available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.

2 responses to “Just Stop!”

  1. deshipley says :

    I wish I could have made my brain just stop last night. Why does so much inspiration demand scribbling down ten seconds after I’ve settled the blankets over me just right? …and again two minutes later? …and again two minutes after that?
    I’ll definitely try to keep this blog piece in mind during tonight’s lights-out.

  2. inkcompetentwriter says :

    Good luck! Because of my odd work schedule, I basically ‘go to sleep’ at least twice per night. I’ve been doing that now for nearly three and a half years. And like you, my brain usually starts winding up creatively just when I’m trying to sleep. This morning was particularly bad. It took me over an hour to get to sleep because my brain just wouldn’t stop. That’s why today I took those few minutes and sat on the park bench and tried to achieve that peaceful calm because hopefully both times tonight when I need to sleep, I’ll be able to recall that serene feeling and shut my brain down and just….be. Asleep.

    Thanks for visiting.

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