Monday, November 6, 2017

Win-Win to Start Your Day and Jumpstart Your New Year Resolutions

Despite having run a marathon or two or three, exercising on a regular basis has been an on-going issue, so I created a win-win situation for myself.  First thing in the morning, while waiting for the boys to finish their breakfast and put on their socks and shoes, I stretch.  I go through this routine that takes about ten minutes.  What I don’t finish by the time the boys are ready to leave, I finish up after they are gone.

This is the easy part; the hard part is getting my butt upstairs to work out on the orbi-bike for about 20 minutes or the treadmill or go jogging.  So I created a win-win by reading personal develop­ment books while on the bike. (Of course people have been doing this for years, but are you doing it?  Neither was I on a consistent basis.  Sometimes months would go by...) I committed myself to read at least ten pages, thus creating a double win for me (plus I get to read all these books I’ve been meaning to get around to read).  So I get a win for exercising for my physical health and a win for reading self-helps book for my mental health.  What a great way to start (or end) the day.  It's also nice knowing that I kept a commitment to myself; more importantly I don’t have to wallow in the guilt of not exercising and not reading those books!  That’s another win!

Sometimes, you can back into a win-win situation.  For example, Ivy Ngeow, London-based writer that I met 30 years ago, won an award for her first novel, Cry of the Flying Rhino.  Her publisher asked me to review an advance copy.  At the time I was quite busy rewriting my own novel, but reluctantly agreed to do it in a month or two.  Ivy also asked if she could inter­view me for her blog (I was the editor for one of her first published stories).  I agreed, but then I thought, wait, I should be interviewing her since she has her first novel (two novels, actually) coming out!  This way I could create a win-win for both of us!  Ivy, despite her busy schedule working with two her publishers, agreed to be interviewed

For years I thought about interviewing other writers, so I thought, why not interview other novelists just starting out on their career?  In fact, I have two first novels written by Malaysian writers (one living overseas like Ivy) that I bought years ago but never read.  (I’m sure I have others lying around.)  So I made a commitment to myself to inter­view a novelist a month from October 2017 through December 2018, thus I would be read­ing fifteen novels that I probably wouldn’t gotten around to reading—another win for me.  And a win for those writers!

So far I’m nearly finished with a third novel, got a fourth that I bought for that purpose, a second inter­view is coming out later this month, so I’m off and running (and reading).  That’s good for me since I write novels.  Now I can read a novel knowing that I’ll also be interviewing this author and I’ll be asking questions that will not only benefit me, but also benefit the author (give them publicity), benefit other readers (give them insights into the author’s work), and benefit other writers (so they can learn the craft of novel writing and bolster their own belief that they too can write a novel).

Now I’m wondering what other ways can I create a win-win with myself or with others, including with my family, for 2018?  Might as well get a jump on those win-win New Year Resolutions.  How about you?  Any win-wins you can add to your life?

Now I just need to create a little more adventure in my life like the Maugham and me series!

More Reading, More Writing, and More Adventure for 2018!
         —Borneo Expat Writer

Interviews with First Novelists:

Ivy Ngeow author of Cry of the Flying Rhino, winner of the 2016 Proverse Prize.

Golda Mowe author of Iban Dream and Iban Journey. 

Preeta Samarasan, author of Evening is the Whole Day, finalist for the Commonwealth Writers Prize 2009.

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