59 Seconds

This is an exercise I got from a book my Dad bought me called 59 Seconds, and I’m using at as my ‘creative’ post for the day, because its kind of interesting. The exercise is ‘how to create a perfect diary’, and when the author is talking a ‘perfect’ diary, he means one that is going to significantly increase your levels of happiness and satisfaction with your life (the book is great for any of you out there who would like to improve your life, but don’t trust those self-help gurus and pseudo-cults out there. Its all backed by research, psychological studies and good stuff. Plus, the guy who wrote it is totally no-nonsense and doesn’t make ridiculous promises, like, you’ll quit smoking by this evening, and there’s no chanting or ritual hugging required. The author is Professor Richard Wiseman, which is also hysterical).

Exercise 1: Thanksgiving
3 Things that you are grateful for over the past week.

1) Morning sunlight waking me up early
2) Sitting with 5 kittens on my lap
3) Having a movie night with a friend

Exercise 2: Terrific Times
Think a wonderful experience in your life, and relive it for a few seconds. Then write a few sentences about what it was like.

I’m at ‘The Decemberists’ concert in Dublin. I’ve been looking forward to it for 4 months, when I first found out they would be playing in Ireland when I was in Ireland. I’ve got a seat on the balcony, which I prefer to being on the floor, I’ve got a perfect view of the stage, no-one’s pushing into me, and my body isn’t aching from standing up so long. Its the final encore. Colin Meloy has come back onstage with just his guitar and he plays the beautiful song, ‘June Hymn’, dedicated to the coming summer, and the summer-y day we’ve just had in Dublin, by himself under the lights and I’m filled with complete happiness and joy. I’m on the verge of tears, hearing those beautiful chords, I don’t know what they do to those chords, how they create them, how they create the right pattern, but they are just perfect, and fill you with such inspiration and hope and joy to be alive.

I’m skipping exercise 3. Well, I didn’t skip it, I wrote it, and it was lovely, but I’ve decided its too personal to put out on the web. Sorry.

Exercise 4: Dear…

Write a letter to someone who means a great deal to you and express how you feel.

I’m going to take out the name.

I’m so grateful to have met you. You are level-headed, always full of intelligent, wonderful advice, as well as comfort and support. You take on challenges with a smile and nothing is too difficult for you. I can talk to you about anything and I never feel judged. When I get worked up or critical, you’ll gentle turn my head and make me see something a different way. You get me off my high-horse. But, apart from all of that, you always make me laugh, you’ve got a wicked send of humour and a fabulous smile, and you’re always coming up with fantastic, creative plans.
Thanks for being so fabulous.

Exercise 5: Reviewing the Situation
Write 3 things that went well for you.
1) Telling my host family that I wanted to move on to Kinsale in September
2) Meeting with my director and getting things organised for the Melbourne Fringe, the Wexford Fringe and the Galway Theatre Festival
3) The play date my eldest girl had yesterday afternoon

I’m not sure how this has helped my writing, but it does make me feel good 🙂 I think some of these things are interesting exercises though, I mean, when you think over what you’ve felt grateful for, or are happy about, you come up with interesting responses sometimes. Again, it could be an interesting way of getting across information in a play or story. So, not a waste of time, really.


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