AH: Writing From Rest

Hullo, world!

It’s finally April, meaning spring, aka my favourite season of the year. It seems like spring is exploding everywhere around me, not to mention there are actually sunny days. *insert gasps & fervent hopes it will stay* I can’t believe my academic year is coming to an end soon, either…it felt so short!! 

Anyhow. 

Lately, with so many things coming to a close, it feels like I’m finally starting to get the idea of writing from rest. It’s a mindset, a posture, a practice. And today, I’ll be talking a bit about how I try to keep this in my heart even when it gets dizzyingly busy. 

So without further ado, let me present to you, AH–Writing From Rest

But wait…what does “writing from rest” mean??

Good question! For me, it would mean:

Writing-from-rest

/ˈrīdiNG – frəm – rest/

verb

  • Writing from a leisurely manner/state; creating from a space of rest
  • the mindset of writing (as outlined above)

i) Sleeping earlier & waking up earlier. 

Something that has greatly helped me in writing from rest is sleeping earlier and waking up earlier. 

And before those of you who are not morning persons run away, hear me out:

I think that we can all agree that writing takes energy. The act of creating something out of distinct, arbitrary 26-letters is not something to be taken lightly of. I won’t pull out the research on the benefits of sleeping earlier or waking up earlier, but one thing I personally find is that it does help restore my creative energy. 

In the morning, where nothing has really happened yet to clutter the mind or sap one’s energy, it becomes much easier to focus on my writing, and that only. Starting from a blank piece of paper, physically, mentally, and spiritually, can help you relax and let your imagination roam free. 

> Practical steps to take:

  • Go to bed 15~30 minutes earlier than you usually do. Turn off your phone 15~30 minutes before going to bed
  • Set an alarm for 5~15 minutes earlier than you usually wake up
  • Set out the clothes you are going to wear the next day by your bed. As soon as you wake up, take this to the washroom/wherever you go after waking up & get changed!
  • Put the kettle on. Make yourself a cup of tea or simply hot water. Drinking something first thing in the morning lets your body know you’re awake!

ii) Setting up a morning routine. 

Another thing that might be super controversial, but has helped me nevertheless, is having a solid morning routine. (Well, more or less solid…but later on this.) 

When I say morning routine, don’t think you have to do what I do, or a set thing that another influencer might do. You do your own thing. Which, I think, is the whole point of having a morning routine–a set of things you do that helps you wake up refreshed & become ready to face a new day

My morning routine looks more or less the following:

  • Wake up & get changed
  • Put the kettle on. (As advertised earlier!)
  • Light a candle & do my morning devotions
  • Listen to worship music & make breakfast/lunch to take to school
  • Get ready for university!

> Practical steps to take:

  • Brainstorm. What are some things that help you feel refreshed & energised in the morning? List out three of the things that help you do this.
  • Make a plan. From the list of three things that help you in the morning, think of ways to make it even easier to do–for example, if you plan to run in the morning, can you get your running gears in place? If you plan to do devotions, maybe already have your Bible (& notebooks, or other resources) in an accessible place–like on your desk, by your bed, etc.
  • Don’t be stressed. As I pointed out earlier, the whole point of having a morning routine is to help you feel refreshed & ready for the new day. Don’t feel like you’ve failed first thing in the morning even if you can’t follow along with your routine perfectly. They’re more like…guidelines in the first place! Feel free to change up the order, cut out some of the things, etc. 

iii) Being okay with the day’s writing. 

Lastly, be okay with the amount of writing you get done on that day. Maybe you wake up earlier and you are able to squeeze in a writing block in the morning. Maybe you’re like me and have to go somewhere, so the only writing block you get are the in-between times of classes, work, etc. Maybe you won’t have any time to write in the morning, OR later on. 

But the important thing is–being okay with it. One of the most important things about writing from rest is having a calmer, rested mindset from where you create. It does not have to be a solid hour of writing with everything perfectly falling in place. It can be the five minutes of quick journaling, three minutes of working out in your head about a particular scene, or a minute of Pinterest scrolling. (Yes, don’t be so aghast that I just endorsed Pinterest scrolling. It’s called brainstorming!) Whatever you get to do on that day, it counts as writing as long as you are putting your mental energy into it. Just take a deep breath, turn off your phone for a bit, and let your creativity take place. 

> Practical steps to take:

  • Schedule a writing block. Find a time in your day that you can fit your writing into. Remember, it doesn’t have to be long!
  • Plan to do one thing in that writing block. It can be simple as “make character profiles” or “write one paragraph”. Or, you can be more ambitious and set up wordcount goals. Just remember to be happy with what you get done!
  • Write down your thoughts about that writing session. This also does not have to be long. It can be one sentence, like, “I’m happy with what I wrote!” or “I feel like I want to write more.” I keep my thoughts, progress, and goals in my writing journal, which you can read more about here: 3 Steps to Start a Writing Journal

And that’s it for today!

Thank you for reading! What did you think? Do you practise writing from rest? Are you a morning person (or want to be one)? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you! 

March ‘22 Afternoon Tea with SJ

Good Afternoon to you!

The cherry blossoms are coming into full bloom all over the place & it’s another Saturday…my favourite day of the week.  ⸜( ´ ꒳ ` )⸝♡︎Despite everything that’s happened this week & this month, I’m grateful to have a time to sit and reflect on the month.  

So, without further ado, let me present to you March ‘22 Afternoon Tea with SJ!

-March Afternoon Tea ‘22 Setting-

Location: sunny loft

Tea: Lavender london fog, Lady Grey, Asian pear green tea

Offered with:  strawberry steamed cake, apple baumkuchen-tart, black sesame ice cream

This month, I suffered from tsundoku-syndrome…that is, I had a stack of books I was planning to read. Which I did for some of them, as you’ll find out later down the road. But overall, much like last month, I felt like I wasn’t as into reading as I would have liked since I was burnt out from uni &c. 

  1. Modern Translation Rongo to Soroban –Eiichi Shibusawa
  2. On the Genealogy of Morality -Friedrich Nietzsche
  3. Chosen Ones –Veronica Roth
  4. Science Fiction –Sherryl Vint
  5. Heike Monogatari (The Tale of Heike) –Anonymous
  6. Ares –Jenna Terese
  7. The Phantom Tollbooth –Norton Juster
  8. Inadvertent –Karl Ove Knausgård
  9. The Use and Abuse of History –Friedrich Nietzsche
  10. Geijutsu to Kagaku no Aida (Between Art and History) –Shinichi Fukuoka
  11. Meditations –Marcus Aurelius
  12. If Not, Winter –Sappho
  13. Haru to Shura (Spring And Asura) –Kenji Miyazawa

But now that I look back, I’m actually surprised to find I did get to read the books I enjoyed (except Nietzsche, obviously). Maybe it’s just this week that fell flat??

Currently Reading: Ethics (Bonhoeffer), The Last Graduate (Novik), The Art of Fiction (Gardner)

More tea, anyone? The lavender London fog is absolutely gorgeous, not to mention the asian pear!

Music 

Since I went on a long music rant last week, I won’t elaborate on this topic…But in case you missed it, here’s the link to last week’s post: the me + music tag / 2022 edition

Practising: Sinfonia concertante k.364, The Rumbling

Listening to: Tchaikovsky symphony no.5-6

Movie/TV Shows 

Since it’s March, a lot of the TV shows are ending in Japan–which is equal parts sad…and equal parts sad. (Okay, that made no sense whatsoever. But you get the idea.) Anyhow. (*∩ω∩)

Current favourites:

  • DCU–Deep Crime Unit…I WAS NOT EXPECTING THE CLIFF HANGER!!! I have a love-hate relationship with cliff-hangers, and this one is bordering on absolutely hating the directors rather than loving them. (Or maybe not. I am excited for another season, but still!!)
  • Mystery to iu nakare–Do not say it is a mystery…I’ve been recently finding out that the actor who plays the MC, Suda Masaki, is also the singer who did an MHA ending that I LOVE to pieces (Long-Hope-Philia, in case you were wondering). My life has been a lie…
  • And various others…from April, though, I plan to cut back the number of TV shows we watch (ˉ ˘ ˉ; )

Manga/Anime

I haven’t read manga in a while since the Golden Kamuy-phase, so I’m going to invest myself in a somewhat new series–Blue Period, which a lot of people have been recommending to me. Also, the library recently placed the orders for Bungo Stray Dogs up to the current English volume, which I’m thrilled about! 

AND. 

THE JUJUTSU KAISEN MOVIE 0 IS OFFICIALLY IN THE THEATRES!!!

*inserts blood-curdling shrieks*

No, I’m not dead yet. I can’t wait to go to the theatres wearing my Gojo Satoru T-shirt, though!!

ଘ(੭ˊ꒳​ˋ)੭✧

So, writing. 

This month has seen some progress in re-working my WIP (Juliet) although it almost always seems to feel like I’m suffering from a severe case of indigestion. In the last WIP update, I was going to talk more in-depth about the specific process I had which is honestly kind of cool, since I’m writing/organising a lot of the data in Python.

Yes, you heard that right. Since starting to learn coding in one of my uni courses, I started implementing some of the language into how I set up my Juliet re-work. It sounds a bit strange, but for some weird reason, this works for me–maybe because I’m taking a step back from the language I know best (plain English prose) and actually thinking about what to write in a different one (Python–also English, but not really). 

I’ve also been using my journal & Google Jamboard a lot just to set a basis for my schedule and brain-dumps. Overall, I’m more hopeful for this WIP than I had been in the past, and can’t wait to see where it will go.

꒰ ∩´∇ `∩꒱

Have you tried the strawberry steamed cake? Or the apple baumkuchen-tart? It’s this tree-stump-like cake with apples. And this baumkuchen is a bit like a tart as well! (I recently learnt that baumkuchen isn’t a standard dessert in North America or Europe.) 

I survived my midterms. 

And yet. 

Nietzsche. Has been. Driving me. Crazy!!

I’m in this program where we read a book every week and write an essay every other week. This month, I had to write on Nietzsche–hence I proceeded to get a stack of Nietzsche to decipher him. 

Which was not working. (I did eventually end up finishing the paper, but late.)

I am so glad we’re done with him. And here’s a quip most people might know but is still entertaining:

Nietzsche: “God is dead.”

God: “Nietzsche is dead.”

Lastly, a bit about life.

Because of many things that seem to demand my attention, I’ve been burnt out a lot. This post was supposed to be posted much earlier, too. And sometimes, it’s so hard not to stress. 

But I know that what really matters in life are the small things and how we get to places, not when. 

So, I’m learning to be okay with not being able to do everything. Even then, God’s grace is sufficient in me. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

(2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

And that’s it for today!

Thank you for reading! How was your March? What are some things that happened this month that were exciting for you? Are you looking forward to April? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you! 

the me + music tag / 2022 edition

Hullo, world!

I’ve been looking forward to today ever since the wonderful Ryan Elizabeth tagged me to do this–The Me + Music Tag!! It feels like a while since I did a tag, so it’s nice to be doing a goofy sort of post. (   ˙꒳​˙   )

THE RULES

  1. Link back to the original (Sophie @ Me and Ink) so she can see your answers and listen to the tunes.
  2. For every prompt you choose to do, name 1-5 songs (you can use Sophie’s graphics).
  3. Have fun and play your music LOUD!

DISCLAIMER: A lot of the music I listen to is not in English (oft. in Japanese) or don’t have lyrics at all (like classical ones). I won’t be able to translate those that are in Japanese, so yeah… 

  • I Like Me Better – Lauv //I like me better when I’m with you/I knew from the first time, I’d stay for a long time ’cause/I like me better when/I like me better when I’m with you//
  • Champagne Problems – Taylor Swift //Your mom’s ring in your pocket/My picture in your wallet/Your heart was glass, I dropped it/Champagne problems//
  • Blank Space – Taylor Swift //Got a long list of ex-lovers/They’ll tell you I’m insane/But I’ve got a blank space, baby/And I’ll write your name//
  • 心予報… Kokoroyohou – Eve //君に染まってしまえば染ってしまえば/心遊ばせ余所見してないで/想っていたいな想っていたいな/桃色の心予報//
  • Thou, Oh Lord – The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir //But Thou, oh Lord are a shield for me/ My glory and the lifter of my head//
  • SELAH III – Hillsong Young & Free //Love, joy, peace/ patience and faithfulness/ Your goodness is here now//
  • O store Gud – Lena Maria Johansson-Klingvall //Then sings my soul/my Saviour God, to thee/how great thou art/how great thou art!//
  • Another Day Goes By – Lizabet //Before I walk out the door/To say goodbye to you/I’ll try to stay strong/I’ll try to move along//
  • 朝ご飯の歌…Sunrise ~The Breakfast Song – Satoshi Takebe, Aoi Tejima //みんなで朝ご飯/わたしが作った/いそいで、いそいで/でも味わって食べてね //
  • 世界の約束…The World’s Promise – Chieko Basho //木漏れ日の午後の別れのあとも/決して終わらない世界の約束//
  • ひこうき雲…Hikouki-gumo – Yumi Arai //空に憧れて/空をかけてゆく/あの子の命はひこうき雲//

> other favourite movie soundtracks (all of Studio Ghibli, Inception, Interstellar, Dunkirk, Ad Astra, Your Name, Weathering with You &c.)

  • The Call – Regina Spektor //You’ll come back/When they call you/No need to say goodbye//
  • 銀河鉄道999…The Galaxy Express 999 – Godiego //さぁ行くんだその顔をあげて/新しい風に心を洗おう//
  • 鉄腕アトム…The Astro Boy March – Takai Tatsuo, London Philharmonic Orchestra //misc.//
  • アンパンマンのマーチ…Anpanman March-Dreaming //なんのために生まれて/なにをして生きるのか/こたえられないなんて/そんなのはいやだ!//
  • 服部…Hattori – Unicorn //ハッタリ/ジゴロ/服部おかしな2人/ペーター/パパは金持ち/逆光/珍しく目覚めの良い木曜日/デーゲーム/人生は上々だ/抱けるあの娘/大迷惑/ミルク//
  • The Wind Rises Soundtrack– Joe Hisaishi //misc.//
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4-6 – Tchaikovsky, Berliner Philharmoniker //misc. //
  • 101 Classical Greats – Prism Leisure UK //misc. //

 

  • 踊り子…Odoriko – Vaundy //回り出した あの子と僕の未来が/止まりどっかで またやり直せたら//
  • ジャイアント・キリング…Giant Killing – Luwan //ローリン、三振だったんです/フォーリン、慢心だったんです//
  • 言って。… Say it. – Yorushika //あぁ、いつか人生最後の日、/君がいないことを/もっと、もっと、もっと、/もっと、ちゃんと言って//
  • うっせえわ…Ussewa – Ado //正しさとは愚かさとは/それが何か見せつけてやる//
  • Believer – Imagine Dragons //Third things third/Send a prayer to the ones up above/All the hate that you’ve heard/Has turned your spirit to a dove, oh-ooh//
  • おジャ魔女カーニバル‼…Ojyamajyo Carnival – Ōmori Yoko, Mahoushoujyo ni Naritai //お空にひびけ ピリカピリララ/とんで走ってまわっちゃえ/テストで3点 笑顔は満点/ドキドキワクワクは年中無休//
  • Wake Me Up – Avicii //So wake me up when it’s all over/When I’m wiser and I’m older/All this time, I was finding myself, and I/Didn’t Know I was lost// -> This was the first English pop song I’ve ever listened to!!
  • Touch the Sky – Hillsong United, TAYA // My heart beating/My soul breathing/I found my life/When I laid it down// -> This was the song we always sang at my first youth group & makes me tear up all the time…( ´•௰•`)
  • Souvenir de Florence – Tchaikovsky //misc. //
  • Romeo and Juliet – Tchaikovsky //misc. //
  • Symphony no.5 – Beethoven //misc. // -> all of these three were childhood favourites I got to play in orchestra & gave me the confidence as an amateur violist (୨୧ ❛ᴗ❛)✧
  • Rain On Me – Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande //I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive/Rain on me, rain, rain/Rain on me//
  • Various Waltz  – Tchaikovsky, Delibes, Strauss //The Nutcracker op. 71-Waltz of the Flowers/Swan Lake op. 20-Waltz/Sleeping Beauty op. 66-Waltz/Coppelia-Waltz/On the Beautiful Blue Danube, op. 314//
  • In Case You’re Gonna Jump – Omoi //君が飛び降りるのならば僕は/笑って一緒に飛び降りる/止めてくれるとでも思ったか!/僕らの絆を見くびるか!//
  • すばらしい日々… The Wonderful Days – Unicorn //すばらしい日々だ 力溢れ/すべてを捨てて僕は生きてる/君は僕を忘れるから/その頃にはすぐに君に会いに行ける//
  • 見上げてごらん夜の星を … Look up at the Stars – Kyu Sakamoto //見上げてごらん夜の星を/小さな星の 小さな光が/ささやかな幸せを祈ってる//
  • My Favourite Things – Julie Andrews // Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens/Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens/Brown paper packages tied up with strings/These are a few of my favourite things.//

Wow, that was long!! I mean, I wasn’t planning to cover so many songs. But alas, it is what it is. (ˉ ˘ ˉ; )


I’m tagging…

Maya Joelle @when through the woods

Emily @ Emily Charlotte

Esmeralda @ Lattes & Literature

Elizabeth Hyde (The Temperamental Writer) @ Trivialities

Meg @Meg’s Magical Musings

& anyone else interested!

Thank you for listening! What are some of your favourite songs? What genre do you listen to the most? Do you have a weird mix of genres you listen to (like me)? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!