The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is another re-read for me. I first read it several years ago and decided to read it again when I stumbled across a motivational poster with the Agreements on it.

Those agreements are:

1. Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t use your words against yourself or others. Don’t gossip. Speak with integrity. Use your words in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t take anything personally.
Nothing others do is because of you, it’s a result of their perception of reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t make assumptions.
Ask for clarification and speak up for your needs. Communicate clearly to avoid misunderstanding.

4. Always do your best.
Your best will vary day to day depending on your health, mood, levels of stress and other factors. Doing your best, whatever that may be, will free you from self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.

This is a gorgeous, uplifting little book. It is a bit goddy for my taste, but as it’s a short book that’s not too much of a problem. Making the four agreements has had a noticeable effect on my experience of life – especially the second one. I would highly recommend this book.

Writing goals for 2010

Finish Sacrifice! Yep, that’s basically it for this year. I want to get Sacrifice into a suitable state for sending to agents and I want to do that by the end of August.

I’m going to aim for 2000 words a week and that should get me to 75000 words by the end of March, which I think is about right for this novel. That then gives me about four months to finish the editing. Given that the 40000 words I already have been edited a bit, I think four months is a challenging but achievable goal.

I’ve got a calendar of inspirational quotes for the year and I’ll share the ones that I like the most. Today’s was from Dara Torres, a US olympic swimmer:

“You don’t have to put an age limit on your dreams.”

Babylon, Statuephilia and the Muse of History

I went to the British Museum for their Babylon exhibition this week. It was wonderful and very inspiring.

The Long Way Home is a fantasy novel I wrote a couple of years ago, still languishing in first draft status, and it has a middle eastern themed world. The pictures and model of the Processional Way and Ishtar Gate gave me some good ideas for imagining my protagonist’s home city. When I get back to it, after I’ve finished Sacrifice

Statuephilia is a collection of contemporary sculpture inspired by the exhibits at the BM. This is my favourite, Dark Stuff by Sue Webster and Tim Noble. It’s really disturbing.

Then I had afternoon tea in the Great Court restaurant and worked out the plot for Alexandria. Apparently high blood glucose is beneficial to writing. I do so enjoy being told what I want to hear.