On Writing

Are you adding to the heap? …

As a precursor to this blog, 100,000 of you have seen the “Make Your Bed Everyday” YouTube video featuring the sage advice of Navy Seal Admiral McRaven. If you haven’t, take a peek here:

Without stepping on the Admiral’s spit-polished shoes, may I add my own self-help wisdom for those hours following a well-made bed … when the naysayers’ supposed dust mites are in a mating frenzy.

Are you adding to the heap? No, this is not Mount Underwear in the corner. This ‘heap’ is the lily-white Pile of Good Things. Everyday you should make an effort to do at least one thing that places you one concrete step further down your path in life. This could be anything regarding your health, your family, your career, your financial security,  your faith, etc. After all, isn’t spirit the sidekick of religion?

This is not about keeping up the Jones’s. Fads and trends continue … but is 2016 the year we finally stop chasing this poor family? … Neither is this about he who has the most toys at the end wins.

‘Adding to the heap’ is goal-setting reduced to its simplest form. You’ve made your bed (or not). Now what? Add to your heap. Have lunch with your daughter, run that 20 minutes on the elliptical, write that 3-page scene, create that e-book cover, jot down that story idea that will be the novel you’re working on in 3 years because there are two other ideas ahead of it, etc.

Without getting too technical, Heap Diversification is key. True writers can get by living in a box with a view. Don’t forget to share those views outside that box with those who need you because you need them. Socialize.

At the end of the day, when you climb into your made or unmade bed, you can look back and tell yourself you’ve done something productive, something that advances your lot in life and something you can hang your hat on. Your actions are tangible. They tell you that you won the day and not the other way around. Effort is the surrogate mother to success.

There’s no gold medal for the biggest heap … because the smallest action may bring the most memorable reward.

I hope I’ve added to your heap. Good luck.


By David Belisle

I'm a novelist and screenwriter in search of the Great Guffaw. It's kind of like getting hit with a bucket of Gatorade. It's a good time that sticks with you.

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