PROS AND CONS

Should I Join a Professional Organization?

Thinking about joining a professional organization? This post is geared to the writer who has decided what type of books to write and wonders if memberships would enhance the proposal. Those who are undecided would be better served by attending a few conferences as a nonmember to discern career direction.

When investigating professional organizations, I recommend asking yourself questions:

Can I afford to join? Some organizations keep dues reasonable. Others are pricey. Dues often increase. If the math doesn’t work for you, don’t join, at least not at this time in your career.

Do I have time to participate? If you are already overburdened with work and family life, unless you can reorganize your calendar or drop other activities, now is not the time to join.

What conference opportunities does the organization offer? If you join an organization that offers, say, a conference in Hawaii every year and you will always feel uncomfortable with the expense and time needed, this might not be the right organization for you. But if they offer convenient local chapters where you can participate, then this organization offers promise.

Will I meet the right editors and agents through this organization? Visit the organization’s web site. Most will have either the past year’s or current conference plans posted. Do the editors, agents, and mentors specialize in or are they knowledgeable about the books you want to write? Look until you find a conference with the professionals who will be the most helpful for you to meet.

Does the organization cater to my career plans? Look for organizations with a mission to grow the writer you are or wish to be.

Will agents and editors be impressed by memberships? I take memberships into consideration but I never accept or decline based on memberships. What the membership tells me is that this author has connections, or at least the ability to be in contact with other authors writing similar books. These relationships are helpful on both a personal and professional level for the author. Membership also says that the author has taken steps to shore up a career and didn’t just write a book on the fly and hope for the best.

Can memberships hurt my career? Years ago, I received a submission listing so many organizations’ acronyms that if the author had been an active member in each, she’d have no time to write a grocery list, much less a book. I asked for elaboration, but never received any.

Please be focused and thoughtful before joining any organization. And remember, the membership is for your personal and professional growth. Enjoy!

Your turn:

Are you a member of any professional organizations?

What is the biggest benefit you see from joining professional organizations?

What professional organizations would you recommend?

 

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MY FIRST PERSONAL HELL WEEK AND WHAT I LEARNED

HELL WEEK ONE

Well, my first private and personal Hell Week is over. Under my belt. I’m not gonna say it wasn’t tough, because it certainly was. On the other hand it was extremely good for me. So I’ve decided to make it a quarterly event for me (once a quarter, every year).

Actually I had to spread my Hell Week over 12 days because, and maybe it is just this time of year, once or twice I would have to spend most of a day driving my wife to Columbia or Rock Hill or elsewhere because of her car accident. So I would either have to add days onto my scheduled week to make up for that or if I had to do something else for half a day just redid that same day the next day. So that was difficult, but doable.

Tuesday was the most difficult on my schedule because on that day I did nothing but physical training (weights, routines, boxing, sports, athletics, combat, etc.) from 5:00 AM until 10:00 at night although I actually had to switch that day to Thursday because of helping my wife. It was hard, I won’t lie, and hard to push myself in that way even though I’m in pretty good shape.

Some of the other days that required thinking all day were also difficult. It’s perhaps harder than most realize to force yourself to think and focus all day on purely mental and psychological tasks with only meal breaks or times for physical training or weight lifting. Also Sunday was surprisingly hard as although it might seem easy and relaxed according to what I had scheduled I spent most of the day fasting and in Prayer Vigil. A long prayer vigil after a rough week is a surprisingly hard undertaking. It was difficult and taxing to concentrate and not fall asleep. Especially considering my prior lack of sleep. Occasionally I had to do other things to stay awake. That surprised me, but it was true.

Still, I haven’t done anything like this since my thirties and so I have to say that after it was all over and looking back on it I had a ball and it was extremely beneficial for me. I either learned or relearned what I am truly capable of at my age and even though I’m in my fifties I can honestly say that in many ways I performed as if in my thirties. And I feel far superior for the effort.

Actually, as I told my wife, I feel sharp as a timberwolf and tough as twisted iron.”

I recommend this to everyone.

Some of the things I learned or relearned as a result of this Hell Week: I really like getting up every day at 5:00 AM (actually 4:30 because I always have my clocks set 1/2 hour ahead), I can go hard without much sleep (always have been able to do that though I’m glad to be back to sleeping regularly), I become dehydrated easily so I have to always force myself to drink, I like eating healthy and light, I like pain in my muscles but not in my back, my powers of concentration and focus are still pretty sharp, I much prefer physical activity to sitting on my ass and being in shape to being out of it, cold don’t mean much if you’re moving (every day I did my morning hike and run and tire hauls in freezing or near freezing weather and in short sleeves and it never bothered me once and I rarely felt cold), and I can push myself pretty hard without any one else needing to do so. And I can adapt pretty easily to almost any circumstance. Also the amount of real work I got done during Hell Week was rather impressive. In sheer quantity that is, though I had no real time for editing or refinement, that will all have to come later, now that I’ve returned to my normal work schedule.

For the next seven weekends however I will be testing myself to determine just how much good Hell Week really did me (performance wise) and what my levels of progress actually and precisely were. That should lead to further program imporvements.

As for Hell Week I have already set about improving and refining the program (as a result of my experience) and to expanding upon the idea. I am now developing a new, more comprehensive program that I call Lifelong Endeavors that will encompass my Day to Day Activities, my Regular Training, monthly and quarterly Challenges (such as Hell Week and Survival Challenges), and Quests (far larger enterprises and expeditions I want to undertake in life such as funding and leading an archaeological expedition).

I’ll discuss all of that later though. In other posts. For now I have other work to do.

Have a good day folks.

Thanks for reading and see ya later.

I’m serious though, try your own Hell Week. It’ll be extremely good for you, you’ll be surprised at just how far you can push yourself if you really try, and it should do you a world of good.

By the way, if anyone is interested you can find my personal Hell Week Program at this link (the prior post).

Develop your own though. For what you need to do. Don’t just use mine, though you’re welcome to. Design your own.

HELL WEEK PROGRAM

HELL WEEK PROGRAM

here is my actual Hell Week Program after all necessary improvements and revisions.

No, I’m not afraid I’ll wash out or be unable to complete it but it will be difficult. Especially Tuesday and Friday. I’m not kidding myself that it won’t be hard.

But it’s a good start to incorporating all of my old training and educational and survival and CAP and others forms of training into a single program or set of programs geared to improve me at this stage and era of my life. And I’m already working on integrating all of these things into a single, unified Field System of Training. I’ll talk about that later, after Hell Week.

For now it is sufficient to say that I begin my new Hell Week tomorrow.

I’ll probably be incommunicado for a week therefore. I might make a quick post on progress, but I doubt it.

Here is the background on my Hell Week. Or just see previous post.

Below is the program itself.

Have a good week folks and I’ll see you when I can. For now I’m gonna go drink some water, listen to a quick radio play, and then go to bed early. Tomorrow I begin.

Night all.

General Program Principles

Follow Diet
Train Daily
Stand at Ease, legs far apart when in public
Employ your charisma at all times in public
Be Friendly and helpful to all
Assist anyone you can
Breathe deeply and calmly even when training
Hydrate often
Sleep 6 to 8 hours at night if Program allows
Sleep in tent or on floor
Cook own food or eat food raw
Exercise or Work to failure or to task completion
Drink only water and coffee – hydrate often
Take all Metaergogenics
Whenever you go out into the public dress superbly and be generous
Network and interact freely and with all
Complete all 7 days without excuse
Progressive resistance in all tasks and categories as you proceed
Serious injury or unforeseen outside circumstances are the only acceptable reasons for non-completion, then must start all over

No entertainment or rest between functions unless Program allows
No TV, radio, film, internet, or email unless specified
No sex with wife during Program

Test every Saturday after completing Program for next 7 weeks (one function per week)

 

WEEKLY TASKS

MONDAY – CREATION AND DESIGN

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike 1 ½ mile – ½ hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Game Design and General Design – ½ hour
Lunch, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Lecture – 1 hour
Write short story – 1 hour
Snack, water, rest, coffee, stretch – ½ hour
Write song – ½ hour
Write poem – ½ hour
Artwork/sketch – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – ½ hour
Write novel – 2 ½ hours
Warmann – 1 hour
Submissions and Marketing – 1 hour
Work in Notebooks – 1 hour
Stargaze – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

TUESDAY – PHYSICAL – WARMANN

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike in pack 2 miles – ½ hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Football – ½ hour
Lunch/water, metas – ½ hour
Soccer – ½ hour
Run 1 ½ mile – ½ hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Shooting – ½ hour
Snack, water, rest, coffee, stretch – ½ hour 1
Baseball – ½ hour
Warmann – 1 hour
Weight Lifting – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Boxing – ½ hour
Sword/knife fighting – ½ hour
Stealth and climbing – 1 hour
Warmann – 1 hour
Work in Notebooks – 1 ½ hours
Read – 1 hour
Bed

WEDNESDAY – INVENTION/INNOVATION

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike 1 ½ mile – ½ hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Warmann – ½ hour
Lunch, water, metas – ½ hour
Lecture – 1 hour
Observe Nature – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Invent – 1 hour
Design – 1 hour
Innovate – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Submissions and Marketing – 1 hour
Study – 1 hour
Warmann – ½ hour
Work in Notebooks – 1 hour
Write – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

THURSDAY – MENTAL (PROBLEM SOLVING, RESEARCH,
PLANNING)

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike in Pack 1 ½ mile – ½ hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, Water, Rest, Stretch – ½ hour
Warmann – ½ hour
Problem Solving – 1 hour
Lunch water, metas – ½ hour
Lecture – 1 hour
Observe Nature – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Planning – 1 hour
Operation Chay – 1 hour
Weight Lifting – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Submissions and Marketing – 1 hour
Work in Notebooks – 1 hour
Write – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

FRIDAY – FINANCIAL (INVESTMENTS, BUSINESS, START-
UP, FUNDING, NETWORKING) – WELTMANN

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike 3 miles – 1 hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
General Business Review ½ hour
Lunch, water, metas – ½ hour
Lecture – 1 hour
Investments – 1 hour
Banking – ½ hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Start Ups and Business Plans – 1 hour
Funding – 1 hour
Networking – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Submissions and Marketing – 1 hour
Warmann – 1 hour
Operation Weltmann – 1 hour
Write – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

SATURDAY – PSYCHOLOGICAL – GNOSSIS AND CHAY

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike 1 ½ mile – ½ hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, water, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Warmann – 1 hour
Lunch, waters, metas – ½ hour
Vices and Virtues – 1 hour
Christian Wizardry – 1 hour
Operation Gnossis – 2 hours
Goals and Objectives – 1 hour
Warmann – ½ hour
Weight Lifting – ½ hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Submissions and Marketing – 1 hour
Operation Chay – 1 hour
Work in Notebooks – 1 hour
Mode and Mood – 1 hour
Write – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

SUNDAY – SPIRITUAL – CHAY

Wake – 0600
Aesic Practice – 1 hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – 1 hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Church – 3 hours
Lunch, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Hike 2 miles – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Music – 1 hour
Meditation – 1 hour
Prayer – ½ hour
Nap – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Operation Chay – 1 hour
Habit Review – ½ hour
Behavior, Philosophy, and Values Review – 1 hour
Night hike in woods – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

HELL WEEK

HELL WEEK

About once a month I regularly test myself on some matter: physical, mental, psychological, spiritual, intellectual, creative, etc.

I do this to see how my daily and weekly training routines have improved me, or not.

Recently however I have been reading a book called, Hell Week by a Norwegian guy name Erik Larssen, former paratrooper and now an entrepreneur and performance coach. He suggests putting yourself through a Hell Week whenever needed.

I think his idea makes a great deal of sense and so I have designated the first week of September my upcoming Hell Week. He has a sample program but I will be modifying it for myself and my own objectives. Anyway I figure I can put myself through my own Hell Week maybe twice a year or so and see how that benefits me.

The types of training my Hell Week will include will be:

Creative – Monday
Physical – Tuesday
Inventive/Innovative – Wednesday
Mental/Intellectual – Thursday
Business, Entrepreneurial, Financial – Friday
Psychological – Saturday
Spiritual – Sunday

Testing will follow Hell Week for the next seven weeks, one Test per week

That way my Hell Week program will mirror the kinds of things I’ve done and trained in for decades now.

I’m thinking I might follow up Hell Week with a modified one week Survival Challenge in the woods in autumn. Pack enough food to have one meal per day, no fire, find my own water, explore a lot. Then if I need more food I can trap it or fish it. But part of it will be to see how little food I really require. And to sharpen thing like my senses, my nightvision (which I really only practice much with my telescope watching the moon and stars), to go back to sneaking a lot, to toughen my body back to natural environmental conditions, and to see what my dreams are like in those conditions.

Also my wife liked the idea of Hell Week so I’m making a very simplified form of Hell Week for her and the girls which I’ll call Hell Day that they can do once a month.

After Hell Week I’ll also choose one day a month (I’m thinking the first day of the month) to do a Hell Day just to keep me sharp and to improve my self-testing.

Then do a basic Survival Challenge once a year.

THE OBSERVATION OF FAILURE

Failure is the one thing that modern men are almost always willing to excuse and yet are almost never willing to learn from. No wonder it does them so little good.

from The Business, Career, and Work of Man

ON POETRY – TUESDAY’S TALE

Well, it ain’t really a Tale for Tuesday, but it is a tale about how you should tell what you can’t really tell when you try. Not in words, anyway…

ON POETRY

Poetry involves the minute manipulation of words in such a way that they are constantly and subtly altered in definition, either so that they take on a broader and more flexible implication than they have ever possessed before, or so that they take on a more narrow and peculiar resolution in terminology than they have ever before possessed.

Do this wisely and well and with patient and practiced craft and you will be considered a master of phrasing and sound, perhaps even possessed of real poetic genius. Do this sloppily or shoddily and in haste and without regard for the demands of true meaning in language and you will be considered a mere dilettante or perhaps even a hapless hack.

from my book, On Poetry

 

TO PORT OUR HOME, TO STARBOARD STILL UNKNOWN

I began this poem around noon as a response to today’s Daily Post prompt on Voyage. I got two stanzas in and then my daughters needed my help and then someone working with me on one of my start-ups demanded my attention and so therefore I have had to leave it at this point. I apologize but that kinda thing happens in life.

I intend to finish it but cannot do so at the moment. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless, and have a good day folks…

 

TO PORT OUR HOME, TO STARBOARD STILL UNKNOWN

To port was home, to starboard unknown foreign seas, and
Lands bespoken of in dream, where endless roam great beasts
Not seen since man was in the cradle of his mother’s shore
The stars still young and uncertain in their unfixed course
Across the skies of night still bright with constellated myth
Prodigious like the unseen figures which grappled in the dark
Around the moon’s white lantern in desperate search of a world
So new, so full of wonder, that no other home would do,
Not, at least, to the Daring

To port is home but on every other course the waves break
Upon a soil unsown with the tares and tears that common habit
Bestrew along the Earth we know so well by mundane states
Unchallenged in their broad decay and rush to ruin
Across the fields of ancient countries whose ground is salted
With the misery of crawling empires and rotting kingdoms
Made of man beneath the shadow of what is most foul within him
So old, so full of apathy, that no such home can seem true
Not, at least, to the Wise…