Your Mind off of Politics
My Resolutions Toward Independence
When times get rough or stressful, we
tend to hear that massages or bubble bath are the best
cures. Anxiety be gone the easy way!
I have a remedy that may be better or
at least longer-lasting. Read.
"Reading" may be better because
depending on our own reading choices, that depressing
recording in our minds may go away for a long period
of time. Even better, we may learn something that makes
us realize that whatever is bothering us may not be
so bad after all. It may change our minds about a position
we thought we were entrenched in. In my mind, the latter
is the best outcome of all. At its best reading should
do more than divert us—it should improve our analytical
I am writing about this because since
out national and international politics have become
more divisive, I have become more attached to my own
opinions. Suddenly it is so bad that I am disappointed
I have always prided myself on my independence.
So, I am going to:
- Choose something different to read than my favorites.
A different author. A different genre. A newspaper
with a different point of view. A different publisher
(or no publisher at all!) Not across the board. Maybe
one a week.
- I am going to watch a new channel other than my
- Every time I get disturbed, I am literally going
to ask myself what I would have said about that same
issue a year ago or what I would think about that
issue if I lived in a different circumstance than
the privileged one I live in. You know, a new cactus
flower to smell in the morning before breakfast and
a comfy bed to sleep in.
- When something I disagree with that is in the news
(or in something I just read), I am going to ask myself
what part of it I might agree with if I were
a congress woman or a corporation head or had any
power to make things different.
- And when I can reach one of those powerful people—when
it is possible through twitter or mail—I am
going to write a letter. I am a writer. But everyone
is a writer. And everyone deserves to have their voices
I think it boils down to listening. I
keep hearing that we need to “have a conversation”
about this or that. I’m tired of that because
few seem to be listening or, for that matter, doing
anything but talking down to someone else. Listening
yes. But also compassion. And to do that . . . well,
I just need to be a little less stressed.
Tips and Tidbits
(Each month in this box,
Carolyn lists a Tidbit that will help authors
write or promote better. She will also include
a Tip to help readers find a treasure among long-neglected
books or a sapphire among the newly-published.)
is a writer these days. The ones that
aren’t may find my advice to write
about what is bothering them helpful
for their stress level. Maybe my multi
Frugal Editor will help give
them the confidence to actually send
what they write to the power brokers
of the world! Especially when they find
that a whole lot of the rules that stifle
our creativity aren’t rules at
all, that we get to make style choices.
Emphasis on the word choices. In fact,
maybe this book should be on a list
of ten books or articles that will reduce
anxiety that I plan to write. If you
have a suggestion, let me know at HoJoNews@aol.com.
Bubble baths are good, but fewer rules
to worry about (and more good books
to read!) may be even better.
newest book is a full book of poetry.
Jim Cox, Editor-in-Chief of Wisconsin
Bookwatch says, “[Carolyn Howard-Johnson
is] an exceptionally skilled wordsmith,
her poetry will linger in the mind and
memory long after the book itself has
been finished and set back upon the
shelf. Very highly recommended for community
and academic library Contemporary American
Poetry collections . . .” Find
Imperfect Echoes at http://bit.ly/ImperfectEchoes.
And, yes, I’ll admit that it may
have poems in it that you don’t
agree with it. And maybe it will have
some you do!
art by Richard Conway Jackson who is
serving twenty-five years to life in
a California State prison for receiving