This is based on an article originally published May 18th a Write Anything
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I know it is an odd way to begin my weekly column, but since it is given over to ideas on how to use the Mercury Retrograde (Rx) energy, I thought I would begin with the most basic of reminders. Mercury Rx is a notorious period for electrical equipment and communication devices go *fizzle pop*. You have been warned!
I won’t go into astrological depth as to what Mercury Rx is other than to say Mercury represents, among other things, communication, information and travel and retrograde is about things going backwards! Every day life can go a little hey wire when Mercury is retrograding.
The tenants of Mercury Rx are:
- Don’t sign any contracts
- Don’t buy big items – especially electrical appliances, phone a computers.
- Don’t make significant moves or huge life altering decisions
- Don’t begin a marriage, a business or a book
- Don’t gossip and mind you do say
- Plan for delays in travel, communication and the forthcoming of information.
- Finding lost objects
- Polishing off creative projects which been lingering (hello Chinese Whisperings!!!)
- Blissful introspection
- Random synchronicity which reconnects you with important elements/people from you past.
- Bunking off and relaxing
- Reading trashy novels or re-reading favourite books from your past.
What does any of this have to do with writing though?
Mercury Retrograde is unique energy which can be productive (and I’ve found if you use it productively you are less likely to get the bad end of the stick) so here are my ten tips for making the most of Mercury Rx as writers.
- Take time to enjoy an old style of writing or a genre you no longer write in.
- Use favourite songs from your past as idea prompts. Pick our favourites.Play them one at a tim. Spend five minutes after each song finishes scribbling/typing a stream of consciousness inspired by the song.
- Go through your archives and re-read some old stories/writing – this includes the really old, dusty crates and boxes in your garage, basement or cupboard under the stairs. If you’re truly game – go back and re-read old journals, diaries or letters.
- Post an old short story to your blog to celebrate your journey as a writer. Nothing says “this is how far I’ve come” like old work. Or repost a favourite short story from your blog archive which your newer readers may not have read before.
- Contact old writing colleagues or friends – even if it is just to say hello and what’s going on in your life now? Or contact an mentor from your past to say thank you and let them know how you are going.
- Revise or edit at least one first draft, current or old, before Mercury Rx finishes on the 29th September.
- Search out pieces in your “unfinished folder” or wherever else you keep them and finish at least one of them before Mercury Rx finishes.
- Review your book/notepad of ideas and see if any ideas now jump out at you. (I still maintain there are no bad ideas, just great ideas at the wrong time!) Is now the time to try test drive a new plot or idea?
- Befriend a new character who has been hanging around trying to get your attention.
- Write a list of your favourite books and add at least two of them to your reading list for the rest of the year (this Mercury Rx season I have Lightning and The Time Traveller’s Wife on my to read list – and possibly also Sahara and Magician depending on how ambitious I really get!.
While Mercury Rx can be a pain the butt if you’re stuck on the tube on the way to or home from work, you’ve had the RAQC out to your place twice in a week because your car won’t start, your computer goes AWOL and takes everything on your hard drive with it, your website disappears and your webhost tells you they have no record of you as a customer, you turn up for a meeting no one told you had been rescheduled for an hour earlier, you lose your phone and all your phone numbers, correspondence you’re waiting on doesn’t arrive, your inbox is bogged down in an influx of spam, people continually misunderstand the messages you send on your phone/post on Twitter or Facebook and the fridge you buy tomorrow goes *fizzle pop* in a months time … take heart. And a big deep breathe!
As writers, it can be truly brilliant period for rediscovering aspects of our old writer-self or life. And as I’ve discovered, if you use the energy to your advantage it doesn’t seem to come back and bite you quite so hard in disruptive and aggrevating ways.