The (Slow) Way of The Healthy Deviant
Boy, let me tell ya, this book I am writing (The Healthy Deviant: A Rule-Breaker's Guide to Being Weirdly Radiant, Resilient, and Good in Your Own Skin) is kicking my keister. It feels like it's taking for freaking ever, in part because I'm a slow, "perfect preparer" type, and in part because when I started, I committed to doing this thing while continuing to walk my healthy talk.
From commiserating with fellow book authors, I know that many don't manage that.
Instead, while furiously writing and rewriting, they often stop moving, stop sleeping, stop eating, stop reading their mail, stop relating to the other humans in their life. Some also acquire auto-immune disorders, migraines, insomnia, and anxiety problems.
I was determined not to let my own writing experience go that way. It's just another example of "normal" that I'm not signing up for, thanks.
And yet: Every night, as I drift off, I still find myself rearranging chapters. Every morning, I wake with the realization that I must rephrase some sentence or re-draft some illustration.
Some days, I put in so much butt time that I feel my butt is going to sleep.
Some days I struggle with my perfectionism enough (just did an episode of The Living Experiment on that!) that I can't seem to let a single paragraph go.
And then, every once in a while, when I'm not writing, I'm struck by an idea of such urgency and clarity that I feel I have to race to my keyboard to capture the thought while it's still cogent. (If you've seen Elizabeth Gilbert's great TED Talk where she describes poet Ruth Stone's "running like hell" to capture a creative idea before it disappears, you know what I'm talking about.)
The good news is: I'm making progress! I've got the Core Competencies and Backbone Practices of Healthy Deviance nailed, and now (for relief) I'm working on a light-hearted "Are You a Healthy Deviant?" quiz.
I'm posing some questions like these: Do you take a lot of proactive steps to safeguard your health, including some steps not promoted by large, authoritative organizations? Do you actively challenge or reject the health-sapping norms, social expectations, and values of our unhealthy culture? Do you sometimes encounter resistance, judgment, derision, or feel stigmatized as the result of your socially-odd but healthy choices? Do you just keep on doing your thing anyway?
Yes to any of those? Congrats, you're probably some sort of Healthy Deviant (I'm characterizing a few different kinds).
For those of you who've been asking for a sneak preview of more of the book content, I shall direct you, for now, to these resources:
- This feature article I wrote, The Making of a Healthy Deviant, that appeared in Best Self magazine in January.
- My Healthy Deviant Facebook page, where I'll be gathering and sharing more related bits and snippets as I go.
- This "Healthy Deviance" episode of The Living Experiment podcast in which Dallas and I discuss the topic in depth.
- For travel-lovers: "The Way of The Healthy Deviant"— a keynote I'm presenting at the Ancestral Health Symposium in New Zealand in October.
I'm giving 'em away free to the first 10 people who self-identify as Healthy Deviants, and at cost after that (open to suggestions on colors — I've got blue, black, and white right now, in women's and men's sizes small through extra large).
Thanks for hanging in there with me these past couple years (oy!), and for all your support and encouragement. I'll have more news and more Healthy Deviant content to share, soon. Please follow my Healthy Deviant Facebook page to stay up to date on all that goodness. Thank you!
Let me know what you think ...