(From Tetiana Nekrasova from Stop the Spread for Canva Pro)

I’m a little late to the pandemic, but I’m currently recovering from a nasty bout of covid. It’s been over two weeks since I started feeling ill, and I’ll admit, about five days were scary and beyond exhausting. But I’m on the mend. Still exhausted, but things are going in the right direction.

My illness came on just after I returned from seeing Bruce Springsteen in Denver. Yes, I was vacc’ed and had all the boosters. Yes, I generally took precautions. But I decided a couple months ago that I can’t live my life indoors behind a mask. So I started going to public events.

Turns out Bruce canceled his following three shows due to an illness they never disclosed. So did I give covid to him, or did he give to me? Hmmm. (smiley emoji)

Aside from the few days I couldn’t do more than stare out the window at birds on my patio wall, I’ve decided to take this time to contemplate my journey.

Diane Discovers

Among my ruminations has been the future of this Substack. I’ve been publishing for just over two years. And even though I’ve made a few tweaks, I’m generally not feeling connected with what I want to write about.

My last piece, “An Ode to Bruce Springsteen,” is similar to what I want to share. The kind of articles like “Five Reasons You Need A Writing Group” aren’t. Anyway, AI will write these types of articles shortly – if it already isn’t being done – so it’s probably a good time to refocus.

I’ve changed the newsletter’s name from “Next Draft” to “Diane Discovers.” The updated description is, “A newsletter offering insight into our ever-evolving life adventure by exploring purpose, meaning, and the search for Self. And cool things. Join this amazing journey! Free and optional paid.”

Upcoming pieces might be about internal discoveries, like my growing interest in Stoicism, which I’ve started getting into since becoming ill. Or maybe I’ll share interesting things I do or find – like George R.R. Martin’s Sky Railway here in New Mexico. Or sharing stories of chasing The Dalai Lama around the world. I want to mix things up and make this more enjoyable for both of us.

And, mainly, I’ve decided to focus more on the themes I explore in my fiction – and on what interests me most, e.g., purpose, contentment, and the spiritual path. With lots of fun thrown in along the way.

And the Rest

I started reevaluating things before I got ill, but I’ve had time to focus over the past few weeks. I’m committed to streamlining my work and writing – and giving myself more time to play. If you don’t hear from me on the first three Tuesdays of the month, rest assured I’m hard at work either playing or getting the next book finished.

Focus is coming. I can feel it. It may be surreal and satirical, but I’m approaching the direction I want to happily skip toward. Please let me know if you’d like me to dive into anything in particular.

A Side Note of Thanks

A huge thank you to everyone who sent ideas on helping heal from the virus. I can’t begin to imagine what people went through before the vaccines. Among all the supplements and suggestions, using a Neti Pot has really helped.

If you don’t know what one is, it looks like an Aladdin’s lamp. You fill it with warm water and salts, stick it in one nostril, tilt your head, and the water runs through your sinuses and out the other side of your nose. I know! It can sound gross – but it helps flush things out and lubricates your head and throat.

I plan to do it regularly now, especially after crowded public events. Maybe it’ll help flush out any virus if I pick it up again. To our health!