In my blog the Book Diaries, I illustrate how I make real, practical changes in my life by taking inspiration from each book I read. The process I go through is fantastic for getting unstuck, hauling myself out of a rut and making things happen.
However, sometimes we have a more urgent need to shake things up – and this is where the Quick Lit Fix comes in. As its name suggests, it is a very simple technique for thinking laterally and taking action when you don’t have time to read a whole book for stimulation – which I’m guessing is quite often…
Despite its simplicity, the Quick Lit Fix is an extremely powerful tool for creating momentum and moving forward. It can help you:
- tap into your subconscious feelings about a situation
- gain creative insights into problems
- reconnect with your priorities
All you need to create change is the desire – and will – to do something about it.
Before settling down for this exercise, find yourself a handy bookshelf. If you don’t have a whole bookshelf, just a pile of books will do… and if you’re in a bookless wilderness, then you’ll need to get yourself down to your nearest library!
A comfy seat and a cup of tea are optional.
There are just five steps:
- Visualise the issue you want to gain clarity or perspective on.
- Pick up a book at random, flick to any page and select a random line.
- See what thoughts & feelings that line inspires in you, personally.
- Ask: ‘What can I do as a result of this new insight?’
- Do that thing.
Hint: the last word of step 3 is the real key here… and of course step 5!
And that’s it.
But how does it work in the real world?
I thought you might ask that. Read on to see an example from my own life…
My Sample Quick Lit Fix
by George Orwell
“They had left the clearing and were wandering again through the chequered shade, with their arms round each other’s waists whenever it was wide enough to walk two abreast.”
The overall vision conjured up by this line is the memory of a holiday my husband and I went on. The mention of ‘two abreast’ reminds me of our car having to overtake two cyclists riding abreast on the journey there; this in turn jogs the memory of our realisation at this point that we’d taken a wrong turning, which made it all feel like a bit of an adventure: we wondered, as we found a junction to turn and go back, whether the cyclists would notice that this was the same car going the other way… Finally, Orwell’s description of a couple, walking closely together in what sounds like a delightful setting, reinforces further memories of the holiday, when we were able to enjoy each other’s company in a beautiful location, far from the cares of daily life.
We don’t spend enough time taking meaningful breaks together; we tend to focus on the daily grind, and go on holiday very infrequently. I will therefore commit to scheduling in time to ‘escape’ with my husband on a regular basis – even if it is just a meal out or a leisurely walk.
Just Do It
As you can see, the actions don’t have to be earth-shattering – the important thing is not what you do, but actually doing it. In fact, the smaller the change, the easier it is to make it happen – and that sense of momentum can then lead you on to gradually greater and greater changes.
You don’t even have to use a book if you don’t have one to hand. Pick a line from your favourite TV show or film; view a painting; listen to a song – you can still tune in to the thoughts and feelings these creations awaken in you, and take action as a result.
I should offer a word of caution, from personal experience: creating change in this manner can be quite addictive! Small changes are easy to make – and that sense of empowerment can be very thrilling to discover.
You should therefore only embark on this process if you’re prepared for potentially big transformations to happen in your life.
So… What Next?
Check out my Tumblr for random quotes on a weekly basis, to bring you fresh insights and new wells of inspiration.
I also have two new projects in the pipeline, both of which will build on the Quick Lit Fix technique to offer much more help with tuning in to your subconscious and turning thoughts into action – as these are the parts that can often be a challenge.
More news will follow as this all takes shape – and, in the meantime, why not see what changes I’m continuing to make in my own life by reading the Book Diaries!