The Zen of Small Plates

This blog post is about how a small plate started to change my attitude to life. If you’re here for the Round of Words 80 update scroll to the bottom.

Not so long ago my boyfriend and I moved into his dad’s house.  Prior to that I was used to having my own place and after the first three months or so I began to find the lack of space and agency a bit trying.

Bizarrely one of the things that really got to me was the size of the plates. These plates were massive white things with a diameter of 31.5cm, while an average plate has a diameter of 27.5cm.  This doesn’t seem like a hell of a lot until you pile it up with dinner. Needless to say, always the glutton, I started putting on weight. Around the time it became uncomfortable to sit down in my work trousers I stopped being pathetic and did two things,

  1. I started swimming again
  2. I bought a smaller plate.


Both of these things probably contributed to shedding some of that weight and just generally feeling happier about things, but it was the smaller plate that made me start to reconsider how I faced life. As I had considerably less to eat now than the two boys (with their extra 500 calories a day according to the NHS) I ate slower so I wouldn’t always finish first. This led to savouring the food more rather than just wolfing it down as I’m normally prone to do because I’m already busy thinking about the next task on the list.

The lesson of the small plate can be applied to other things too.  It helps me with my writing stress as before I’ve always been panicking about how much I have to do to be ‘successful’ in my own head. Now though I find myself slowing down and enjoying the creative process more, and talking to the people I meet on social media for their own sake, not because I have to make as many friends as possible.  There’s only so much time to go around after all, best enjoy it while I can.

What about you? Do you feel like there’s too much to do and no time? How do you cope with the pressure of it all?

On to Round of Words. For more info go to the blog.

  • I’ve been terrible with updates and didn’t post at all last week, mostly due to some problems with my lap top not wishing to talk to WordPress. These aren’t fixed yet but in the meantime my boyfriend’s lap top seems to be working ok with the web pages.
  • I have now uploaded two posts not Insecure Writer’s Support Group or Round of Words 80 related, and I’m hoping to get back to regular blog updates to justify spending money on my own website in the future.  Maybe. We’ll see how that goes.
  • Taken a break from plotting out my National Novel Writing Month project for November, will return to it in September but have been revising my MS like a demon this week.  I’m hoping to sort out the climax by the beginning of August so I can then go back for another round of tweaks.  This is a long shot but worth a try.
  • Been keeping up with reading other people’s blogs and discovered some new ones. All good.

How has everyone else been doing?


5 thoughts on “The Zen of Small Plates

  1. Well done on your progress. And I’m impressed that you have planned NaNoWriMo. I’m nowhere near as organised as that! I totally understand difficulties posting because I didn’t manage it last week either.

  2. What a beautiful message and lovely metaphor. So nice to hear what’s going on in your little empire. (The Debbie one, not the British one.) I like the new look for you and your site too dear. Glad you didn’t change the name. It’s always been my favorite blog name, though you are somewhat less than wicked.
    ~Just JIll

  3. Wow, 31.5cm is enormous! I often do a similar thing; unless I’m having a lamb roast or something that requires a dinner plate I’ll just dish up on a bread and butter plate. My brain is tricked into thinking there’s a lot more there than there is. I love your analogy between your new eating habits and your writing habits.

    I am always so impressed by people who plan their NaNo novels – I only ever manage to go in with a bit of an idea and wing it from there. Nice work on the progress this week, even if you weren’t posting updates.

    • Thanks Emily. I do sometimes go back to the large plate. Liek you say, for roasts it’s almost required. This is my first year planning a Nano novel though. I’m starting to find planning saves me time in the long run. Thanks for stoppinf by.

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