Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Challenge for the New Year

"I love you, Mommy!"

Oh, such a  sweet distraction. Usually I welcome those words from Sus into my days, no matter what I'm doing. At this moment, I'm trying to break a year-long habit of dawdling, procrastinating, and allowing distractions to encroach on my writing time. I want peace and quiet, darn it! I want to settle in and bang out a best seller in 2013. I want to write again. Save the mommy-love for an hour, just an hour, please, Kiddo?

Andy starts up the treadmill four feet away from my desk. It sounds like a jet airliner. I crank my iPod up so my quiet nature sounds override his noisy footfalls. It doesn't work. I now have a hurricane happening in my ears. Ugh.

Last month, my good friend Katia Raina issued a challenge to writers: 31 minutes, 31 days. Establish new habits. Make writing a daily habit. Live the dream. She had a great 2012: she sold a book, she wrote another, and she was accepted into my alma mater, Vermont College of Fine Arts. How I love that place! I am so thrilled for Katia--she will do well there. She belongs there. I have been telling her so for many years. She worked hard and made her dreams come true.

Today is New Years Day. I woke with one mission in mind. One resolution. One goal. To heck with the house-cleaning, weight loss, exercise, and even the bathroom renovations that still aren't completed! I am going to WRITE. Now. Today. Every day. For thirty-one days. For the rest of the year! And hopefully, for the rest of my life. I'm starting today. Here. Now. I'm going to write.

I have established a collection of writing 'needs' and habits over the years. My muse likes a quiet room, a pot of tea, and inspirations from writing greats--friends, mentors, and classic artists--posted around my desk. I used to wait until the kids went to bed, put on soft music, sip some warm fruity herbal beverage, and compose beautiful prose. Then I would be inspired to string together paragraphs haunting and delightful, constructing stories in the toasty warmth of my cozy office. (My 'dream' office was always clean, too, but thankfully, my muse never required a clean desk in reality.)

New Years Day is ticking away, with distractions and The Honeymooners on TV and kids playing, exercising, chattering, and more. Life is happening around me. How will I ever get anything done? It's a new year. Time for a new outlook.

SO! My 2013 motto: forget the damned habits. Screw the muse and her lofty demands. Bring on the treadmill! Leave the TV on--I don't care.  Talk to me, interrupt me, bother me...it doesn't matter. I'll work through it. I will snatch a writing minute where I can. Thirty-one of them, every day.

I hope your 2013 brings you whatever you are hoping for the most. I am hoping that my 2013 brings me good things, too. I almost said that I hope it brings me writing minutes... but, nope! That's up to me.

Writing time, brought to me by me.
And whatever you are hoping for most? Don't wait for it to come to you. Go get it. Make it happen. Your dreams, brought to you by you


PS Katia: this blog post does not count toward my 31 minutes. It's a warm-up exercise. 31 minutes of novel writing happens today, too. I promise! (That promise is to me, not you. :) )

Photo credit: Will Hillenbrand, http://www.willhillenbrand.com/

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