This first week of 2017 has come with it’s own handful of challenges. After quite a crazy, travel-intensive December, I’ve been looking forward to getting back to my usual routine, but the transition has been awkward at best. Along with trying to adjust to normal life again, I’ve had this cold that just won’t quit, and it often tries to tempt me to just watch Project Runway re-runs all day instead of doing any work. I will say, I felt quite accomplished just getting the laundry done (not put away necessarily, just done).
Still, I have pushed throuh it all, not allowing this little stuffy nose and tired throat to slow me down. Even on my worst day, I’ve forced myself to suck it up, down the DayQuil, and meet my goals for the day. Including writing (but maybe not cleaning…)
This picture is a good illustration of what I’m talking about:
I was super sick this day. Like there’s a wad of tissues in my pocket during this picture that are all kinds of gross, but my husband Jeremy insisted getting out of the house for a bit would do me some good, and so I made myself look like a person and he snapped this picture. I’m amazed at it, to be honest. I hadn’t smiled in a couple days because I was just coughing and blowing my nose so much. Even though I didn’t feel very much like putting on mascara (or pants for that matter), I’m so glad I did now (because I look pretty cute in this picture!)
If I hadn’t pushed through, even though I had a million excuses not to, I would have missed out on not only a nice little picture, but also a great trip to the bookstore and a nice little coffee date with my husband.
And it’s the same with my writing.
I joined the 365K Club (which is a sub-group of the 10 Minute Novelist group on Facebook), which is a writin accountability group that encourages writers to create a habit of daily writing. You set a goal for yourself (the standard is 1,000 words a day) and you fill in what you wrote on a spreadsheet. If you miss a day, you have to manually type in a 0. My goal is starting with 500 minimun a day, but hopefully I’ll be able to ramp it up to that 1k easily.
One night this week – the coffee/picture day – had been busy, and it left me feeling pretty drained. Jeremy was gone for band practice, so I was home alone on the couch. It was 7:00 PM and I still hadn’t written anything that day. I knew I had to go and type in that 0 words in the spreadsheet and I thought, “No! I can do this. I can pump out 500 words. I know I can. It’s just 500 words.” And I continued this mantra as I got myself a cup of tea, pulled out the fairylights, and turned on my writing playlist.
I had yet to really start writing my newest novel – an idea I am really excited about and will share with you soon! – but I wasn’t going to let the ‘beginning’ stop me. (So far, I had been reaching my goal by writing the devotionals for FRACTURED.) I needed to get those 500 words down.
And I did. In fact, I wrote 1,154 words that evening. I didn’t let the sickness or the tiredness or the laziness stop me. And I am so glad, because I am loving this story, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
I hope I can really keep up that determination this year, to not give up no matter what and to always find 30 minutes to write. If I want to be a full-time writer, it’s what I have to do. Treat my writing like a job, like a priority, not a hobby, not a luxury, not a pasttime. If I want my novels to be important, I have to treat them like they are important.
And no matter how hard it is to start at first, afterwards, I know I will always, always feel 100% glad that I did it. I hope you find that as encouraging as I do. Don’t let anything stop you from going after what you want, because no one is going to do it for you, and there is no time like the present to get started.