New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t believe in them because years of experience have taught me that they simply set me up for failure. Who wants to start a new year as a loser? I mean, really? There are enough other situations throughout the year to confirm that I’m not the best at following through with plans. Boxes and boxes of fabric and shelves of quilting books remain untouched after years of being in the sewing queue. The ever growing stack of books by my bed shows that nowadays I read three sentences and then fall asleep. Not to mention the cobwebs in the corners of my house or the knee-deep cat-fur lining on the carpet upstairs.
So, for 2012 I made no resolutions. Instead I made a schedule with tasks that have to be completed each month. I’m a project manager for heaven’s sake. I know about planning, execution and completion of projects. I’m great at it when I’m working on a project for someone else!
By the end of 2011, I was so frustrated I was ready to go to work at the Japton feed store. To heck with creativity! I was prepared to drown my muse in the upper pond and leave his lifeless body for the snapping turtles, but even I decided that was a wee bit extreme.
Instead, I broke out the poster board and charted my life. God, I love charts. I get all tingly when I break out the multicolored markers. The only thing better is an Excel spreadsheet. Those make my knees weak. After careful consideration and navel gazing I tried to analyze the aspects of my life that I found most frustrating. When I figured it out, I was shocked. Shocked I say!
Unfortunately, I’d already killed my muse. Well, not killed exactly, but stuffed him in a duffel bag and buried him under tons of shoes and cocktail dresses in the back of my closet. (Don’t even get me started on how good he looked in those red-spiked heels and cute little black dress when I finally freed him.)
Turns out the reason I was so frustrated with my writing career was because I hadn’t written anything new in months. I’d spent hours and hours and hours editing, but had done nothing new and fun and creative.
On January 2nd, I sat in front of my computer and opened my current WIP and wrote. Oh God, the endorphins that raced through my body. Oh, the elation! Loved every second of it.
Only problem, that dadgum social networking. Seems like for me it’s either/or. I can write. I can spend hours online writing blog posts, visiting other people’s blogs, keeping up with Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.
I chose writing. The result? Nada on the social networking side of things. My family says this is a no-brainer. You write. I explain that sure, I can write, but who will buy my books if no one has a clue who I am?
How do you do it? How do you keep your house clean, your animals fed, yard mowed, write 4 hours a day and maintain a web presence? How? Tell me? How do you do it? Huh? Tell me! Now damn it! I must know!! How in God’s name do those authors who work full time do it? How?! I must know!