How did this happen?

blonde-1296489_1280Here it is – more than 2 weeks after the end of April.

2 weeks after completing the AtoZ Blog Challenge.

3 weeks… THREE!!!… after participating in an outstanding short story intensive.

And what have I done in the last two weeks? Not write. That’s what I’ve done.

It’s not that I didn’t have very good intentions. There are a couple of short stories that I started and want to finish. There is the novella that began on my blog. I want to keep practicing with the techniques learned in my class so my writing continues to get better and faster.

And I haven’t done any of it.

I could enumerate the reasons. Some of them are actually good.

But I won’t.

Because the reality is that no matter how good my reasons, if I want to be a writer, I need to write. It needs to take priority over Facebook and other time wasters, for starters. It needs to be at the top of my To Do list on a daily basis.

I struggled with that and (mostly) won during the blog challenge. There were days that I had a lot going on, but I’d made a commitment and I followed through.

But as soon as the challenge was over, I gave myself permission to take a couple of days off. A couple of days became a couple of weeks, and here we are, more than halfway through the month and this post is the most I’ve written.

So, effective immediately, I’m making a new commitment to myself. My commitment is to write.

  • I will work on fiction at least 5 days a week.
  • I will post on this blog at least once a week.
  • I will not allow myself to make excuses for putting off my dreams.

I might not always win the struggle… and make no mistake, for me keeping any kind of routine is a struggle. But I will continue to do this thing that gives me so much pleasure. I’ll continue to create and lose myself in interesting worlds filled with interesting characters.

I will write.

And hopefully you’ll be glad I did.

Now, where was I?

Ok, so I blinked and 2 months went by.

I almost wish I could say I’d been sitting around eating bon bons and just “forgot” to be blogging, writing, and getting on with things because I was having too darn much fun.

And if wishes were pages, I’d have written a whole library by now.

The reality is that my “real job” doing desktop publishing got crazy for a while. Plus I was off the grid for a bit visiting family. Add to that some stress over how I was going to wrap up my work in progress, and you’ve got the trifecta that is the bane of every writer’s existence: unplanned busyness, personal obligations, and writers’ block.

*insert a heavy sigh here*

I do want to say, though, that I was, in fact, having fun. I mean, come on. Creative play on my laptop and a trip to California? How much more fun could I have? It’s just that those sorts of activities tend to sap all my creative energy and there’s not enough left for writing. Especially when I’m trying to figure out some piece of my story. :-/

But that, as they say, was then. This is now. And today I’m here on my blog. Today I have a finished draft for my short story. FINALLY!!! Today I’m really happy with my world. (My story world, that is. Actually, I guess I’m pretty happy with the actual, real world too.)

So yeah. Today. Today was a good day. And very soon, I will have a free story available for you to download, if you so choose. Hopefully that means today is a good day for you, too. 🙂

 

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Ramping up for the new year

I’ll admit it – I stalled out more than a bit during the final weeks of 2013.

Basically, I gave up. True fact.

But now I’m getting back on track and already making progress for what is going to be a banner year!

To help regain my focus, I decided to join Jeff Goins’ new years’ writing challenge. He’s calling it My 500 Words, and it’s simply about writing a minimum of 500 words every day for 31 days.

It’s NOT about writing 500 perfect words.

It’s NOT about putting up 31 new blog posts or writing 31 fully-developed chapters.

This is a challenge to simply re-train writers to do what writers do. Write.

A big part of why I failed at reaching my goals last year? I didn’t have my butt in the chair and my hands on the keyboard. I just wasn’t writing. I could go into all kinds of reasons why that was the case. I could make all kinds of excuses. But whatever those things were–reasonable or flaky, good or bad–they don’t matter. Not anymore.

That was then. This is now. The only thing that matters today is what I am going to do today.

And today I’m going to write at least 500 words.

This week I’m going to flesh out what is turning into a very interesting story.

This month I’m going to finish that story and have it ready for people to read. (If you want to be one of the people who reads it, be sure to sign up for my mailing list!)

What I’m NOT going to do is stress out over what I haven’t done. What’s the point? Until someone invents a time machine that works and that I can afford, I can’t change the past.

I can only change today. I can only change what I want to do with this moment.

And today? I’m going to write.

It’s what I do.