Whoever came up with that magic “easy” button on the Staples commercials is a genius.
Wouldn’t you love one of those? We could all be walking around as the best versions of ourselves living the best lives we could dream up.
Imagine eating triple chocolate Heath Blizzards from Dairy Queen and still sashaying across the stage in a size four evening dress accepting your Oscar for Screenwriting presented by… say, George Clooney, Dennis Quaid, and Harrison Ford.
Unfortunately I can’t seem to find an “easy” button. Not that the above couldn’t happen; it just might not be that easy.
My husband and I returned last week from a fun, fun vacation in The Outer Banks of NC but now that we’re home, I haven’t quite snapped back into the real world. Instead, I feel unmotivated. I’m having a hard time doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
Like… writing five pages a day. What a lovely idea. While meandering up the beach on Ocracoke Island, I thought a lot about my characters and their plights. If I had a telepathic typewriter like the heroine in Stephen King’s Tommyknockers, I’d have written at least a new screenplay and finished my novel. Instead, I wrote one blog post in a cathartic fit.
Now that I’m back, you mean I have to sit down and do it? I’m still catching up on e-mails and Facebook posts I missed. Not to mention downloading all the pictures we snapped of lighthouses, winged horses, and yes, an eight-foot shark (already deceased) we found on the beach at Cape Hatteras.
Forget carrots or blueberry smoothies. All I want to do is grab a chip with spinach dip. Trouble is; I’m no longer walking 32,000 steps a day.
Even as I’m missing the good old days of the vacation which ended less than a week ago, life has a way of reminding me I have options.
It’s given me a reset button.
When I arrived feeling full and guilty at my weekly Weight Watchers meeting, it had been rescheduled. I had to return another day which was great because all I needed was a bit more time to get back on track; a second chance. Thank you life!
And my writing? Like I keep telling the world, when I am writing, I love to write and nothing else matters. My problem is actually sitting at the desk and writing. It’s called focus.
Three more“reset” buttons appeared to stare me in the face.
First, I read an article shared by Jane Friedman on the power of focusing on actually writing. Not marketing, not networking, but staying on point and writing. (The complete article is at http://networkedblogs.com/9F3sd.)
Next, I received a reminder about November being national novel writing month; NaNoWriMo, and I thought “Why not?” Maybe a cyberspace group of 165,000 (last year’s participants) would hold me accountable.
Finally, when I did wade through two weeks of e-mail, a daily reminder from www.750words.com for every single day I was gone on vacation waited. Instead of feeling nagged or harassed, I was glad someone (even a computer generated prompt directed by me) cared enough to follow up!
I committed to both NaNoWriMo and writing 750 words per day in November challenges (yes, they can overlap…). By committing to these projects, writing five pages a day will not elude me.
As a reward, I’ve promised myself a pair of funky cowgirl rainboots and if I don’t keep my vow… well, I’ll do something very drastic like… oh, either clean the whole house or give up something like, like… like spending money until the end of the year. There, I’ve said it.
Instead of using an “easy” button to magically change everything, I’m still responsible to do the work. But a reset button is almost as good. It gives me another chance and that’s all I can ask for.
And this December, when North Carolina postcards show up in my dear ones’ holiday mailboxes, they’ll realize I used another “reset” button! ~ JD here.
Wow, JD, NaNoWriMo sounds daunting. Best of luck to you. Maybe next year for me. Not that I won’t write that much. I probably will, in some form. I just want to finish my one big project for once and for all–as well as I possibly can. btw, my poem was selected for the online version of the journal. You can view it at http://www.thelyricmagazine.com/current_all.html if you want. Glad you had a wonderful vacation! And I did wonder about your posts. Welcome back.
Congratulations on your poem CICATRIZE being published. It’s quite good! I don’t know if you’ve looked around the NaNoWriMo website, but it’s quite impressive and if you only wanted to get your feet wet, you could give it a whirl. I plan to keep you updated on my progress; thanks for the good wishes. ~JD
I did NaNoWriMo two years and loved it. It was a great motivator. I need to be held accountable to stay on task and that was just the kick in the pants for me.
Oh, how I’d love an easy button… I’d wear it around my neck!
Good for you, Angie!