You know how the Chinese celebrate the lunar New Year? Well, I have a Writing New Year – and I’m celebrating it today!
Why this actual day, you ask? Pretty simple. Today is the first day in nearly two months where I’ve had more than one hour of peace and quiet. Yes, the kids have gone back to school/kindy, meaning I have some actual time to apply the bum glue and get busy sitting, thinking and writing.
It’s daunting. I’ve been dreaming of this day for the past few weeks, thinking of all the wonderful words I’m going to write. Of course, now it’s here and the words aren’t as great as I’d hoped and the house is so quiet I can almost here it whispering to me, words like ‘can’t, ‘shouldn’t’, and ‘don’t bother.’
I’m also pretty sure there’s a ghost floating around the kitchen who goes by the name of guilt and wafts past every so often reminding me that there are thirty cajillion more productive things I could be doing. Like mending socks, or ironing, or making bread from scratch, or de-cluttering, or trying to earn, you know, a thing called a living.
But I don’t want to do those things. I want to do this thing. And I don’t believe in ghosts. So the guilt ghost can just rack off to the fairyland from which she came.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Trying to tell a woman not to feel guilty is like trying to tell someone with anxiety not to worry. But the brain is a powerful, powerful piece of tissue – and what I’ve come to learn is that it’s actually very good at fooling itself in ways that can both hinder AND help. So, if I can fool myself into thinking that this is all a colossal waste of time, I can probably also fool myself into thinking that it’s OK.
Basically, I need to give myself permission to write, so I’ve made a bargain.
I’ve set an arbitrary deadline. I’m giving myself six months. Six months to knock out a first draft of a new, full-length, fairly commercial work. Six months to flex my literary muscle with a couple of next short stories. Six months to try and garner some publishing interest in the novel I finished last year. And six months to finish a university degree which will hopefully allow me to start seeking paid work (unrelated to creative writing) in the second half of the year.
After that, I’m still going to write – but it won’t be the only thing I’m doing.
Call them new years resolutions, call them plans, call them a rabbit, but now that I’ve put it here, in writing, it’s what I’m going to have to do.
But I’d love to know – what are your writing plans for this year?