And Why I Don’t Like them
There. I’ve said it. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not against striving for new and better habits. I just don’t think you need to wait until the first of January to get started. Don’t wait until the first of the month or the first day of the week or even tomorrow to start cultivating a new habit. Start now.
Although, sometimes it does help to have a kick in the pants to get you going. For me, I started my writing habit when I was four months pregnant with my daughter. I thought, “well, if I don’t start now, then when? When am I going to put to paper these characters and stories that have been occupying my mind for the last few years? So, I pulled out my laptop on my lunch break and just started writing.
I had no idea what I was doing, so I didn’t plan anything out. No outline, no map. I just wrote whatever scene I felt the most interested in (which is definitely not how I do things now). I couldn’t have tea, so I poured a glass of ice water with a lime wedge to make it feel special (now I drink about a pot of black tea in the morning and a mug or two of chamomile in the evening). I’d have a little bowl of pistachios as a snack–tasty and not messy, and I cranked out a 67,000 word draft in about three months.
My routine’s obviously changed since then. With working a full time job and acting as the primary chauffeur to the little one, I have to be decisive with how I budget my time. I’ll dedicate some time in the upcoming weeks to my theories and approaches to time management and share those. For now, just imagine this: me, grumpy and groggy, slurping too-hot blood orange Ceylon black tea at 6 a.m. If my lazy butt can do it, so can you.
This year, a friend and I are going to write and submit a short story to a magazine each month. Something small that can be tackled in about a week, that will help us become better writers. Feel free to share your writing goals this year–and it’s ok to start mid-January or a random Tuesday in March or September. Just start now.