It's been a week, and I've written all of five measly words.
Most "successful" writers will tell you, that's a very good way to NOT to get published. I've read a lot of pieces of writerly advice over the years, and the one nugget that is forever constant is to write every day. Those much-beloved and envied writers are currently squatting in my brain, wagging writerly fingers and bunching furry eyebrows. I was doing so well with every day. Until this vacation happened.
Because there has been jet lag. And family time. And countless small wonders that seem to fill every day to the brim: my Australian man friend laughing with Mom at her kitchen table. My man friend cooking us complicated dinners over overflowing glasses of red wine. Watching him soak in a place and culture that is still, in so many ways, new to him. Scrabble on the iTouch (What does it mean that I'm only getting 20 words out of a possible 150? That I should know what words like 'gaum' mean?).
Wonders aside, there have been seven days and no words. Hence this aspiring-writerly post. Because of all the things I want to see and achieve in 2010, becoming a better, more dedicated writer tops the list. Hell, it is the list.
I'm a big fan of making resolutions. Give me a challenge and poke me a few times: that's when the magic happens. The thing I've realized about resolutions is they're difficult to remember and to act upon if you don't proclaim them. Usually, proclaiming is reserved for when you get to the top of the mountain and dig that flag into the craggy earth, but I find that proclaiming counts most when you're at the beginning of that arduous climb. There is a power in telling the world what your goal is: it carves itself out in your mind and the minds of others, helping to make you into whoever you're becoming. Of course, proclaiming a goal doesn't ensure that you'll achieve it. You still have to put one foot in front of the other, continuously and with intent. Proclaiming just makes your goal clearer, more tangible- it makes it real.
It also makes you more accountable. If I proclaim a goal in my head and don't meet it, no one will know. No one but me, anyway. I'll be disappointed, but I'll find ways to excuse my falling short. When you let the world in on your goals, then you know that they know that we know. You have people willing to remind you about that thing you said was important to you that you are putting off. You know that if you cheat on your goal, there will be other people to mark your fear or laziness or whatever it is that is keeping that goal from becoming.
So, here is my small, very achievable December goal: I will write every day for at least a half an hour. Not read other people's blogs or scratch around in my notebook pretending to write. I will prove to myself that I can fit writing into my life no matter what else is happening.
But first, breakfast.