Nothing like starting the New Year a week late – but I went on vacation with my sweetie (I don’t actually remember the last full week vacation I had, so this was an event) and decided that I would really take the time off. No writing – Not much thinking about writing – and lots of reading.
Didn’t get much reading in, what I did was learn how to skate ski.
Well – I didn’t actually learn it, or rather I’m very far from mastery, but I gave it a try and only said Fuck! a few times. I’ve never been on skis before – and learning something new at my age (okay I’m not that old but I am wiser and more careful at 40 something than I was at 20 something) is difficult. Not because old folks can’t learn but because my brain wouldn’t let me just do – it wanted to comment all the time. I taught dance for 15 years I know better, yet my brain was having a very good time commenting on my actions and giving me lots of good advice. But in order to learn I needed it to shut up.
Apparently skate skiing is much harder to learn for a novice than classic. Classic being what we all think of when we imagine cross-country skiing. Be that as it may, it was fun, challenging, and I only wanted to cry with frustration once. Then I walked back to the meadow and started working on my technique again.
I forgot how stubborn I could be.
My poor sweetie had to put up with my rejection of his good intentions – when I’m learning something for the first time I like lessons and I like working things out on my own. As usual, he was a brick. He is one of the most amazing people I know. But that is for another posting. Or maybe not… waxing poetic about my romance would get awful boring awful fast and I struggle with that. Which may be one of the reasons I haven’t written in so long.
But now it is the New Year and it is time to dig in and get my ass in gear. It is also resolution time. Usually I look at my life in November and December and try and figure out what I’ve succeeded at and what I want for the future. The last few years I’ve been spinning. “To Write for a Living” is great goal – but it is a 100,000 foot goal not a day-to-day, week-to-week, project to project, goal. I’ve spent the last few months fighting migraines and getting the flu – and now I’m mostly better so it is time to stop cosseting myself and really take a hard look at my habits.
I’ve become something I despise.
But I jump. I picked up my week of mail yesterday when I got home from Sun Valley and saw that I’d gotten my Romance Writers of America magazine. I just thumbed through it but one article caught my attention – “The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective (Has-Been) Authors”!
I didn’t have all of the traits but I was working on one – Laziness.
I’ve struggled to write the last few months and I’ve avoided the “just do it” mentality that used to be part of my character for an “I’ll do it when I feel better”. Or worse, “I’ll do it when I feel It”, “It” being some sort of drive or inspiration. I’ve always despised folks who waited for inspiration because that is hobby not craft. Craft is sitting at your desk day after day and slogging through the bad days and flying through the good, making progress no matter what. I forgot…
So this year is about Laziness.
Last night I was at a release party for Delilah Marvelle who’s been writing for 11 years – published one book then lost her publisher and agent, and then struggled to find a home for a trilogy that is just being released now, one book each month for three months. She’s amazing: the work, the perseverance, and the depth of her research. Delilah reminded me how hard you have to work to make it in this horrid/gorgeous business.
Cheers to Delilah and her Scandal books – Prelude to a Scandal, Once Upon a Scandal, and The Perfect Scandal coming out Jan, Feb, and Mar respectively.
And here’s to raising a glass of coffee to 2011 being a year of productivity for us all!!!