A writer’s resolutions

Well, that ‘dying young’ ship has sailed. All the more reason, then, to launch [perhaps, ‘lurch’] forward with my life.

With 2020 on the horizon, then, it’s time to ramp up the resolutions under my creative reinvention umbrella.

Resolution #1: Be a pre-crastinator. Click to the 1:47 mark of Adam Grant’s Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

“I know, I know,” I say to myself, “Keep dreaming.” But what the hey? Why not fool myself…even if it’s one day a week? One fevered creative surge every seven days is still an improvement.

In the interest of pre-crastination, then, I’m going to cheat and get a head start on…

Resolution #2: Read 20 books this year. That may not sound like much, but I’m aiming for ‘attainable‘. I seem to read plenty, but I don’t finish books like I used to. First on the docket: Art Matters by Neil Gaiman.

I will juggle it [it’s a short read] with Someday Is Not a Day in the Week : 10 Hacks to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life

In fact, as I’m doing a little editing on this post, I have this TED Talk running in the background. [Maybe I’m onto something with this whole ‘cheating on your resolutions’ thing.]

Resolution #3: Publish four books. I’m soooo close on at least three, but really, folks, I spend more energy finding excuses to not close the deal on my projects than I do crossing the finish line. Unacceptable.

Resolution #4: Publish at least three online courses. As you can tell, this year is all about finishing. One of them is ongoing, but I’ve stalled on it. The other two are just rattling around in my brain.

Resolution #5: One post per week [at the very least] on my blogs. [Not thrilled with those times when crickets creep from the audience/peanut gallery to the production room.] I forget that posting is a way of keeping myself accountable on various projects. Keeping that perspective should help me stay on target.

Key ‘self-talk’ points:

  1. “Done is better than perfect.” At least one punctuation mark is missing and it’s killing me, but, in the interest of this point…
  2. “Just keep ‘showing up’, especially in the morning.”
  3. “Do the mindless, less creative work while TV is on or you’re on the exerbike.”
  4. “If it feels like drudgery, walk away.”

Any suggestions or comments or mere scoffing? Chime in.

Note: Goodreads links are non-affiliate.

Taking stock…


frantic reflection

So today is a good day to revisit some lessons about the writing life that I have learned recently.

You might be asking, ‘What makes today a good day for this?”

Answer: I can’t come up with any other topic.

And so…the lessons.

  1. I prefer short pieces. Why? Because it forces me to make every word count? To challenge myself to condense profound thoughts into neat little packages of insight? Uhhh, no. That would require sweat and heavy investment of ego and time away from watching Hallmark movies. The real reasons? One, the less I write, the less I have to edit. Two, I often get distracted during–you know, the NFL just isn’t the same since Joe Montana and Steve Young left the 49ers–the writing process.
  2. I prefer cooking to writing. Cases in point: Quick Bread. Coffee Cake. Stovetop Chocolate Cake. Chile Verde. Apple Cake. Blueberry Muffins.  Biscuits.  Well, those and a host of other reasons. When I’m done cooking, I have something concrete [please reserve comments on the appearance of my baking ventures.]. When I express myself with text, I run the risk of folks thinking I’m a whack job. But when I express myself in the kitchen, I connect with most folks through a shared experiences–whether with the preparation or with the consumption. When I cook, I have a genuine audience–family members, neighbors, even myself. And then there is the comfort elicited by the aromas that greet you at the front door, the warmth of the cake straight from the oven. I’m still waiting for my words to envelop me in the same way. It doesn’t mean I’ll be putting down my pen, of course. But I’m realistic about what I like.
  3. I prefer finding images for my posts to writing them. Yeah, that sounds pretty weak, but it’s just more fun. And scanning those images has often generated plenty of material for my ‘stories I’d love to write but will never get around to’ file. I mean, how can you not have stories swirling in your head after a quick cruise through gratisography.com? I also advocate image searches as a strategy in my free prewriting course.
  4. The people whose blogs I read are better writers than I am. They explore topics more deeply. They weave words together seamlessly. They’re informative. They have a clear point of view.
  5. I dislike those people intensely. *
  6. I am a small, small person.
  7. There are so many resources available to make me a better writer and content creator.
  8. People don’t appreciate how much energy and concentration it takes to avoid, ignore, or downplay/disregard said resources. I mean, really, all these people with so much to share. There has to be some kind of angle, don’t you think? **
  9. When I spend an hour whether I should use ‘in anger’ vs. ‘angrily’, I’m pretty certain I need to walk away from the computer, writing room, house, city, state, and probably country.  [Reason one for always carrying my passport with me.]
  10. I’m still convinced a new MacBook will vault me into literary stardom.
    10a. My wife disagrees and thinks I should get back to work.

* Of course, I don’t. In fact, because of the warmth and sincerity of their work, they are quite likable.

** Nope, neither do I.