Monday, September 24, 2012

Fleas & Tics: Deadlines

I am putting it out there. By 'there' I mean the interweb, and by 'it' I mean my age.

Today is my 34th birthday.

Aging isn't a big deal. Not once have I ever thought, 'Golly, I wish I was 28 again' or 'Hmm, all this reckless emoting has given me eye crinkles'.  But I do tend to look at what I've accomplished thus far and invariably feel that it's not enough. There are things I want. Things I need to work toward. Deadlines I've let slide. Particularly when it comes to writing.

Priorities shift as we get older. We're able to handle more, so we take on more. I work and keep a home. I'm a serious runner, a partner to my Spousal Unit, and Mama to some short monsters who demand, demand, demand. Oh, and I'm a writer…when I have time.

This has to change, and I've already made some inroads. I'm taking a class with the expectation that by June, I will have another draft of my novel manuscript. I'm also making time to write. Two hours in the morning. More if I can, but at least those two hours. So there I have a goal, a deadline, and the time to work. Good, right? Yes, but even now I know it's not enough.

As writers, we play the long game. Looking ahead and setting our sights on the horizon is important, but so is watching our step. I need to parse my large goals into small, smaller, and possibly teensy goals. A chapter, a scene, a page, even a paragraph. Through trial and error, I'll eventually figure out what's manageable. These bite-sized accomplishments will liberate me (I hope) from the paralysis that comes from staring too long at the big picture.

I'm realistic though. There will be days I won't have time to write. There will be days where the words just won't come. Discipline wavers and will power burns out, but habits have a way of sticking. I'd like to make a habit of setting and meeting deadlines. Life gets busy, but if I'm in the habit my butt should find its way into the chair more often than not.

Already I've started off as I mean to continue on. I wrote for two hours this morning. Now I get to screw around on the internet and eat cake. After all, it's my birthday.

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