Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's Goal: Getting My Inner Writer On

My Christmas tree, dry and a little forlorn looking, is dropping needles on the hardwood. In the dining room, there are three half decorated gingerbread houses waiting to be finished, and I've somehow lost the remote control to my television this morning.  If my internet name "Scatteredmom" ever fit me, it does now more than ever. I chose the name years ago not to say that I think I'm unorganized, but that I felt pulled in all directions. I guess that I do now more than ever.

When I began blogging years ago, I vowed to take it seriously. To always be 'on', and never promise things I didn't plan to follow through on. For awhile I did really well with it, until life upended itself and I found myself scrambling. At first, I wanted blogging to be a job, and then after awhile I discovered that I really hated turning that which I loved into a job. It felt like I worked 24 hours a day. I felt chained to my computer and the constant barrage of email, tweets, and facebook posts.

2014 was my year to just live, despite the fact that I didn't want to give up blogging entirely. I dropped all sorts of balls. I realized that writing all the time for a job made me feel overworked and anxious. I found another job where I can be with people, and when I leave it, I don't think about it. While I do enjoy doing some writing work, I don't think I could make it a career and be happy. A part time hobby, absolutely.

Do you make resolutions? I've written before that I don't, that I chose to make goals instead. What would your goals be? I don't have a lot of them, but I'm thinking of a few.

1. Write every day, publish at LEAST once a week

The only thing that really got me blogging was that I committed to writing, and like an exercise program, made myself do it all the time. When my friend Anne died, I stopped. I had nothing to say. There were no words in my head aching to get out and I didn't think there would be again.

Now the words are back, but I'm out of the habit. Time to get back into it and like an exercise program, make myself write even if I don't want to. Not everything needs to be published though, so I think committing to once a week is a good idea.

2. Stop procrastinating

There are some things that I've gotten much better at the last few years, but there are still others that are woefully bad. Being better organized and dealing with things immediately would serve me far better. Putting things away immediately, answering emails right away, etc would be a good place to start.

Do you procrastinate? Any tips?

2.  Either say no, or do a kick ass job of it

At a blogging conference I remember being told that you always need to bring your A game, every single time. For awhile there, I did-until things fell apart and I didn't quite recover.

I often have such great ideas and want to do things (just like those gingerbread houses), but something gets in the way. This year it was the fact that I was sick and overworked, so any spare time I had was eaten up by sleep or the fact that it was too dark and ugly out to get any good photos. They are still sitting on my dining room table.

Which leads up to #3....

3. Take good care of myself

For a long time, I took care of everyone BUT myself-which resulted in me crashing and burning in a spectacular fashion and then not recovering for a very long time. There's a lot going on here offline, and I'm busier than ever. Sometimes I need to just sleep rather than DO stuff, especially if I was at work at 4 am. I need to say no sometimes. Instead of making sure everyone else is okay, I need to be okay too.

4. Take time for my family and friends offline

Anne taught me this. She taught me that time with your friends or family is never wasted, and that making time to spend with people you care about or cultivating friendships enriches your life beyond anything you can imagine. I need to remember to plan things with friends, and go. 

5. Remember that I do this because I enjoy it and finding the balance

I started blogging because I thought maybe it was a job I'd enjoy, and then I found as it became one that I didn't love it as much as I thought. Being at home all day writing felt isolated and lonely, and I eventually burned out.  Having to produce piles of content sucked the joy out of me. I love writing, but marketing my own content feels fake to me-and always has.

I want to be like chef Michael Smith, on that day we had dinner in Saskatoon, where he told me that he's a good writer and does it because he loves it.

THAT is the kind of writer I want to be. Maybe balance is elusive, or even non existent, but  I intend to start right here. I know you're probably rolling your eyes because I've had a bunch of false starts, and that's okay. I understand. I'd be rolling mine too.

Some people this January are lacing up runners and vowing to go to the gym. I'm here, flexing my fingers, getting my inner writer on.

What are YOUR goals for 2015? Care to share them? If you are wanting to get your inner writer on too, let me know. Maybe we need to start a group of our own.

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