After a night out under the Sydney Harbour Bridge watching the fireworks and celebrating the beginning of a new year, I sat down and typed up my new year’s resolutions for 2014. At the time I was filled with a great sense of promise and expectation that this year would be different.
Keenly aware of the pact I was making with myself, I composed my list. It wasn’t very long. After years of rarely achieving any of my new year’s resolutions, I have now embraced the mantra ‘less is more’.
At the top of the list was ‘Write something everyday’ followed by: exercise more, cut down on carbs, sugar and coffee, work smarter not harder and book that overseas trip I had been promising myself…
It’s now 1 June and, yep, you guessed it, I haven’t achieved any of my goals. I’m not particularly upset about that as all of the my resolutions are the same as last year. Except one. Write something everyday.
Who would have thought that it could be so hard? All I had to do was get home from work, prepare and cook the dinner, clean up, put the washing on, hang it out to dry and sit down at my computer, ready to write. Simple! In theory.
In practice, I find it very difficult to write anything worthwhile at the end of a long day. My brain is too overloaded with the doings of my job, my energy levels are low and my husband expects me to give him a bit of attention. So after five months of trying I have given up in defeat. I just can’t do it.
Looking back I realise that the only reason it was on my list was because I read somewhere that to be a good writer and stay connected to your story you need to write every day.
Is that true? Perhaps for some but not for me. After much trial I’ve found the best time to write is on the weekends when I’m rested, my mind has stopped worrying about work and I can focus just on writing. Plus I think about my story every day, refining the plot, solving problems, identifying new avenues to explore and improve, researching online and making notes. Often it is simply taking in my surroundings and observing the people and places around me and how I can use them in my writing. That’s how I stay connected. Then when I do sit down to write I know what I’m going to do.
So now I don’t fret so much about how much I write and when I write. Instead I worry about what I write.