“Instead of wasting all day grooming superficial stuff on social media, pour your energy into mastering a difficult skill…The solution, rather than trying to endlessly spruce up your website and social media posts, is to put in the hard work. Get up early, or stay up late honing your skills.”
~John P. Weiss
Since I have not yet made my usual concrete plans for the new year, everything is still up in the air. Resolutions, undertaken normally with enthusiasm on January 1st, and tossed aside in failure before the end of February, have not been written. Changes in lifestyle, artistic work and blogging schedule are still only floating around in my mind. Now, one week into 2019, it’s time to set some guidelines.
This morning, having slept until I woke without an alarm, I moved through my normal morning routine: coffee; news; social media. When I finally picked up my notebook to write “Morning Pages,” I noticed that it was almost noon. A day half gone, with little to show for it! If I’d made my usual promises for more exercise, better organization and regular studio time, I would have already blown it. Seven days in.
With that in mind, I drafted my very first – and possibly my only – new year’s resolution for 2019: No morning computer time. Right off the top, I can see where it will make getting to work on time much more likely. It will open up time for a morning walk before work, or an exercise routine before I get in the shower. So, there it is.
That decision prompted another. A blog post scheduled for Tuesday should be written the day before. That led me to the question, “what to write about?” I have finished my second book of lists, that was the basis of one weekly post, and haven’t found another that piqued my interest. I’ve pretty much abandoned my Thursday “Timeout for Art” posts, and have been struggling for material to write about on Tuesdays. Sometimes I feel that I’ve exhausted all of my material.
In times of desperation, I have turned to the bookshelf behind me, where I have no less than a dozen books on writing, with suggestions and prompts. With so many to choose from, it was easy to spend an hour paging through various tomes until I found just exactly the right inspiration. More time wasted! This year, instead, I am going to work my way through one book: Old Friend from Far Away (the Practice of Writing Memoir) by Natalie Goldberg.
I’ve used her prompts before, but always just randomly and never on a regular basis. This year, I am starting at the beginning, and taking whatever assignment is given. I’d love it if some of you other writers out there would do it along with me. As many of her instructions include a ten-minute structure, this is not a huge time commitment. It would be fun to see how many varied responses could come out of her open-ended writing prompts!
At this time, I am going to plan on posting a blog twice a week, Tuesday and one other day. I’m hoping my new morning routine will open up many new possibilities and successes. I may have to add a post just to tell you all about it!