The holidays have come and gone, the "Top Moments of 2015" count downs have run their course, and whether you set resolutions or not, one truth remains for all of us: a lot can happen in a year. Whether your goal is to write a story or a book, 2016 presents a fresh opportunity to work toward that achievement.
But that doesn't mean that you need to transform into someone who's all about writing all the time. There are simple, gentle, and kind ways to work toward your goals. To explain what I mean, I'm going to let you in on something I haven't told many people.
Most days of the week you can find me in my living room (or these days, my only room, since Pete and I are living in a studio), bouncing around to a 30-minute workout. It's a subscription, with a different trainer and different workout every day.
I used to do it in hiding, when Pete wasn't home and with the blinds closed. I didn't need anyone to see me doing a burpee or anything I couldn't do with grace. Now, I love it so much that I don't care who sees me. I'm stronger, taller (for real), my jeans fit perfectly, and it's made me a stronger biker and skier. I'm literally giddy every time I start a workout.
Here's why it works for me:
- The workouts are only 30 minutes, so I can fit them into my day
- Each one is based on a series of circuits. I can focus on one at a time instead of worrying about what comes next
- They're over fast and not that difficult, yet I see big results over time
- There's a community of real people (all shapes and sizes) that are part of the broadcast and I love getting to know them
These are the same things that help me thrive as a writer: Small, manageable steps that I can accomplish and still live the rest of my life. Big results growing out of consistent effort. A team to keep me going.
It can be hard to trust the process. Sometimes, after an easy workout, I feel antsy and restless. What if tomorrow's workout is easy, too, and then next week my pants are too tight? But I know that going out and tacking on a long, tough workout will only do one thing: make me too tired to do it again tomorrow.
I've become a believer in taking the long view, and being consistent but kind with yourself during the day-to-day. What would that look like in your writing? What would it mean to trust the process, then find a support team and a way to take small, consistent steps?
If the idea feels like a step toward freedom--a movement toward your goals--I'd like to invite you to join me for the upcoming 21-Day Creative Writing Challenge. Over 21 days I'll guide you through the process of writing a new short story, essay, or poem. You'll have consistent, manageable steps and the support of professional writing coach. A low-cost and highly-effective way to start the year by writing more.
I hope you'll join me!