Today is the first day of the life I want to live.
A bold statement. But what the heck does it mean? It isn’t the first time I’ve written in this blog about the fact that, if I want to make writing my life, I have to start treating it like the job I want it to be. I made pretty good strides last year in making my approach to writing more professional and effective, but there was still a lot of work to do. I have resolved that, this year, I take the efforts up another notch. I turn the volume to eleven. No more messing around. It’s time to start living the life I want to live, and that life includes writing as a focal point.
Okay, okay, that’s all good and great to say, but how about the steps to actually make this so? How does this translate into changes that I’m consciously applying to me life? Basically, any day that I’m not working the Dreaded Day Job, I’m working the Writing Job, and treating it like an ACTUAL job. That means:
–Being on time. Just as I’m expected to be at work at a specific time, I am to be at writing at a specific time, too. Be there, or be fired.
–Dress. No more scribbling away in my jammies. I need to be cleaned and dressed as if I’m going into an office. I need to treat it AS my office, even if that office is just the coffee table in the living room.
–Quantifiable goals. Every Writing Day, I MUST send in at least one story to a journal or literary magazine. If that means scrounging up something from scratch, so be it. I will be spending that day crafting and polishing something. If I have something in my pocket, I will polish and send that out and spend the rest of the day either working on my longer pieces or prepping the next story. Every day, if I am not sending SOMETHING out, I am failing my goal. If I am not making a blog post a day, I am failing my goals. If I do not connect and do a little marketing and networking, I am failing my goals. I need to write at least one page of one of my larger projects, as well. Each of these things MUST get done on each Writing Day.
–Lunch break. I work on my work steadily for a few hours, take an honest-to-goodness break to have lunch and recharge, and then it’s right back to work, just as if I was taking a lunch break at my Day Job.
–Time Limits. I will not allow myself to do anything else until these goals are met by a certain time. For example, today, I am going over to my boyfriend’s later to watch our TV shows and just hang out. I’m scheduled to be there at six, which means I MUST have this done by five. If it’s not done by then, I need to hurry my butt up and get it done, or else. Tomorrow, I need to go out and get a new phone. It’s something I NEED to do, but I CANNOT do it until I have met my goals. Or else it will have to wait.
This may seem like a lot of obvious stuff, but for the past few years, I’ve struggled to really get a grip on it. Too much has been going on in my life, but this time around, I’ve made a firm decision that the only way I will be happy is if I pursue this to its fullest. It’s time to bunker down and get serious. This will never be a JOB if I don’t TREAT it like a job. I’m extremely excited to have two days off in a row (unheard of!) to really start this habit of being true to my desired profession. Wish me luck! I should probably get back to editing before the boss gets on my case.