My definition of work has changed since I retired. I no longer rise at 5:15 AM to shower, throw on makeup and clothes, eat breakfast, and get on the road by 6:45 AM. I no longer am in front of a classroom by 7:45 AM with my hand over my heart mumbling the Pledge of Allegiance. I no longer have to devise lesson plans or grade essays or deal with unruly adolescents.
Now the day usually begins before dawn. I pull on the old robe, slide downstairs to my desk, and get out my journal. I began writing these morning pages this summer after completing part of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I never finished her course (it just wasn’t for me), but I kept up with the daily writing. It’s more of a morning writing mediation than a journal, and I have only missed a few days in the past seven months. It wakes me up and gently slides me into my day.
Even though I write every morning, I am still struggling with creating a workable writing routine. Just like those dogs in Up, I am distracted by every squirrel. I need another cup of coffee. Look at that funny video on Facebook. Those cats need to be fed. Maybe I should check the weather. I need to text one of my sons. I’d better take a walk. Isn’t there laundry I can put in the washer? I wonder who has posted lately on Instagram? Should I clean the bathroom? Oh, look, I’m on Facebook again. Squirrel!
The only way I can be a writer is to write. I must write every day with some intention. I’ve committed to compose a blog post three days a week, and I have sort of stuck to that. Those damn holidays got in the way, but now that the colored lights are packed up for another year, I have no more excuses.
So here and now for the blogging world to see, I am setting writing goals that will then morph into my writing life.
1. Continue with morning pages.
2. Publish three blog posts a week.
3. Commit to writing a minimum of 500 words a day. Weekends are optional, but if the muse hits, grab it.
4. Work on my book three days a week. Carve at least an hour each of those days to write, research, revise, or edit pages.
5. Read and comment on other blogs. See what others are doing out there. Learn from them.
6. Embrace this new writing life. Don’t make excuses. Don’t feel guilty. Learn to love the process, not just the end results.
7. Find joy in every word. Write with love. Believe in my own power.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.”