Since January of this year I’ve lost forty pounds. I say that not to break my arm patting myself on the back or solicit praise, but because over the last few months I have finally found the deep well of discipline I thought I might have let run dry. The effort to get focused and reign in the chaos that surrounds my eating habits has seeped into other areas of my life, particularly my writing. I used to just grab whatever and I usually ate on the go or at my desk. I’d often say I didn’t have time to plan or think about what I was going to eat. Over the last few months, I’ve learned that I do have time. It really doesn’t take all that much effort to think about eating well. I’ve learned to make myself slow down and take a break now and then, to sit down and enjoy a meal. I’ve actually begun to use real plates…not paper ones! <big snort>
The discipline that I always had, but just didn’t engage, is now becoming a part of my writing routine. Just as I now make the time to walk an hour every day, I set aside the time to write an hour every day. It may just be crap or stream of consciousness, but I’m putting words on a page, and that’s what counts. You can’t learn to play the piano or the guitar without practice. You can’t learn to write well unless you practice that too.
Naturally there are days when I don’t want to stick to the diet and I’d rather watch TV that walk or write. The trick I’ve learned, is sticking to a routine, but when I mess up, forgive and move on. As the Holidays approach it will be tempting to fall off the wagon, to eat all that great food, and let writing fall by the wayside. But when I think about the fact that I’ve already had to buy new clothes three times this year, and when I consider the requests I’ve had for partials and full manuscripts, basically when I see the discipline paying off, that’s my motivation to stick with the diet and with the writing routine.
I have set two goals for 2010…by Halloween next year (my birthday) I want to shop at Victoria’s Secret without anyone vomiting on the floor. (bigger snort) And I want to have a publishing contract in my hot little hands.
2010 is not that far away. Have you set your goals yet?