Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sprints vs. Marathons

I'm a little late with 2006; I only got around to buying new calendars today. Unfortunately, since I put it off for so long, the selection at Barnes and Noble was limited. I got a Classic Cats calendar for our home office and a Wild Illinois (scenery) one for work, but there were no Beatles calendars left. I knew I should have picked one up at the Fest in August. What kinds of calendars did everyone else get?

In the spirit of New Year's and Russ's blog ( about resolutions, I thought I would talk about resolutions myself tonight. I have some projects in mind for this year, such as buying our first home with Eugene and losing weight. (I gained a few pounds after the wedding, but at least I'm not as heavy as I was this time last year. I would like to reach a normal BMI though, even if I don't expect to stay there for long.) For writing projects, I have too many things I want to do: write at least one short story, finish posting Day of All Seasons on OWW, and work on both Lennon's Line and The Key to All Locked Doors. I don't think I'll finish them all, but at least I can give it a good try.

This brings me to the point of this blog entry. I think many people approach their resolutions as an all-or-nothing, short-term project, like a 100-yard dash that's quickly over, so it's not surprising that so many of them fail to keep their goals. If you really want to change, you have to be willing to make it a long-term project, like a marathon you run your entire life. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat right and exercise. When I do that, my weight goes down; when I slip, my weight increases. But since I know I'm in it for the long haul, it's easier for me to forgive myself when I indulge in sleeping in (and missing a workout) or eating something decadent. It's the same thing for writing. I get frustrated when I don't get to write at all or if I have a bad day, but I know I'll have both good and bad stretches over my writing career. It's a typing marathon, and I have to work on it every day to keep going. But as much as I'd love to get down 500 words or more a day, I have to accept it's harder now when I have so many other demands on my time. The important thing is to keep going, even when it's hard. I might not make much progress on a given day, but it's still better and more disciplined than waiting for that capricious muse of mine to cooperate.

Having said that, I should return to Key and write some more. As for you, dear readers, keep on running your own personal marathons, and hopefully we can all make it past the wall and reach the finish line--even if we don't reach it this year, we can eventually if we don't give up.

1 comment:

makoiyi said...

I agree, that rushing at something is Not Good. I'm as guilty of that as anyone, just wanting to get something done and therefore not doing the best I could.

I've given myself a goal with Demons, but not a time limit. I've simply added one of those word counter gizmos to my blog and I have to say it is quite satisfying to see the line move along.

In actual fact, and oddly for me, Demons was too short. It actually comes in at about 85000 words, which isn't, quite, enough. So while I am merrily cutting away like crazy I am adding at the same time. It gives one a delicious sense of freedom to be able to add details that you've missed and not worry about how many words. Of course, that could kick me int he face later if I add too much, but, hey, let me enjoy it while I can.


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