Okay, forget the “no eating anything larger than my head” list. This is the real deal. Right now, I’m sitting in the glider, nursing a seven month old bundle of LUV, and I’m thinking about the upcoming year. I’m only a little sleep deprived (Sam woke up twice last night, Cassie once), so I should be clear-headed enough to write something coherent.
Resolution #1: Do less. Yep, you heard me. I resolve to do less. Usually, at the beginning of a quarter or a new year, I usually put together a long list of projects that I want to complete, along with a detailed plan of how to do them. I do have the list, and it’s pretty long – a series of short stories, a novel to begin work on, some computer graphics, some animation, and oh, I promised Rick some illustrations for his video – but I am actually looking at doing less. How, you may ask? Normally, I work on a couple of projects at once. I dedicate my morning work hours to writing, my afternoon work hours to graphics and animation. Not doing that any more. I’m working on one project at a time, and only one. Sometimes a project may get interrupted, like say a short story with a tight deadline may take priority over the novel I’m working on. But that’s okay. I’ll finish the short story and go back to the novel. My hope is that by focusing my efforts on a single project at a time, I’ll actually accomplish more, not less. I plan to do this for at least six weeks. By the end of February, we’ll see if it’s worked or not.
Resolution #2: Draw a little every night. Even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. I’m not talking masterpieces here either. I want to do a little cartooning, a little doodling. Some of these cartoons may end up in my new paint program, Art Rage (it was only $20 and it works like a charm!) and get the full on treatment. We’ll see. But all I really want to do is fill a sketch book, maybe even several sketch books over the course of the year. Who knows what might come of this? At least I’ll be drawing.
Resolution #3: Set aside a little time every day to think and daydream. Thinking and daydreaming are the foundation of everything I do, especially the writing and the art. I bought a bunch of composition notebooks yesterday and labeled them all with the names of stories and ideas that I want to work on. I’d like to take some time each afternoon to just sit at a table with a cup of coffee and write out ideas for those projects in the notebook. J. K. Rowling actually writes in notebook at a café, and I love that idea. I can’t afford the café, but I can make my own coffee at home and write there. This way I can capture all those wonderful story ideas that keep popping into my head without actually doing more than one project at a time. I just give myself 15-20 minutes or so each afternoon to write in a notebook. This will hopefully save my sanity.
Resolution #4: Do a little physical therapy every day. Even doing just two exercises a day would be a huge help to my knees. And I need my knees, if I want to get down on the floor and play with my kids.
Resolution #5: Learn to relax and enjoy my family. If there’s anything I suck at, it’s taking time off and spending it with my husband and kids. I just about went crazy this holiday having Cassie and Michael home for ten days straight. I felt positively ill because I could not find time to sit and work while all the holiday stuff was going on. How wrong is that, I ask? I need to figure out how to take time off from writing and actually enjoy it. I need to remember that my family is my first priority, and work is a distant second. I don’t know how I will accomplish this, but somehow, I’ll figure it out.
Okay, I think that’s plenty of resolutions for now. I don’t want to add any more to my plate. And hopefully, some of these resolutions will take some things off of my plate.