The new school term started today, allowing me the almost forgotten novelty of following a train of thought for more than 5 seconds without interruption. State education is a truly wonderful thing.
I’m not usually keen on the annual making of rules but this year I feel I need a few. 2012 had lots of great stuff in it but ended with me in poor shape writing-wise and physically so change is needed. These aren’t very sophisticated writing tips but will (I hope) get me back on track for 2013. I’ll report on their effectiveness later in the year.
1. Do Back Exercises
Duh! I’ve known this for ages. I’ve even quoted Margaret Atwood – ‘Do back exercises. Pain is distracting’. Despite knowing this, somehow I didn’t get around to it. This was idiotic and I paid for it. What I can’t pay for is osteopath appointments or professional massages so I’ve found a bunch of back stretches and exercises I can do every day. Hoping they’ll keep me upright and able to walk without screaming – always a plus!
2. Become a Morning Person
I like to write after the kids are asleep but now they’re older this means staying up into the small hours. It’s time to accept defeat and concede the evenings. If I want to write while the house is quiet and everyone is asleep, I’m just going to have to get up earlier. Can I reprogram myself to enjoy this? I honestly don’t know. I think it’s going to hurt.
3. Say NO to Vampires
I’m not talking about the neck-biting, sparkly variety. I have no problem saying NO to them. The human soul-sucking type are trickier to spot and harder to deflect. You can’t even stake them through the heart without the police getting involved. So, for 2013 I will be Saying No when faced with unreasonable drains on my time and energy. That way nobody gets hurt, or jailed.
4. Keep the Internet in a Box
2012 was the year in which I finally got connected – Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, this website. It’s been a lot of fun but also massively distracting. I’m not going to do a ‘Franzen’ and sever my internet connection but I am going to limit my online time and not have all that stuff running in the background while I’m trying to work. I call it the semi-Franz – no earplugs or blindfolds required, just a spot of will-power…and a scary picture of JF.