For the new year, I've wanted to try all sorts of new things: routines, behaviors, ways of thinking. The latter seems like it will be the most challenging to crack. I can't really blame myself for not sticking to routines when I spent the first week of the year packing to move and the second week moving and unpacking. But I'm trying. I now devote Fridays to bookkeeping, inputting everything I spent on my business the week prior. I've done my best to get out and jog/walk a few times a week (now to figure out the key card to my gym!).
One of the ways I want to change my bad thinking habits is to expect more good things, of the world and myself, and part of that means rather than lamenting and berating and obsessing over what I haven't done (but meant to), I celebrate the things I have, while also, of course, keeping myself accountable and on track to catch up with what needs to be done.
I'm on a plane right now to L.A., for my two writing workshops tomorrow. During my bus ride into New York, and again when I got on the plane, I made copious to do lists, basically rehashes of all the other to do lists I made earlier this week of articles I need to write, emails I need to send, various tasks I need to accomplish. I write them down to remind myself, but what often winds up happening is that I look at them and cringe and start to hate myself. So I'm working on better systems; I don't have the answer yet, though if I come up with anything useful, I'll share it.
Which brings me to this week's writing. I have a new piece hopefully going up next week for a site I haven't written for before, but one that did go up today that I was happy I got to write is about why used bookstores aren't taking money away from writers or at all akin to piracy, as was suggested by writer Kristen Lamb. I offered up my thoughts on used bookstores and quoted various writers I know, none of whom was dead set against used bookstores, and some were even very pro-used bookstores. Tiffany Reisz told me, "I’d no more apologize for buying a used book than I would for buying a used car."
Are my trying to form better thought patterns and my new article connected? Yes. My work world moves so fast that sometimes, even though I share most of my pieces on my various social media channels, I forget to take even a few seconds and savor the feeling of a new byline, a new piece that I worked hard on, whether it took an hour or twenty hours. I want to try to take that time more often, as a way of stepping back and also pushing myself forward. My old way clearly wasn't/isn't working, because all it does is leave me feeling overwhelmed and, often, hopeless, thinking my glass isn't just half empty, but dry as a well and never to be watered again, when the rational side of me knows that's not true.
So here's to spending a few days in the state where I used to live, writing new words, and savoring the ones that are harder to come by, but just as, if not more, meaningful than the ones that roll easily off my fingers.