As I sat down to make my new year’s resolutions for 2016, one particular area of life stood out as having been sorely neglected last year. A long-time lover of the written word and so-called aspiring writer, I realized that I spent the majority of 2015 pining over books I never made time to read and “writing” essays in my head but never actually putting them down on paper.
The thing about writers, you see, is that they WRITE. A blaringly obvious statement to be sure, but what makes me different from Isabel Allende or Donna Tartt or (insert your favorite author here) is that I am completely lacking the discipline (and probably just a bit of talent) that the aforementioned writers possess.
Ah, discipline. That pesky little detail that separates the dreamers from the doers. As I approach my mid-thirties, I’m being smacked with the stinging realization that I’ve spent most of my life being a dreamer. I’ve had many enterprising, elaborate dreams (e.g. jewelry maker, lawyer, paper artisan, healthcare administrator), but few that came to fruition. That’s not to say my life has been a complete failure – far from it, in fact. But, as I consider my life thus far and how I want to shape my future, I absolutely want to be more on the “doer” end of the continuum of life.
For years I’ve wanted to be a writer. My inner monologue is mostly narratives, as though I’m writing my life the way someone else would read it. Every time I read a particularly terrible book/blog/newspaper article/etc., I always think “I could do better than THAT.” And yet, I don’t even try. Whether it’s from fear, laziness, or a perceived lack of time, I’m not sure. What I do know is that it’s something that has been lingering in my heart for years, calling out to me from some distant place lost in the fog.
So, dear self, I hereby declare that 2016 is the year to stop dreaming about becoming a writer and actually do it. Here’s how:
- I will write every day.
I’ve gone through “seasons” of writing in the past, but have never made it a daily habit, which is something all writers do. Whether I get out 1,000 words of literary magic or a couple paragraphs of pure drivel, I will write every single day.
- I will read a minimum of 2 books per month.
In order to be a great writer, one must read. A lot. And while 2 books per month doesn’t seem like much, it’s a huge improvement over the 3-ish books I read last year (did I really just admit that???).
I feel more strongly about these goals than I’ve felt about any others in quite some time, so I’m definitely up to the challenge. Here’s to 2016, the year of words!