Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Resolutions, Writing Style

I have been writing novel-length manuscripts since I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. My first novel I creatively titled "Stephanie's story." It was about It was a cheesy romance-turned-conversion story that highlighted all my greatest hopes in dreams. In the end, the love interest couple became insanely wealthy and had 14 kids. (I was an only child at the time and insanely jealous of large families.) It was an admirable attempt for a 9 year old.

Over the next 6 or 7 years my attempts grew better and better, and then stopped entirely as my education overtook my life. After graduation, infertility issues consumed my every thought and writing was just too hard. I also felt as though I was creatively dead, and that becoming a college graduate at age 20 had come at the cost of my ability to create stories.

While I was pregnant with my twin boys, I was so nauseous and miserable I couldn't even read, much less write. And during the first few months of their life, I was elbow-deep in dirty diapers and barely able to keep up with the demands of nursing two babies. But slowly, I started to feel something I hadn't really felt in a long time--a desire to write. It was as though becoming a mom jump-started my brain, and for the first time in years I started feeling creative again.

I have felt like a writer for a long time. But now that I am a mom, I feel as though I owe it my children to chase after my dreams and show them that you can achieve anything you want to if you try hard enough.

My boys are 4 months old now, and being their mom is the best thing to ever happen to me. I am their primary care giver, and the only one who can feed them (and they are still nursing every 3 hours like clockwork). Some days I barely have time to eat, let alone write, and most days it's still a miracle if I'm showered and dressed by noon. My house is a disaster and every time I sit down to do something, one of my boys starts crying. But here is my resolution for this year: to write for 30 minutes, 3 times a week. It sounds pretty simple, but there are days when it seems entirely unachievable.

But I don't care. I am going to write this year, and start feeling like a writer again. I've resolved to do this in the past, but this year I've got a plan, and I'm going to follow through. I purposefully made my goal simple so that maybe--just maybe--I can achieve it.

I am making no promises to myself on word count, page numbers, or quality of my writing. It's enough for now to just write. So I will write 3 times a week, and I am willing to sacrifice almost anything (excluding my children's and husband's needs) to do it. If my house is a little big messy, oh well. If I don't always manage to put on makeup, who cares? In 10 years I won't remember those things. But I will remember following my dreams. And hopefully so will my family.

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