Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June - A Month of Habits Good & Bad

I'm frustrated because I've lost my focus and motivation for my self proclaimed midlife crisis and need to get back on track. This month, June, I am going to take a good hard look at my habits in terms of what's working, what's holding me back, and what's missing. I truly believe that the only way to change and accomplish my  lofty but still nebulous goals is to get a better handle on my daily routine. 

I work from home, my schedule is flexible, and I'm fortunate that I call pretty much all the shots in my day. It's a great position to be in, but it's easy to get distracted. Other than my magazine deadlines, no one really cares if I write or if I'm setting up interviews or doing research. So it's easy to accept a lunch invitation, play a game of tennis, or take a walk. The distractions are fun and pleasurable, but they can't come at the expense of my writing and quest to redefine myself or I'll never accomplish anything. I need better habits.

I sat next to rock star Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins at the Chicago Make-a-Wish Ball last weekend, where he was honored for his longstanding commitment to the charity and raffled off one of his guitars. In addition to supporting this worthy cause and recording an album, Billy is also writing a book. 

I admire his habits.
"Do you have a particular writing discipline?" I asked him. Of course he does. He writes stream of conscious for an hour a day, every day, and aims to produce at least 2000 words in that time. 

Damn, I thought enviously, 2000 words is incredibly prolific. I can struggle for a days over a 500-word column. Of course I spend most of that time revising and editing, not writing. But I also spend it surfing the 'net, checking my email and eating Triscuits.

Anyway, here's my first new habit for the month of June: I will post here on Forty Fabulous six days a week. Yes, by the end of June I will have no fewer than 25 posts. My posts may not be as well-researched or thought out as I'd like. They'll probably contain grammatical errors, repetition and cliches. But if I'm serious about this writer gig, I have got to friggin' develop the habit of consistently producing written work. 

I intend to examine my other routines - as well as those of successful, inspiring people I want to emulate. I hope that these tidbits and discoveries will be useful to YOU, so please, make a habit of checking back!


Kelley L. said...

Love it! One of my favorite quotes is, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." Sometimes it feels like I'm spending my life on Facebook and YouTube - ick!

Good luck with your new habits - they say it takes 21 days, so you should be good to go by June 30!

Christie said...

Hi Marjie,
I happened across your blog recently and at the perfect time, it seems! I've been noticing lately that my tendency toward procrastination has gotten a little out of hand. (But of course I've been putting off doing anything about it.)

Can't wait to read up on your progress through June and work through a few of my less-than-productive habits as well. Best wishes!

Marjie Killeen said...

Kelley - thanks for that quote which reinforces this feeling that the little things are really all that matters!

Christie - so glad you came this way! I'll be posting something new later today and am very (very!) open to your ideas and suggestions.