I read an article this week by Anne Lamott about how to really be a writer. She says, and this is a paraphrase but you can read the real version right here, that if you really want to be a writer and a good one, or if you really want to get better at playing your guitar, or if you really want to read that interesting book you heard about on NPR, you need to JUST. DO. IT. If it is really that important to you — if it is really a piece of your soul and you are truly committed to making it happen — cut out the pieces of your life that are distracting you from it and get it done.
And we all already know this, deep inside, don’t we? I’ve even written about it before. But it’s harder to put into practice. Things get in the way and, suddenly, days have passed since the last time you really, truly focused on your writing/guitar playing/reading list, but you somehow managed to get all caught up on your favorite shows stored in the DVR.
So, when it comes down to it, I just can’t focus on everything all at once. I can’t stay up late watching Parenthood on Tuesday evening AND get to work early on Wednesday morning. There just isn’t enough time in the day. I’m certainly keeping Parenthood on my to-do list, [Dear NBC, please please please get Sarah and Hank together for Christmas! They are adorable together. And Ray Romano looks better when he is wearing his glasses. Keep that in mind.], but Grey’s Anatomy? The rest of those old shows that have been going down-hill fast? It may be time to let that go.
To put Anne’s recommendations into action, I’m going to try taking advantage of my lunch breaks at work. My Yale Open Course lectures are only 45 minutes, so I could definitely listen to a class during at least one of my lunch breaks each week, which would keep me moving ahead in my course. I’m also going to try to use my metro commutes wisely. For example, I made my draft content-calendar on the train yesterday [on the back of a receipt I found in my purse, don’t judge! I’d forgotten my adorable koala pad at home].