Sunday night of the first weekend of the new year. We did some things we’d talked about for this weekend. But then, didn’t get to others. So far, 2021 hasn’t been bad. Ha. I’ve been thinking about my approach to this year. This will be my first full year of “retirement.” How am I going to schedule myself? What do I need to do to make sure I’m writing or plotting or reading/researching or working on covers or something productive? For academic research I’ve used the Pomodoro method where you work for 25 minutes at a time, take a couple minute break and then another 25 minutes. Every four “pomodoros” you take a longer break (hour or so). This has worked in the past and I’ve done it a few times with the fiction writing. I think I will make sure I use this method every time I sit down to write.
The other habit I want to get into is that of writing at least something every day. Whether it’s ten words or 10,000, I want to write every day, including weekends. That’s my third item. Making sure I do something on the weekends (blog posts maybe). I spent 20 years writing term papers for a living so this shouldn’t be much different. Just with fewer citations and more fun adventures. And research rabbit holes are just fine.
As a follow-up to my post about stress, I have started meditating in the mornings and I think it’s helping. My eczema has calmed down and may even be going away (I don’t want to say anything too positive for fear of invoking Murphy’s Law. 2020 has made me leery of making firm statements). But I am sleeping better and I think the stress levels are decreasing. So, that will continue.
Over the last year I have found a community of writer’s and readers in my preferred genre(s) and they have been very generous with their time and providing advice and feedback. They’ve also been generous in reading my book and saying nice things about it. For me, the best part is they have no obligation (e.g. they’re not family) to say nice things about the book and yet they do. That’s a great feeling. Realizing that people genuinely like something I created has been a huge boost. It’s amazing how good it makes me feel. And also how much it makes me want to do more and do it again!
I’m am also going to spend more time cooking, I think. In the shuttered world of Pennsylvania Wuhan flu restrictions, we, like most everybody, have spent a lot of time at home and cooking for ourselves instead of going out. I’m not as bad as I thought and I’m having fun venturing into different areas of food (having a husband who’s willing to try pretty much anything I put in front of him is helpful as well!)
So, writing and cooking are on my list of things for 2021 so far. More will likely get added on as the days and weeks go by. Are you doing anything new or different this year? If you are, why did you pick that? If you aren’t, what are your plans? (And, yes, recovery from the dumpster fire that was 2020 is a plan.) Off to make some popcorn! (Hey. It’s Sunday night. That requires popcorn.)