I read the Get Your Butt in the Chair Manifesto, below, today on the #AmWriting podcast I do with Jessica Lahey, after a day of cursing out every interruption even as I accepted and, shall we say, enabled them (especially those “interruptions” called Messages, Twitter and Facebook). (You’ll find it in Episode 32.)
I know it’s December. I know things are tough. I know that, quite literally, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I have interviewed this week has at least one child home sick, and I did too. That there are concerts and holiday parties and cookie exchanges and office Secret Santas and that elf, if he’s hanging around your house (we never went in for the elf). I know that Hanukkah overlaps the school winter vacation holiday this year which means you can really make a big bust out of it, which is actually much more fun than doing it at Thanksgiving. I know you can convince yourself you’re being totally productive as you flip through the selection of Aaron’s Crazy Putty on Amazon.
If you’re a writer working on a project without an immediate deadline, if you’re writing and submitting or outlining or creating chapters or whatever, don’t stop. Don’t let December get in your way. Yes, a fresh start is coming in the form of 2017, with all the fun of resolutions and goals and this-year-will-be-different. Prove it. Make now different, too, and you’ll be so much more ready come January.
The Get Your Butt in the Chair Manifesto, December Version
It’s really up to you whether you write today.
You don’t have to answer that phone.
You don’t have to clean the kitchen before you sit down at your desk.
You could write instead of going to lunch with your friends and complaining about your job.
You could get up an hour earlier, or go to bed an hour later.
You could skip TV.
You could close Facebook and Twitter.
You could let your kid watch a movie.
You could let the laundry sit.
You could declare dinner open to devices and eat yours over your laptop.
You could go to an appointment early and sit with your laptop, or sit in your car after, before you go back to work or home.
You could write in the tire store while they put on your snow tires.
It always feels like everything else is getting in our way. But we get in our own way, mostly.
It’s up to you whether you write today.
It’s up to me whether I write today. And tomorrow.