October 31, 2012 by jooshanoosh
I just finished an amazing book: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I can’t say I would unequivocally recommend it to just anyone. Its fantastic, but also pretty dark and vulgar (read: Patrick’s mom, please don’t read it.) It’s one of those books that the less you know about it going in the better, but basically it is about a husband and wife and on their 5th wedding anniversary, the wife disappears mysteriously (and that happens in chapter 1 so lay off, spoiler police!!)
The book is about a lot of things, but one of the big themes is the idea of what you really want out of life and what you are willing to do about it. This is something I struggle with a lot. I think we all do. It’s that idea of making goals and then falling short.
Like I really would like to lose about 10 lbs and get more fit. But then when I have a day off and my wife is at the library and not there to be the voice or reason, I spend the afternoon making this:
What’s that you say? Oh, it’s just Chewy Caramel Apple Popcorn. Which, I believe, is not really conducive to weight loss and healthy living (Because it contains, among other things, a stick of butter, 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 cups of brown sugar. But seriously, go make this stuff. It’s unreal.) So as much as I try and tell myself that I am going to recommit to exercise and get healthy and finally look good without a shirt on (I am extraordinarily vain) I see a tweet about this amazing popcorn recipe and immediately make a beeline to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients.
I feel the same way about writing. I love blogging and I love getting all your comments and Facebook likes (seriously – I measure my self worth by the number of comments I get, so don’t be shy.) And Part Time Authors has been a great way for me to write more regularly. And allegedly, in my spare time, I am working on a novel. A novel which I starter about 5 years ago and so far is 6 pages long. I tell myself I really want to finish this book, even if it never got published, just because its been a long time goal of mine. But then when I do have spare time I suddenly find myself watching Nashville or clicking on endless links on Buzzfeed. (You should click on that one – its a good one.) And over the years I have tried various goals – a certain amount of time a day, write every time my wife is at the gym, write on my lunch break at work. So far nothing has clicked. Today, November 1st marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month wherein aspiring authors try and write a novel during the month of November.) And even though I have done NaNoWriMo in the past (if by “done” you mean “signed up for and then spent every day of the month feeling guilty for not writing.”) I’m giving it another go this year. Hoping that it sticks.
I think that is the key. You have to find the motivation that resonates with you. For years I have wanted to cut back on the amount of Diet Coke that I drink (which used to a lot.) I tried to think about the health reasons and the fact that I was basically ingesting large buckets of aspartame and chemicals every day, but that didn’t motivate me. I tried restrictions and limits and nothing clicked. And then what finally did was thinking about the money. I was basically spending more than $1000 a year on Diet Coke. And once I decided I just couldn’t afford it, I squelched the habit. I still have a can at lunch. And if we go out to eat, I may order one. But I don’t have 25 a day anymore.
Why is it so hard to be the person that I know I want to be (a fit, healthy professional writer who runs marathons and looks good without a shirt on) when I know exactly what I need to do to get there? Maybe this year with NaNoWriMo something will click and my YA Novel empire will be born. And maybe I will put down this giant popcorn ball and Diet Coke and start doing some push ups. Then again, maybe not.