Typically, I'm up for all sorts of rearranging come January. Last year, I timed the launch of my new website with the new year. In 2011, I went on that cleanse. Remember that? In 2010, I pledged, once again, "to write before my monkey mind has a foothold." Ha! And here I am in 2009 with my workshop besties, promising this and that.
Now, I'm not knocking the tradition of taking inventory and forming intentions to better navigate the path ahead. I'm for it big time. And yet. Life, you know, sort of happens. The unscripted disasters. The earthquakes, the shootings. Biology, destiny and gravity all meeting in secret, putting together a powerpoint on the ways in which life will conspire to fuck you up.
A word that gets bandied about this time of year is "balance." Yoga and cardio. Fun and work. Kale and steak. Coffee and
- 25% writing for paycheck
- 25% teaching/editing
- 25% marketing, email-checking, blogging, tweeting and generally fucking around on social media
- 25% work-in-progress writing (includes research)
The "marketing, email-checking, blogging, tweeting and generally fucking around on social media" is probably, oh, uh, 78% of my office time. If you pull the "research" out of WIP and stick it where it rightly belongs, in the "fucking around" section, then we're probably up to 86%.
Look, at the start of 2009, Facebook was just beginning to get its foothold. Nobody was on Twitter yet. Blogs were ramping up, but not ubiquitous. Pinterest? Not even a gleam. Now, there are all these sparklers and messages and imperatives to join this, respond to that. And don't, by the way, make a mistake because your digital footprint is unerasable. Sometimes, I'll follow a trail that starts with a tweet, and before I know it, I'm up a dark alley that holds no clue to what I first set out to explore.
What I want for 2013 is engagement. Substance. Depth. I want more steak, but balanced with kale, 'cause, you know, kale is good for you. I want to immerse in my projects and not write myself into a Googleable corner. (Oh, I guess I'd better find out what the world record for the 1500 is, 'cause my character needs to beat it--wait, what sort of training shoes should she be wearing. Better text my stepson and ask him.) Like that. Sometimes, I'm multitasking from device to device, as in:
Yeah, need some serious Mind Fi. So. What's my plan? Do I have a plan? I'm not sure I do. Other than, I think this whole idea might start with reading more. Reading deeply. A novel, a memoir, an article. From beginning to end. With engagement. I long to get deep enough into a book that I forget to check my email, my texts, my Google Analytics. Do you know what I mean?