"A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people."
~ Thomas Mann
If that's so, then I'm definitely a writer. There are times when writing isn't just difficult for me - it's pure hell.
But other times it's heaven, and that's why I stand here in January of 2012, once again repeating the mantra from past New Year's resolutions: finish my book... finish my book... finish my book...
In terms of writing, my 2011 looked a lot - too much - like 2010, 2009, 2008...
It's time to review what I've learned over my two decades or so of writing. I need to figure out what helps, and do more of that, while clearing the hurdles that are keeping me from the finish line.
Let's see... I've learned I need big chunks of time for writing. My writing can't thrive and grow on the handfuls of stolen minutes I've been feeding it for years.
I've learned multitasking is my enemy. I have to close all those extra windows on my computer that tempt me... Facebook being the main culprit, but email and even research sites can be time-sucking tempters.
Other things I've learned: I compare myself to others too often; I need the challenge, support and feedback of a writer's group; I have a problem with finishing what I start... and starting too many things.
On the 'up' side, I'm much better at saying 'no'. Housework, bills, laundry, cooking... I can easily shove the thought of them into a closet and forget they exist. Wearing earplugs helps me do the same with any nearby conversations or television noise. (I work at a desktop in the open livingroom.)
My biggest challenge for 2012? Finding a balance and setting priorities between all of my different interests/callings/projects... writing my book(s), blogging, photography, and my seed of a personal history/photography business... while not neglecting my family, friends and health.
Pretty much the same challenge I faced last year. And the year before. And the year before.
I hope that by next January, I can adopt a new mantra. At least for a different book.