NaNoWriMo or How Squats Motivated Me to Sit and Write


I’ve hit the point where I’m tired of not writing my musical.
I’m tired of not trusting the material, my editing, or myself.
I’ve got a strong network of very talented people who, I have to believe, will lend a hand, an eye, an ear, a bar of music, a reference.

I feel like a smoker who, after several attempts at quitting, finally does it.

What’s changed?

A 30-Day Challenge to Improve My Ass.

My ass was falling, and it couldn’t get up. After minimal research in the black hole that is Pinterest, I found a workout. For thirty days I would do a variety of squats, a variety of reps and sets each day.

If you’ve read any of this blog, you are well aware that time is at a premium in my life. I feel the weight of parenting crushing me, making me chase after their childhood. No matter how many routines, calendars, planning systems, and just Good Parenting Techniques I use, I feel like I’m pushing that infernal stone up that infernal hill. Never enough. Never fast enough. Never good enough. Never done.

Lots of backsliding and racing to Do It Right led me to be too exhausted to do much else other than try to Parent Better and More.

But when my posterior came precariously close to touching the back of my knees, I figured I could fit one more 15-minute activity in my day that is filled with activities that are only supposed to take 15 damned minutes — which is fine until I realized I have about 400 of those on my to-do list. Do the math…I’ll be over here trying to slow down the Earth’s rotation.

I’m on Day 14. I haven’t missed a day. I’ve also managed to keep up with everything…the house is not a disease-riddled shack, my children are fed, clothed, and read to/with, and I’ve managed to shower. The funny thing is, I’ve also found more time to do other things. Somehow, something clicked. I list all my to-dos, circle 4 or 5 that must be done that day (and my ass-lifting is always circled), make sure the basics like laundry, cooking, and shopping are done, and everything else is a bonus. I may have 500 emails in my inbox right now, but the urgent ones are answered or will be by bedtime. I may have some crumbs on the floor, but I’m learning to sweep at the end of the day instead of after each meal (unless it’s a disaster.) And 5 minutes doing a task may not be as much as 15, but where the hell am I going in such a rush?

The baby has had what we politely call “intestinal problems” and the laundry has been done, surfaces disinfected, medicine administered, hugs given, and frankly I’ve been up for 48 hours.

And my squats got done. So will my writing.

Once I committed to this — really committed — my writer’s block melted away. I’ve been having to keep a notebook on me at all times because it’s starting to flow. I’m learning, s..l…o…w…l…y to just work the ideas for now, rather than be executive, legislature, and the accursed (and most dangerous) judicial branches over my own work all at the same time.

I need to stop hitting “delete” in my head before anything goes on the page.

So the writing gets circled on my to-do list. I’m not getting up earlier or staying up later because that just does not work in my life as is. The writing comes first. Or maybe second, after the squats…but it comes.

It’s time to get off my (firming-up) ass and keep the promise I made to myself.

The rest will come, as will the laundry. That always comes.


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