It’s All Up to You

So I love romantic comedies. One of my favorites is Barbra Streisand’s The Mirror Has Two Faces. It was on this morning as I was stumbling out of bed and making myself presentable while guzzling a giant energy drink before driving an hour to work. Of course I thought I was just enjoying a lovely story of two people falling in love, but I was struck by Streisand’s character Rose. As the ultimate anti-heroine, Rose was everything Jeff Bridges’ Gregory did not want in a woman. After realizing their relationship would be sexless because Gregory simply was not attracted to her, Rose set about totally revamping her life. She got a makeover, changed her diet, and began to eat healthy foods.

What struck me most about this sequence in the film was not that Rose was trying to get Gregory back, but rather, she had recognized all the ways in her life in which she was not doing her best. Where had she let herself go and stopped trying because she decided she was not worth the effort? Immediately, this made me think of my writing career.  Like Rose, had I just accepted certain things about my life and writing schedule? I used to say to myself, “I only have time to write on the weekends,” or “I only have time to write when my bosses are out of town,” or “I only have time to write when I am on vacation.” I already know that is not true because I successfully completed NaNo WriMo this past November, and years ago I wrote consistently, almost five pages every day. Life has changed a lot since those days. So what is the lesson in this when it comes to writing? Like Rose, I have to take a long hard look at my schedule. Am I really doing everything I can to put my writing first in my life? I decided before writing this post to make a list of the things I can definitely do to make my writing a priority.

1.)    Go to bed earlier. This one is especially hard because I love staying up late to watch things like Revenge and Project Runway. I mean, don’t we all? But see there’s this thing they invented called DVR and the internet.

2.)    Wake up earlier. I am always tired in the morning and that is probably because I watched three back to back episodes of Top Chef and capped it off with an episode or two of Hoarders and Intervention. But you see I do not have time for all the things….

3.)    Exercise. I feel better when I do, let’s just face it. I might not feel better DURING the exercise but I feel accomplished rather than sluggish at my desk. My work performance is better and I leave work feeling better about myself and don’t need as much time to decompress from the stress of work and commuting. Funny how that works.

4.)    Write. That is probably the most important thing, eh? If I wait for the muse or only write the exciting scenes and avoid editing (ahem, NaNo who?), then I will only pick up that manuscript once a month.

We need to take a page out of Rose’s book. After all, not only does she transform herself, but she does not compromise or play small when Gregory does not react positively to our changes. Our bosses, partners and children may not like our lifestyle changes but if we want to write—we have to, you know, DO IT.

Until Next Time,

~V

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