As the holiday decorations come down, the winter doldrums set in. If your mood is falling faster than the cold temperatures outside, an article written by Brigitt Hauck for the monthly women’s magazine Real Simple has some good ideas to beat the winter blues. I actually hate “winter.” My hands always rip open and crack in the cold. I think the short days and lack of sunlight really get me down. Just call me Debbie Downer. It’s hard to do anything well when you’re feeling this way. It’s a slow time.
I keep trying to finish a holiday book for children but just keep monkeying around. There are a lot of well-meaning people in my life who distract me, like my husband, who always wants me to watch a TV show or see a movie when I should be writing. Right now he’s cupping his hand and calling up the steps saying, “Lady Gaga’s halftime Super Bowl show is starting and it’s great.” Who can resist?
With a husband, three kids, a broadcast career and now this blog, the book always winds up on the back-burner. I’ve probably rewritten the story 500 times. I talked about the frustration of feeling like this unfinished work is a monkey on my back over a steaming cup of coffee with an old friend this week at our favorite cozy cafe.
“Maybe you have it this time,” she said trying to be optimistic.
I’ve had so many false starts. I know I don’t. One thing as a writer I never do is to lie to myself. I’ve very consciously put my family first as a mother, but I want this book to be the one thing I’ve done just for me. I want it to be a mark I leave on the world. Another friend who joined us who has a job as a manager encouraged me to set aside two mornings a week to write.
“Just sit there until it’s done,” she said, “schedule it like you’re going to the office.”
Okay then. Suuuure…that’s it. As the pathological liar, created by comedian Jon Lovitz, on Saturday Night Live in the 1980s would say:
I’ll just sit at my desk and schedule the time to write two mornings a week. I’ll schedule in three hours for each session. I’ll listen to the birds outside the window, sharpen my pencil a few times and stare at a blank notebook. Then I’ll meet my friends for coffee to talk about how I can’t write the book.