2013: My Year of Less Dysfunction
It occurred to me a few years ago that if I detest winter, and I DO, that means I’m detesting a quarter of my life. Just like a pig parade, that’s a terrible idea.
So I asked those who liked winter what they liked about it:
Warm drinks on a chilly day.
Hunkering down at home.
I prefer mojitos poolside, but yeah, okay. If there has to be winter, blankets and warm slippers and chai lattes could probably help.
Meanwhile, in the writing side of my life, I finished up my second novel, the first draft of which was written years ago. And while I wait to hear from my agent about whether I need to keep working on it or if it’s ready to go, I started work on a new novel.
But I realized that I’ve been feeling kind of wintery about first drafts. I dread writing them. My favorite part of the novel process is probably the last 20 percent—the cleaning, refining, drawing subtle connections between related parts. I LOVE that work. But the stuff that comes before? Not so much.
I’m not sure if it’s brilliant or inane to be writing a first draft in winter. But with my determination to be NOT dysfunctionl as my guiding force, it’s going pretty well.
I think the key to all of this may be the fact that I changed where I write. My first two books were written in the kitchen of my house. And then my husband started working from home. And using the kitchen more frequently than you’d think a person could.
I moved upstairs. I cleaned my office. Cleared everything off my desk.
Yet where I find myself most writing days is sitting the big arm chair in my bedroom. This is the key: I sit beneath an electric throw blanket. I’m toasty. In fact, one day last week, after meeting my goal of writing a thousand words, I decided I’d rather write a second thousand than get up and exercise, which had been the next scheduled act in my planned not-dysfunctional day.
Next year, I’ll figure out adding a healthy attitude about exercise into the first-drafting and winter plan. For now, being toasty in the corner of my bedroom is working pretty well.