I’ve been thinking about my bad habits and other things in my life that I would like to improve.  I want them to improve themselves without any input or work from me.  I realize this magical thinking means they won’t improve, but this is my blog, and I’m allowed to wish if I want to.

  • I am a slob. Back in middle school science, I learned that objects in order have a tendency to move to disorder.  My teacher called it entropy; Wikipedia says not only is that wrong but that scientists don’t use the words “order” and “disorder” anymore.  In any event, I surround myself with explosions of paper and clothing.  I notice the piles; they don’t bother me.  Worse than that, it doesn’t bother me to have people see the chaos for short periods.  In this situation, “Sorry I’m not sorry” could not be more apt.
  • I procrastinate. My mother has taken to calling me “lightning” in Korean.  When I have a task, I leave it until the last possible second.  It used to stress Mom out when the tasks were for her.  She’s seen me get what she thought was an impossible amount of work done in an impossible amount of time, and so now she does not worry.  In fact, now she laughs when my dad and sister get stressed out when I don’t do the things I’m supposed to do for them.  Here’s what’s funny:  while she is not stressed out anymore, I am.  Just because I’m not doing the task doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about the task and worrying about the task and berating myself for not getting the task done.  Also, it means that if I don’t have a deadline with consequences, I don’t get stuff done.  See: this blog, exercising, anything related to maintaining this house.
  • I waste money. And I have the extraneous clothing and useless crap to prove it.  Also, the belongings I love most have been living in a storage unit in Houston for almost five years.  On the one hand, I could have bought new stuff I love with that money, but on the other hand, I know I wouldn’t have saved that money for that purpose.  I waste money when I do not have it to waste.
  • I dislike writing. My whole career as a professional has been built on writing.  I didn’t realize it until earlier this year.  When I look back, a major component of every job I’ve held has been writing.  I dislike writing, but I love having written.  I can’t have written without writing, and I won’t write without a deadline with consequences.  I don’t recognize self-imposed consequences, so here I am, middle-aged, knowing I have at least one book in me, unable to get it out.

EXCEPT.  I’ve never been able to write a fictional story from start to finish, and because I couldn’t finish, I stopped starting.  Last month, I took a class on short stories at SMU from my favorite writing teacher there, and I made a miracle.  I started and finished a short story for the first time since elementary school.  And my teacher and my classmates liked it, and there is room in it to make it a medium story.  I don’t know whether it’ll be long enough to be a novel, but I FINISHED A SHORT STORY.

Back in August, I made an extravagant, optimistic promise to an acquaintance I admire that I would have a book manuscript for her to read by the end of the year.  That promise seems less extravagant and more realistic now.  If I buckle down and write every day, I will have something to show her by December 31.  And it means that I won’t have the brain space to update here as often as I would like.  I mean, that wasn’t happening anyway, so the only real change is that I’m absolving myself of the guilt I feel over that.  Actually, if #2 on this list kicks in, it might mean that while I avoid my story, I’ll update here a lot more.

All of that to let you know that I’ll be writing less here.  When I do, I’ll aim for Tuesdays.  I hope by the end of the year, absence will have made the heart grow fonder, and I’ll have a complete novella to show for it.  Wish me luck, because I am so totally going to need it.

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