It took a while to find the blog post (I knew it had something to do with writing but as you can imagine, that was not a helpful key word for my search), but eventually, it popped up on the screen: Just For Today, For A Writer. It ran right here on The Muffin in January of 2013.
2013! That was eight years ago.
Well, firstly, I was pretty darn impressed that I remembered it at all. But secondly, I wondered, reading the post, if I’d successfully developed these writing habits. You see, I take stock monthly, even yearly, but eight years? That’s some serious accountability.
So here’s the original post, but for today, I decided to just look at the basic promises I made in 2013, the ones this writer vowed to tackle, on a mostly daily basis:
Just for today, I will write.
Uh-oh. Right from the get go, I smelled trouble. But wait! I could count my journal because that’s writing. And the deal was not to write a set amount but to write. So despite the tragedies and the triumphs of the last eight years, I have always written something, just about every day. Yay, me!
Just for today, I will read.
Reading is my comfort food, my happy place, my go-to for learning. I probably didn’t need to add that promise; I’ve been reading since I figured out how. On the other hand, I know writers who don’t read much so I will reiterate now that you can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader.
Just for today, I will encourage or support another writer.
Admittedly, I don’t always do this. Sometimes, I support a non-writer friend or encourage someone I don’t even know, like a young mom in the grocery store. On my bathroom mirror is a sign where I’ve written, “Whose day will I make today?” I wholeheartedly recommend the habit of support and encouragement; I’m sure I sleep better every night for following that practice.
Just for today, I will take care of business.
Yikes! I struggle with this chore as much today as I did eight years ago. It’s why every January, I spend the month cleaning out all my inboxes. I know I should keep up with it every day but I’m busy, y’all. Reading.
Just for today, I will be thankful that I’m a writer.
How I’m thankful today as a writer may not be the same as it was years ago; now, I appreciate that writing is not just about validation but about helping me to work through all that makes up my life, and hopefully figuring out who Cathy C. Hall is. So whether I’m compensated in dollars and cents or serenity and joy, I’m good to go. (Not to mention that I’m sitting here, just as I was eight years ago, writing away in my pajamas. I’ll always be grateful for that!)
Okay, then. I’m going to say that eight years later, I’ve done a fairly good job, keeping my writing promises. How about you? Can you remember where you were on your writing journey eight years ago? Sometimes it takes the long view to show us just how far we’ve come, day by day!
Cathy C. Hall is a children's author, freelance writer, blogger, speaker, and dog wrangler. Way harder than it looks.