Welcome to the first Evil League of Evil Writers post of 2016!
I’m sure by now you’ve seen post after post, ad after ad, article after article touting “It’s a new year! Time for a new you!” or some other such bullshit.
You heard me. I said “BULLSHIT.”
Now, I’m not saying goals are bullshit. Resolutions…that’s borderline bullshit territory, but we’ll leave that subject for another time.
What I’m talking about being bullshit is the idea that simply because it’s a new year, you should change yourself. Fuck that! There is nothing wrong with you! Your behavior, maybe, but not you, as a person. That’s what I find objectionable about these stupid ads and other propaganda. They’re all about selling you something you don’t need. They’re all about guilt, and I have serious issues with anyone who attempts to guilt me into anything.
Which brings me to my point, here.
If you have to be guilted into writing, you’re doing it wrong. If you need the excuse of a new year to find the discipline to write every day (or meet some arbitrary word count) per week/month, you’re doing it wrong.
“But Dina! You said goals weren’t bullshit!”
You’re right. I did say that. But what I’m talking about above? That up there? Those aren’t goals. That’s being manipulated by guilt.
It’s one thing to say, “This year I’m going to write 10,000 words a week!” It’s another to say, “This year I WANT TO write 10,000 words a week.”
One is a personal goal. The other is an arbitrary task. Do you know which is which?
Answer: The second one is the goal. The first one is the arbitrary task.
Want to know the difference? The task will make you feel like shit when you don’t get it done. The second one might make you feel like shit when you don’t get it done.
Goals are great. Goals are wonderful. You should have goals. BUT! You shouldn’t feel like shit if you don’t reach your goal. Think of goals as more guidelines than actual rules.
And don’t let yourself be guilted into anything, especially writing. If you have to be guilted/goaded/cajoled/bribed into producing words, then maybe writing shouldn’t be a goal of yours.
If you want to do something (like, say, write 10k words a week), make the time to do it. Rearrange your schedule, whatever. Make the time. There’s time if you make it. Instead of popping on the TV when you get home from work, sit your ass down in front of your word processing program and devote that 20 minute episode of Whatever The Fuck You’re Bingeing to your writing. Fulfill that goal. But don’t let anyone (including and especially yourself) guilt you into doing it.
Happy New Year!