Every January, people make resolutions to better themselves, eat healthier, exercise more, etc. “New Year, New Me!” we all cry. Then, come February, we’ve forgotten our goals or have just plain given up. Some may say “well I’ll try again next year” while some will later come out of the dark winter re-energized and re-invigorated to commit to their goals.
It’s not like we have to wait until January 1st to build better routines, and if we fall off the wagon on the way, there’s nothing to stop us from getting back up and hopping back on when we’re ready. New Year’s is just convenient, and it gives us a collective push to start over. Besides, after all the holiday food and time off it just feels right to get back into a routine and work off the extra pounds.
Exercise is important for all parts of the body, including that hunk of gray matter in your skull. I like to work mine out with books. Reading and writing. The writing part is where this blog comes in.
Once upon a time, I started a blog with this very purpose in mind. I was spending so much of my spare time in college at my computer that I figured I ought to at least take some of that time and be productive with it. It was a hodgepodge of topics, from stories to rants to recipes and everything in between. Aside from the handful of short stories I shared there, it really turned into a public electronic diary, and I grew bored with it. I would update it once in a while when I had something on my mind I wanted to get out, but for the most part I stopped doing any of my writing there.
That’s not to say I haven’t done any writing since then. For the last several years, I have attempted to complete Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month (for those of you with social lives who are unfamiliar). Every November, folks from all around the world commit to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. I have yet to succeed in completing a novel, but it did succeed in getting me to start writing every day.
While I may not have completed my Nano novels within the 30 days of November, I did continue to work on them in the months after. They’re still incomplete, as I began to switch gears in the summer in preparation for the new year’s Nano instead of just completing what I was writing, but half of them have broken the previously-elusive 50k word mark.
I didn’t even break 10k this year, and it really hit me hard. What am I even doing? How will I ever be a “true writer” if I can’t even write a measly ten thousand words in a month? The biggest reason for my struggle this year was the subject matter. I underestimated how much research I would need to complete before I could write this novel. But still I felt like a failure. I gave up after only 15 days.
By Christmas, I had gone weeks without writing. It didn’t feel right. Granted, there were a lot of year-end projects to finish up at work, and travel for the holidays, but I still packed my notebook in my purse every day in the hopes that some inspiration would strike and launch me out of my slump.
My family and my in-laws know me well. I received many books and journals and mugs for Christmas. The gift that got me thinking about my own New Year’s resolution to write more though, came from my mother. “300 Writing Prompts” from Picadilly Inc. I’ve picked it up and put it back a dozen times on trips to Barnes & Noble, always telling myself “next time I’ll get it, after the holidays.”
Well now I have it. Sitting in traffic on my way home from work this week, it occurred to me that I could write one prompt a day for almost the whole year. And I could breathe new life into my blog! But when I logged into Time Well Wasted to update it, I realized I didn’t want to completely overhaul my old site. It was a good reminder of where I’d come from, but it didn’t fit the theme I wanted for my daily prompts. A fresh start would be much better.
So, Closet Full of Notebooks was born. I have so many prompts to work with, there should be no shortage of content. (I also have the “Write the Story” prompt book.) I hope you’ll enjoy reading whatever words I come up with for the given prompts and join me in writing every day!