Writing 101

Ok, here’s how I came to be sitting in my room struggling for an hour and a half setting up the first blog I’ve ever done that wasn’t mandatory.  Two weeks ago, my boyfriend, Joe, and I are having coffee on our four year anniversary and we’ve spent the better half of the evening discussing the things that prevent us from doing our passions, mine being writing and his being music.  I’d been reading that bestseller, The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, and was both inspired and irritated by how simple she made her narrative of a year’s worth of change seem.  Sure she had her ups and downs, but not all of us have book deals and literary agents to keep us going.  But we agree to take charge of our free time and spend it on our  passions by eliminating watching TV and movies for one week.  One week to jumpstart a change in our “go-to couple activity” and spend that time doing other things like our passions.

It didn’t seem difficult.  The only time either one of us complained was when we were eating lunch or dinner alone.  Typically, we would have sat in the living room watching either the discovery or travel channel.  So, for one week, I spent my time listening to Jumpa Lahiri’s “Unaccustomed Earth” on cd.  Joe listened to the radio.  I spent time on my days off taking long walks in the marsh and channeling Lorine Niedecker.  I spent time in the library reading poetry and by the end of the week did write one new poem.

Newly energized by the challenge of changing one thing for a week, we have decided to continue doing so, hoping it will lead us further towards our passions.

This past week, we gave up drinking alcohol, and I also committed to walking 40 minutes a day.  I’ll tell you now, with the ever changing Wisconsin temperatures, the whole walking thing is easiest when you have a dog.  As I do not, I borrowed my boyfriend’s sister’s and that made that task much more fun.

So, here’s why I now have a blog.  This week we have committed to eating at home for one week, absolutely no take out!  I am also going to keep a food diary to better observe what I am eating.  And I, in addition, to honor National Novel Writing Month, have argued back and forth with myself enough times to say “what the hell?  give it a try!” and am committing to writing for one week every day.  Instead of a novel, I’ll write a short story.  And I plan to document our “Passion Project” in this blog.  Here goes nothin’!


2 responses

  1. Cool idea. Good luck. I read that book not too long ago. I contacted the author and said she should build an iPhone app related to the book. She wrote me back and said good idea, but it wasn’t in the budget.

  2. From a personal standpoint, I have to say it’s easiest to devote your life to following your passion (i.e. writing) when you don’t have the crutch of a job holding you back. Tough to pay the bills, but hey, it’s a trade-off! Besides, aren’t writers supposed to be “starving”?

    I like your idea of changing something different in your life every week. Very positive and forward-thinking.

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