Yesterday was a day of laughter. It began with highly inappropriate conversations about sandwiches. Only a couple of you reading this will actually know what sandwiches are. To the rest of you, I apologize, but needless to say, a sandwich is not a sandwich. And for the record, you cannot unwrap mustard.
Then after work I went to my writing group, and I think something about our new location Book Bums (which is a fabulous cafe/lending library – anyone in the Cincinnati area should check it out!) really set us off, because man we couldn’t stay on-task to save our lives. Okay, that’s not completely true, we did read excerpts of two people’s work and give them feedback, plus we tried to help Sarah brainstorm on the sexual identity of one of her characters. But seriously? I laughed so hard and loud for those two hours that I’m surprised I didn’t get arrested for disturbing the peace. We also came up with the best story idea ever, but I don’t want to give it away, so I’ll just say “G-Y Z–B–!”
Sorry, this is turning into a bunch of inside jokes, and that wasn’t the point. The POINT is that by the time I got home, watched Life Unexpected (totally vital, btw) and then showered, it was 11:20 pm and I had only written 38 words on my WIP. I was exhausted (from all the laughing, naturally) and my boyfriend and puppy were already in bed looking cute, warm, and cuddly. So what did I do? I got in bed with them and went to sleep for 8 hours!
I took a deep breath, closed my browser, and forced myself to meet my daily goal of 500 words. (For the record, I surpassed that.) Was it hard? Yeah. Was I tired? Extremely. But was it the right thing to do? Duh. Because I’d already had my fun. I’d already cashed in for the day, with all the laughing and the sandwich jokes and the g-y z–b–s. But I hadn’t earned any of that yet. The truth is, I have a bad habit of doing that — of claiming the prize before winning the race — but one thing I’m good at is making sure I pay up. (Eventually.)
Like in the first grade, when my mom told me I could have a GameBoy only if I got all A’s on my report card, but then she bought it for me six weeks before grades went home? I still worked hard and got all A’s.
Or in college, when I told myself that I’d watch one episode of Battlestar Galactica for every one page of my term paper that I wrote, but then I actually watched Season 1 back to back for hours? I still finished my paper on-time and aced it.
Or when Andy told me I should get a MacBook after I sold my first novel, but then he gave me one for my 23rd birthday anyway? Well, okay, I’m still earning that one. But believe me, I will.
Now I’m not saying this a good way to do things. In fact, haha, I think it’s awful, and that guilt is probably part of what drives me. What I’m saying is that being tired isn’t a good reason to miss a goal. It’s an excuse. And excuses don’t put dreams on ice for later; they push dreams away.
Furthermore, if you really want something, then nothing — not even getting it — should stop you from making sure you deserve it.