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.

22 responses to “On laughing, and doing things backward”

  1. Kimberly Franklin Avatar

    Amen to that!

    And I love my Macbook. I’m not sure how I ever wrote anything without it. : )

  2. Sonja Avatar

    Quite the pep talk!
    .-= • Recent post by Sonja: In which I make six spring rolls =-.

  3. Aurora Avatar

    he gave you a macbook for your birthday?

    …do you know of any available women who are equally generous/loaded? let me know.
    .-= • Recent post by Aurora: Tweetable Thursdays #5 =-.

  4. Kristan Avatar

    Yes, and I nearly fainted from the incredible-ness of it. But for the record, he saved up a long time for it, AND it counted as my present for the next birthday AND two Christmases. (Even so, it’s incredibly generous and amazing and I love it. But I just wanted to make it clear he’s not crazy. :P)

  5. Les Avatar

    Much needed inspiration, since I’ve not been writing at all and focusing on my other “thing”. But once the new website goes up this weekend I’ll have a lot more time to write… but man I have a lot to make up for.
    .-= • Recent post by Les: And then it was three =-.

  6. Kristan Avatar

    I can’t wait, Les!

  7. Pseudo Avatar

    Very true, a lot of fun.

    And so. What is a sandwich if not a snadwich?

  8. Zara Avatar

    I like this, Kristan. Read Neruda’s poem “Your Laughter.”

    Also… Battlestar Galactica? Really? I think you just got demoted from granny to nerdy little bro.

  9. Liz Czukas Avatar

    There is nothing more refreshing to the spirit, but exhausting to the body than heaps of inappropriate laughter. Good on you for getting it done anyway. I’m impressed.

    – Liz
    .-= • Recent post by Liz Czukas: Teaser Tuesday – March 2, 2010 =-.

  10. Kristan Avatar

    I’ll email you. ;)

    Googling the poem now! And I think I’m probably a nerdy little granny, most accurately. :P

    Eloquently put. Thanks!

  11. MKL Avatar

    Haha.. I’d like to do things backwards from time to time. But it just doesn’t work with me :P You’re a master of doing that. Do you give some lessons to others? :)
    .-= • Recent post by MKL: Taipei 101 at dawn =-.

  12. Aisha Avatar

    Aw I like this post :)

  13. Samantha Bennett Avatar

    I can roll backwards too. As a kid, I always ate dessert first… and still do sometimes. Sugar prepares the pallet, right? ;)
    .-= • Recent post by Samantha Bennett: Ahem, Contest Announcement! =-.

  14. Kristan Avatar

    Aw thanks!

    Haha, I totally do that too. My mom’s the one that got me in that bad habit, though…

  15. Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist Avatar

    Good for you! I’ve been thinking about what you said about realistic goals. I was doing great writing a 1000/words a day but when I upped the ante to 2k, I wrote zero! Then I got slammed with work and so now I have written zero for almost 10 days. But I am back on the horse today and being kind to myself. My goal is 500.
    .-= • Recent post by Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist: Give Away: Where do you write? =-.

  16. Kristan Avatar

    Sounds like a great goal! :D

  17. Jon Avatar

    So your mom got you the gameboy before you finished the semester?! Wow, you have sweet parents! Congrats on getting to your writing goal.
    .-= • Recent post by Jon: Stephenie Meyer vs. Just a Writer =-.

  18. Kristan Avatar

    Yeah, my mom plays it tough but she’s really a big softie. :P

  19. Kevin Johnson Avatar

    “Furthermore, if you really want something, then nothing — not even getting it — should stop you from making sure you deserve it.”

    Wow, that’s the exact thing I needed to hear. Someone turned down my offer recently, which bummed me out, because he was really good at what he did. But that quote made me realize that not-getting something CAN’T be the thing that makes or breaks your drive.

    .-= • Recent post by Kevin Johnson: Why Can’t We Gain “Moral Value” from the Big City? =-.

  20. Cheyanne Avatar

    Mmmm It is only 9:40 AM and I’m craving a sandwich now.. I don’t even care that I don’t know what it means.

    Congrats on forcing yourself to write! My daily goal is 500 words too, and sometimes I’m forced to unplug the router to make it impossible for me to get online, or else nothing would get done.
    .-= • Recent post by Cheyanne: Pointless Apps are the Best Apps =-.

  21. Cheyanne Avatar

    Oh and PS – I am a 24 year old who writes YA and was born/raised in Houston. And from what I’ve read of your blog so far, is your boyfriend Andy? Because my boyfriend is named Adam..

    I think I have found my blog twin!
    .-= • Recent post by Cheyanne: Pointless Apps are the Best Apps =-.

  22. Kristan Avatar

    LOL seriously?! That’s hilarious. And awesome! Woot for blog twins!