2017: more writing, less butter

Ahhh. The holidays. That special season when you spend time in enclosed spaces with those nearest and dearest to you, and remember why you always secretly fantasized about giving your brother a swirly (just kidding, Peter, Caleb, Johnny!). Seriously though, I do love the holidays. I feel like they’re an excuse to be the human sloth that I was always meant to be. If sloths could perform the mental gymnastics needed to convince themselves that it is offensive to not eat all the Christmas baking that passes over their threshold throughout the entire month of December, that is. But now, the holidays have been drunk down to the very dregs, and it’s time to confront real life once more.

Which means that it’s time for me to start pitching articles again (not the same as pitching a fit, although there are certain similarities). It’s been awhile since I’ve written for magazines. About 1.5 years, to be more precise, or just a bit more than the age of my younger daughter. A couple of months before L was born, I put my writing life on hold indefinitely. I’m not the most energetic soul (see above: sloth reference), and the transition from beached whale with an energetic toddler to haggard, spit-up drenched mother of two didn’t leave me with the mental capacity to write. But life is slowly starting to settle down: Last week marked the first time in 1.5 years that I slept through the night. Yes, I am still weeping tears of joy.

Celebrating with a cup of coffee. You can see that it overflowed onto my festive placemat. What you can’t see is that it overflowed continuously for three whole minutes because one of my hands refused to set it down while my other hand attempted to wipe up the mess. An infinite loop.

So now it’s time to start writing articles again, and this blog post is a way of keeping myself accountable. Because – as the new US president’s twitter account has illustrated time and again – once something is online, it’s OFFICIAL. I have tons of half-baked, semi-formed ideas for articles that I’d like to write, and magazines that I’d like to pitch them to, but ideas aren’t what bring home the bacon. No sir. Gainfully employed adults are what bring home the bacon, and I’m relieved that I married one. But I need to go beyond the ideas phase and do the research and writing that it takes to put together a pitch, and suck up the courage to actually send it to an editor.

The difference between dreaming about writing and actually writing is like New Year’s resolutions: it feels exciting and invigorating to resolve to give up eating sticks of butter, for example, but when it comes time to not eat the butter, it’s hard work. But as any sermonizing teacher or parent will tell you, it’s the hard work that’s usually the transformative, life-giving, good work. So I’m putting down my stick of butter, and picking up my pen.




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