Decisions, Decisions

I just failed to make a decision. I failed to decide to save my writing regularly.

I just lost about 500 words and the great start to a blog post.

Failing to make a decision is making a decision. We’ve heard that before. I’m not sure I’ve fully believed it, though I have seen other people have some interesting consequences from their lack of decision making.

I’ve been thinking about not making decisions for a few days now. 

Writing prompts and ideas for blog posts will keep me on track for National Novel Writing Month. I had to make a decision to participate.

A friend asked me how my novel was going. (There’s nothing that touches my heart more than when someone remembers that I’m a writer and asks me about my writing, so thank you, friend.) I had to admit I hadn’t gotten as far on the editing process as I would have liked, but that I hadn’t given myself any deadlines or set aside any time to work on it. 

I finished writing my novel before Christmas 2019. My goal was to have it edited in 2020 and write novel 2. My plans, like those of so many others, fell apart in April. (Command S)

Not making a decision means I’m making a decision to let things be, whether that means status quo or letting go.

At this point, we have a secure normal created for our household. My anxiety, and that of my kids, is down significantly. I’m eating better and exercising more consistently. We are isolated enough to be relaxed and social enough with social distancing to not be isolated. Yet, I’ve focused on my knitting and painting instead of my writing. While those hobbies helped early in the pandemic when my brain was too anxious to let me think clearly, for the last few months, my brain and thought processes have felt clearer than they have in years. Apparently, it takes a national crisis for me to double down on sleep, solid routines, exercise, and anti-anxiety measures.

So why haven’t I started working on my novels again? Or my blog? 

I haven’t decided to do that. At least I hadn’t.

I just recently made the decision to get my back back in shape, which has made a tremendous difference in my back and leg pain as long as I don’t over-do. I also made the decision to lose the weight I’ve lost and gained this year and last. I have those new habits in place.

Now is time to add another layer of decisions.

I decided – on Oct. 31 – to participate in National Novel Writing Month, which started today. Hey, a decision is a decision. A decision to start NaNoWriMo isn’t too late until Dec. 1.

I also decided to not worry about writing my novel for NaNoWriMo, and instead focus on just writing every day. No word counts. No novel. Not even my blog, although I feel pretty confident that this will end up there. 

I decided to find some writing prompts, which I did yesterday. That inspired me to write some writing prompts for Novel 2. I can now choose from 43 generic prompts and 7 for my novel. I also have five other prompts for blog posts.

Not making a decision means deciding not to work toward a particular goal. No decision, no goal.

I still haven’t made a decision about editing Novel 1. I finished it just before Christmas last year. I had wanted to finish the first edit by March and have it ready for beta reading or workshopping by this summer. I need to make a decision about what I want to do about that now. I still want to publish it the summer of 2024, so I have some time. I think I would like to finish editing it by Christmas this year. That is a reasonable goal, because this is just the editing of the rough draft.

My friend suggested making a decision to make a decision about it and to give myself a deadline. I just did.

By next Monday, November 9, I will decide my goal, deadline, and plan for editing Novel 1.

Sometimes making decisions is hard. But not making a decision is making a decision, I think. 

Thank you, friend. You know who you are. Now for me to be accountable.

2 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions

  • Yes, edit your novel draft!! I have been waiting to read it and the longer you delay the longer I have to wait! I know – totally selfish of me, but what the heck – I have more time to read now than ever before! On the topic of writing, I had my dad living at our home for 2 1/2 weeks while recovering physically and mentally from a hip replacement surgery. He is not a believer in Christ and it is difficult to discuss with him because of his increasing short term memory issues. But I had a goal to write him a letter before Wed. this week to give to him along with his watch for which I replaced the band and battery. The idea behind this is that time is running out for my 89 year old dad! Anyways, I finished the letter tonight and then read your blog about writing and making decisions to write. Maybe I will write more letters to my daughters instead of just composing them in my head. Time is running out! Just do it! Love you my writer friend.

    • Definitely get those letters out of your head and onto paper. They will be letters they will treasure forever and perhaps pass down to the next generation. And, yes, ma’am. I’ll get it to you as soon as I can.

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