By B. Lynn Goodwin
Writing is a lonely business. Sometimes. Other times it’s a joyous celebration with friends or a slog through one’s own unique valley of despair.
Frankly, I’m glad I’m not on a writing team at the moment, though that might be an interesting project if the subject matter was right. Since I work alone, though, it’s up to me to keep myself motivated.
Lately, my husby has helped. He became my accountability partner last night when he asked, “Did you put in two hours on the memoir today?”
“No. Not today.”
I got up and got in the car by 9—okay 9:10—so I could give my journaling workshop for the Family Caregiver Alliance over in Menlo Park at 11. Then I was going to find a Starbuck’s on or near the Stanford Campus, but frankly, I was too exhausted, so I got in my car for the long trek home, and when I got here I was so tired I fell asleep for an hour and a half. “I didn’t get it done because of the workshop. I don’t mind your asking though.”
I never mind accountability, except when it makes me feel small or irresponsible. I won’t mind if he asks me tonight, but he won’t because I already e-mailed him that I put in two hours. I might not have done that without his asking me about it last night.
If you don’t have an accountability partner right now and you need a little encouragement, here’s my question: “What did you write about today?” If the answer is nothing, think about your reason. You know I’ll understand. Why not post an answer below, and then you will have written today.
If you need a little encouragement, here’s something I shared yesterday in the journaling workshop, where I encouraged caregivers to vent, rant, process, discover, and find peace. I offer them to you, because every time I read them, I remember the value of what we all do.
“It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating.” — Gustave Flaubert
“For many of us, writing is a form of prayer, and when our lives become too busy and we don’t give ourselves time to write and develop our writing, we feel diminished.” –Sheila Binder
“We cannot live through a day without impacting the world around us – and we have a choice: What sort of impact do we want to make?” ~ Dr. Jane Goodall
“Problems are opportunities in work clothes.” – Thomas Edison
“Words, like eyes, are windows into a person’s soul, and thus each writer, in some small way, helps to enrich the world.” –Mark Robert Waldman
“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome. —Samuel Johnson
“A birddoesn’t sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song. — Maya Angelou, poet
“There are two ways of spreading light – to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” —– Edith Wharton
B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice,http://www.writeradvice.com, and the author of both You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing) and TALENT (Eternal Press). Her blog is athttp://blynngoodwin.com. Goodwin’s stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; The Sun; Good Housekeeping.com and many other venues. She is currently working on a memoir about getting married for the first time at age 62.