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Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year 2016

What will we do with our time this year? The average life span of a woman who is 65 today, according to Social Security stats, is 86.6, a man 84.3. Of course, this changes based on a person's age today, their health factors, etc. In all the sites I checked, the average expectancy of life in the U.S. is roughly 80 for females and males. Let's do a little math.

365 x 1 = 365. Surprised? You expected me to do something fancy, give you some brilliant number, didn't you? The truth is; your age doesn't matter. You have the same number of days in a year whether you were born today or 60 years ago. Now for some really sophisticated mathematical determinations.

If Jane drinks 10 cups of tea a day for one year, writes one hour a day for a year, walks 2.5 mph on her treadmill, how many hours will she spend writing by the end of the year?

You sly dog! You are right. She will spend 365 hours writing. Now for the algebraic look-see.

If Jane writes 300 words in an hour every day for one year, walks her dog, Spot for 10 minutes, 3 times a day, and loses .01 pounds each hour, how many words will she write by the end of the year?

You're right again! Jane will write 109,500 words in one year - a novel.

But where will Jane find that one hour? She's busy walking Spot 10 minutes three times a day, and going to 1 movie and 1 dinner with Dick once a week, laundering her clothes 3 hours a week, walking 2.5 miles an hour daily on her treadmill, working 40 hours a week to feed Spot, and hitting Publix for an hour a week to buy groceries. Did you find the hour?

Silly, she writes while her clothes are swirling and twirling in the washer and dryer. Catches up on Blindspot through Netflix or On demand after she's written. Stops at the coffee shop or library on the way home and writes for one hour. Goes to bed an hour earlier and gets up an hour earlier to write while her little gray cells are at their freshest.

Unless you are the Old Woman in the Shoe - the one with so many children she didn't know what to do - you can find an hour a day. If the old woman had any sense, she would lace that shoe tightly and hide in the bathroom with her laptop on her knees.

As I went back over my 2015 goals for my writing life, I began to feel a deep sense of accomplishment, as I evaluated the manuscripts I had edited that were published, saw the new software I mastered to meet my business clients' needs, gloated over my new blog and website, grinned at my new online classes, and then, BAM! I got to my publishing goals. That spreadsheet was pathetically spare.

As a full time freelancer, I had done a brilliant (don't you just love the way Brits use this word!) job, however, but my personal writing goal achievements were at an all time low this year. This led me full circle to examine my goals for 2016.

Just as you go to work everyday, my freelance goals are a necessity. I am bringing up a new line of services in Written Word in 2016 to help writers Celebrate Your Book! with reasonably priced marketing tools and information, something I am very excited about. But the fact is, I want to celebrate my own books, and if I do a little math, using my expected life expectancy, I need to never waiver from my 365 Writing Plan of one hour a day.

I challenge you to try the 365 writing plan in 2016, and let me know from time to time how you are doing. We will talk about it in these weekly blogs. I'll share my successes and failures. A good way to get started is to sign up for Kelly Stones' 90 Day Writing Challenge. Check out this user friendly way of meeting other writers.

 Wishing us all a productive and Happy New Year!  Mahala

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