31 Minutes? Try 93! A Guest Post
This week I’d like to welcome my writing friend, the delightful Jody Bilbo Staton, an overachieving YA and middle-grade novelist, with a guest post about her ambitiously vigorous trek through the month.
Katia’s 31-minute challenge came at the perfect time, both as a welcome substitute for the standard (and usually vaguely worded) New Year’s resolutions, and as a motivating tool for tackling a revision inspired by an agent’s very nice rejection. (To quote an old Snoopy cartoon, I’d rather get a nasty acceptance!)
So I took the challenge—and decided to expand upon it. Not in the promised-to-myself-and-Katia 31-minute writing sessions, though many of them have continued longer because I had pulled myself into the story. No, I’ve also made two other 31-minute commitments.
One is to sorting through the accumulations of 40 years in one house. I’m a widow now; I’ll be moving someday, though not yet. Spending at least just-over-half-an-hour a day, discarding or donating or tidying up a drawer at a time, has done more to get that accumulation dealt with than any round tuits (as in “I’ll-get-around-to-it”).
The other is to exercise for that same length of time. I belong to a gym and try to get there three times a week, but the other four days needed some commitment if I’m ever to shed the extra 15 pounds that now make some of my favorite clothes a bit snug.
I’m sort of retired—my freelance copyediting is only part-time, so committing 93 minutes a day hasn’t been that hard. I’ve been very good about it, getting those minutes in every day so far this month. (Although I will admit that a couple of the sorting and exercising times have been a bid dodgy in what I counted. [Filing e-mails? Helping to take up a carpet?]) But it has had the benefit of pushing me past procrastination (oh, I’m very good at that!), and toward a feeling of making progress on what matters to me.
Two other concepts I’m adding to the challenge: I’ve made a graph in Excell that helps keep me on track; and when January ends, I plan to add 28 more days to it. Ease off a bit, maybe, make it a 28-minute challenge. But then of course I’ll have to up it back to 31 in March.
Thank you, Katia, for that shove—it’s gathering momentum! – Johanna Bilbo Staton (Jody)
Thank you, Jody! Keep on writing, girl!
Hope the rest of you are doing well, too!
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