I got a taste of tunnel vision in the last quarter of 2017. Up against a self-imposed Christmas deadline, I was able to ignore distractions and finish editing my mother’s memoir. Now that I know it can be done, I’d like to keep that momentum.
To support my writing habit, I plan on submitting two essays for publication a month, double last year’s goal and I’m off to a good start. I’ve submitted two essays already this month, and gotten my guest blog about a Mayan wedding published on Pink Pangea.
A good writer reads, so I’ve doubled the number of books on my reading list. This month I finished reading “The Hidden Life of Trees” and have begun reading Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” For fun, I’m reading Martha Conway’s “The Underground River.” Martha is Maggie’s sister, and Maggie is married to my cousin Brian. I highly recommend this book, especially if you like the notion of a floating theater, are curious about how slaves found their way to freedom in the 1830’s, or are handy with a sewing machine.
I’ve also started a “Snitch Pad,” a notebook I carry with me for jotting down thoughts and observations. I got this idea from “Steal Like an Artist”, a nifty little book that Shelley lent me. If you are looking for ways to boost your creativity, this book is a must.
As for friends, well, I’m fortunate to have a lot of great friends and oodles of opportunities for fun. But, if I’m going to do more reading and writing, I need to get choosy about what makes it to my calendar. This year, I’m focusing on quality over quantity.
Last, but not least: cookies. My Nana’s pet name for me was Cookie, and she baked the most incredible chocolate chip cookies. Ask any one of my brothers or cousins. To honor both my nickname, and Nana’s legacy, Cookies will be my new go-to potluck and party dish in 2018. No more fretting over what to bring, or how to keep it warm, or cold, or whatever. Cookies are easy, and everyone likes them.
Tunnel vision gets a bad rap, but I see it as a way to achieve my goals. If I can stay on track, my life will be productive, nourishing, and fun, and hopefully distract me from the political shit storm we all seek to weather this year. So happy tunneling, or whatever strategy you’ve chosen to make your new year shine!