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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Winter Competition - IWSG



It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. To read more writers in support of other writers, click here!


Ah, January.  My least favorite month, really. Around here, real winter, true winter, sets in right after Christmas, with cloudy skies and breathless cold.  And worse, ever since I became a mother, the month has always seemed filled with fits and starts.  Having taken time off work for Christmas, my little family would slog back to work and school, only to encounter snow related school closings or illness, the stress of unplanned time off compounding the letdown of the holidays.  While I’m off the hook on some of that now, I still dread the arrival of the first month.  Perhaps it would be different, if, as it is for my Australian sister, the New Year ushered in full summer and blooming roses instead of a harsh and frozen earth.  But it’s likely I’ll never experience that. Schooled in my own long history, I wake up on the first work Monday of the New Year, dreading the four weeks to come.

I know this though.  I just have to get through it.  So this past Monday, as I have on every work day for the last four years, I got up an hour early in order to write.  I had a bad, toss and turn night, and on waking at 5:45, a ghost of a thought slipped through my brain.  What if just today, I didn’t get up early?  What if just once, I turned over?  

Even in my sandy-eyed, drag-myself-to-the-shower exhaustion, a gem of pure pride sparkled up because that weasel of a temptation hadn’t gained a toe-hold.  Instead, I made myself oatmeal with all natural peanut butter and banana, drank my orange juice, wrapped myself in a down comforter and sat down at the computer.  After reviewing the last chapter I’d finished over the weekend, I began the next.  Five hundred and thirty-six words later, my “time-to-get-ready-for-work” alarm rang out. 

The score so far? Liza one.  January zero.

24 comments:

Jan Morrison said...

You are a word warrior! Thanks for this - it is so true. Here it is dark and minus 15 (7 in farenheit) and l am not back at rising an hour early yet but that is my plan. Thanks for holding the lamp!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You get 'em! That's a great word count for an hour and triumphed over January.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I get through January by looking forward to the few extra moments of light that we get with each passing day. When I worked this was so important to me as at the beginning of winter I would leave and return from work in the dark. Each day after that a. little more light gave me hope and lifted my spirits.

Getting up early in the darkest time of year to write takes discipline. It is also good to get the juices flowing before the daily grind of work.

mshatch said...

Woohoo! Score one for the Lizster!

I've done something similar; ie, I get up earlier than I really need to for work in order to have a good hour of writing. 'course it helps I don't have to be at work til 10...

Happy New Year and let's hope January flies by. Then it will only be two months til spring :)

L.G. Keltner said...

Score! Getting up early is hard for me, so I'm impressed. January isn't a good month where I live either. Way too cold.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Go get 'em! And you've already tackled almost a whole week.

Here in FL, we look forward to the cool/cold because there's little of it and it's usually full of sun. :)

Bish Denham said...

Good for you! That niggling, tempting voice will be a little weaker in the days to follow and the voice of motivation stronger.

Connie said...

Most of the time, the only good I find in the month of January is looking forward to the warmer months ahead. I'm trying to live more in the moment, though, and find other ways to put January to good use. Good for you for fighting the good fight---and winning! :)

Joanne said...

Kudos to you and each day should get easier. I admit to a huge letdown in January - all the starting over in so many things. But I'll grab your go-to attitude and get myself in gear. Let's have a great 2016. Good luck!

cleemckenzie said...

I hate those nights when stories thread their way though my brain and I can't sleep. At least you got up and wrote. That's much more than what I did this morning.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liza - I feel for you ... January is never easy. But brilliant you decided to kick the January blues and get on with things ... that's a clever way to kick the bad habits away ... and there will be lots more Liza +s, January - zeros!!

Take care and all the best - Hilary

Nick Wilford said...

Good for you! I'm also an early morning writer, but I've been slacking on it recently. The cold mornings don't help, and this is our first winter in an over century old cottage which gets freezing at night. But you've inspired me. Up and at 'em!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Way to battle and win, Liza. After the winter you had way up north there, this one has to be a little better. I hate getting up early and one of the best benefits of being a full time writer is not doing that. I admire your discipline.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Congrats Liz! That is truly an accomplishment. I totally get your feeling here. I live in Chicago and the winters here are brutal.

Pitch blackness until 8am. Ugh. I truly hate Chicago in the winter. I am hoping this will be my last. If all goes well, but the end of this month I will have an escape hatch to Florida... A tiny apartment in Orlando just for me to get out of the winter.

Wishing you all the best this year!

Pixel Peeper said...

You have my admiration for getting up earlier than you have to. My normal "getting up" time on a work day is 5:45 a.m. - there is NO WAY I would get up even a minute earlier!

I'm in Florida and therefore look forward to winter - finally a break from the heat and humidity. Time to do stuff outdoors now. :-)

Cathrina Constantine said...

WOW!!! You amaze me!!!!

Sandra Cox said...

Since I retired I give into that ghost regularly:)
Kudos to you for hanging tough:)

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, man... I share your January hatred. It's the cold. There is no need for it to be anything else. In Oregon I used to hate February because I was missing the sun, but in Michigan it sets in earlier... You've seen the meme on "why do I live where the air hurts my face?"? That's why. I do like the fresh start, but it doesn't make up for the cold. Oh yeah... and the diet...

Diane Burton said...

Good for you! You beat temptation!!! Hang in there and keep up the good work. Best wishes for a successful 2016.

Lynda R Young said...

Ha, great score! I bet it was uber satisfying.

Tamara Narayan said...

Good for you. I would have rolled over and gone back to sleep. It's not all laziness. I've gotten three or four good short stories from dreams.

M.R. R. said...

Take that, January.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Nice! That's the way to do it. You're right about the back to school then snow day issues for January. That's exactly what happened here.

Cherie Reich said...

As long as you stay ahead of January on the scoreboard, then you'll do all right. This month is rather blah. And the peanut butter added to the oatmeal and banana sounds good.