Starting the new decade


It’s the fifth of January already. We are almost one week into the new year…you know, the one that fired up all our latent ambition and resolve. There’s something about a new decade that is more challenging than “just” another journey around the sun. Mind you, I’m not making light of the annual journey. Believe me, I’ve been around that fiery ball enough times to be truly grateful for one more trip. But there’s something about changing two digits on the calendar that stirs up the internal fires.

So today I looked at my still-new goals to take stock and perhaps even do some planning. Planning is not my forte, but I wanted to change my goals into actual tasks that I could arrange in a reasonable order and get to work ticking them off the list.

I smiled at my lofty list of goals, and they stared back at me, unmoved. I did the oh-so-satisfying stretching exercise of patting myself on the back for actually writing down my goals for the year. I picked up one of my favorite pens and the writer’s nemesis—a blank sheet of paper. 

Tick tock. My paper filled with doodles and crossed out phrases. My smile changed to a frown, then back to a smile, and finally a small chuckle. All my goals boiled down to a single statement:


Unfortunately, we cannot add sand to the hour glass. Once a day has passed, it is gone forever regardless of whether we used the time wisely or not. It is our responsibility to make the most of the time given to us.

That being said, we cannot always measure good use of time by the number of words we added to the manuscript. Word count is important, but it should not rule your world. Good writing requires good thinking. Exhausted writers are neither brilliant nor overly productive. Sometimes we need to stop and recharge our batteries. Then we can begin anew with fresh ideas and more energy.

I’ll work on that—right after I win the Wordscape tournament of the weekend. I’ve never been higher than #5 but I’ve been #1 since Saturday morning. Wordscape is my procrastination method of choice for today.

About dhallaj

Founder of S & H Publishing, Inc. and author of four novels, Dixiane holds a PhD in Literacy and Adult Learning from George Mason University. She lives in rural Northern Virginia with her husband of 55 years and her cat named Dog.
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