How You Spend Your Days

Time to get back to work

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives”

-Annie Dillard

Hi friends!

I’m back to work today! I had a great break where I did mostly nothing—almost zero agent-job work!!!! (This is an accomplishment for me. I have a hard time turning off.) I edited my book and saw friends and spent time with my family and snuggled my kid and ate things and it was wonderful.

About three or for days ago, I was getting itchy, though. I wanted my routine back. My knees were starting to hurt from being a sloth on the couch. I had no idea what day it was. I was composing work emails in my head. I was ready to get back to real life.

We had plans to see friends in upstate New York for new years, though, so I left my laptop at home and decided to keep relaxing. (Hard decision, I know. But it’s hard for me!) And I made plans in my head on the drive up and back about how I wanted to tackle my work life in 2020. Here’s the spoiler, folks—I don’t want to work harder, do more, get MORE. I’m doing pretty great. I just want the time I’m actually working to be work, and the time I’m not to be NOT.

I think about the Annie Dillard quote above a lot. I read The Writing Life an million years ago, and it’s probably time to revisit it, but the older I get, the more I realize this is it—this is all you need to know to achieve your ~~goals~~~. If you have fitness goals, you unfortunately have to work toward them most days. If you want to “eat healthy” it turns out that you have to do that more times than not doing that! It’s a pain in the ass, I know. But that’s the way it is.

I believe this right up to the line of doing things EVERY DAY. I cannot do most things every day except the obvious basics. The basics take up so much time already! But I can write most days. I can exercise or whatever most days. And when you look back at it, say over a week or more, when you do things most days, you’re mostly always doing all the things you want to be doing. That’s how your life ends up being full of the things you want to be doing. Real, actual, hard life gets in the way all the time. You have to give yourself some grace. But what you want to do in 2020 or whatever is what you want to do today and tomorrow.

That means writing and reading and researching agents and learning about publishing and whatever you want those goals to be this year, too. It also means resting and doing the annoying basics and etc etc etc etc. This is me giving you permission not to write everyday if that feels overwhelming to you. But you have to write most days to get anything done. 15 minutes counts, I promise.

That’s my 2020 pep talk for you. (If you’re new here, this is what goes for a pep talk on Agents & Books. :) ) I also want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGENTS AND BOOKS! This week marks one year of this newsletter. 100+ newsletters. Probably around 100k words (I haven’t checked). Oh hey, look. It turns out I wrote about a book’s worth of words just by sitting down for about an hour twice a week. Hmmmmm, that’s so interesting. I wonder if anyone else could write about that much just but sitting down regularly and putting in some work. Hmmmm, could that be you? Hmmmmmmm.

Thank you for being readers and subscribers. This has worked out better than I could have ever hoped. Thank you for your comments and emails and sharing this with your friends and followers. It means so much to me.

Ok, enough of that. Back to work.