The evocative advice to “kill your darlings” can make writing better. Cutting the good-but-not-necessary leaves the necessary all the more clear. I’m about to try to apply this to my life.

Confessions:
1) My home is disorganized.
2) I have bad eating and exercise habits.

Since this is a “writing and publishing” blog, I will relate these to writing in this way:

My lifestyle working at home as a writer gives more opportunity for my sloppy habits to affect my life. As a writer, I sit too much. As a worker-at-home, I snack too much, don’t need to go anywhere each day, and my workspace and homespace messes blend together, becoming difficult to tease apart.

These are my summer resolutions, which I’ll keep track of here for the next few months. Let’s see how I do:

1) Cleaning out the old toys, clothes, dvds, books, etc. that we don’t regularly use. First job is the playroom.

We homeschool, so our playroom/schoolroom is in heavy daily use. Our younger one has transitioned from ‘toddler’ to ‘kid’ so there’s a lot we can get rid of now. I did do a cull last year, but we kept a lot of babyish stuff that the boys used imaginatively–they use plastic baby toys as spy equipment, rocket controls, etc. I applaud this creativity, but there is still just TOO MUCH STUFF. It’s hard to play in a mess. This is why I think of “killing my darlings.” It’s easy to cut bad writing that does nothing; it’s hard to cut paragraphs that do one good thing, like an evocative description or a funny joke, but if these paragraphs obscure the necessary stuff, well…

To make this easier, we’ll move all the proposed get-rid-of-stuff to a guest room. If we don’t miss it in a month, then I’ll give it away. Correlation: I always keep a file of “cuts” while editing. Knowing I can copy and paste something back gives me courage to be ruthless.

2) I want to exercise more and eat better. With the aim of incorporating frequent, small changes, these are my goals:

–Cook nice meals instead of grazing. (Grazing works great for my active, slim kids who loves fruit and vegetables. I make much more indulgent choices than they do.)
–Dress nicely, with some fuss over hair and makeup.
–Walk more frequently, instead of taking the bus.
–Make use of my home exercise equipment.

I don’t expect to do each of these things every day. I would be happy with each happening a few times a week.

I plan to check in at least every week with my progress.

PS–If anyone reading this wonders where my comments are–they’re mostly on Facebook, where I link this blog. But I’m happy to have comments here too, should anyone wish to play along with their own summer resolutions.

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