Deciding What to Say No to

I’m back!  I apologize for the long hiatus I took with no warning, but I used the time wisely to finish my novel.  Hooray!  But now that November and NaNoWriMo are officially over, I’m back to life as usual, which includes my wonderful blog.

It's Christmas time!

Because I had to specifically set aside so much time to write in November, I thought a lot about my priorities.  What had I been doing before that had stopped me from writing?  What could I effectively get rid of in order to write?  And what did I have to keep doing and work around my writing schedule?

I organized my thoughts in terms of “yeses” and “nos.”  Things I said yes to had to be done whether I had reached my word count goal for the day or not.  Things I said no to could wait until December.

My list looked something like this:

Yes to: writing; work; choir rehearsal; spending time with Travis; church; Thanksgiving with family; the Brandon Sanderson signing I had been looking forward to for months; using pinterest sparingly and mostly for world-building.

No to: Facebook; reading; blogging, obviously; watching tv shows online; napping; um, cleaning; and absolutely no internet comas allowed.  I utilized my previous system well.

The great thing was: Every no made more time for a yes.  That idea works for everything, not just writing a novel.  Every time you make a decision to say no to something, even if you like it, you are able to say yes to something you love or need.

This is a common idea around the simplicity blogosphere (because such a thing exists), and it seems like common sense, but many of us continue to say yes to time-wasters, people-pleasers, or mindless activities.

Forming a simple life means becoming purposeful about your priorities.  Sometimes it is difficult, but a simple life and an easy life are not synonymous.

As for December, everything is looking very promising.  I’m making room for essential things, and letting everything else simply slide.  This month’s list looks like this:

Yes to: choir performances; spending time with family; reading (oh, how I’ve missed you…); working a lot; cleaning my apartment; Christmas cards and general Christmas-y goodness; catching up on shows and a full-on Lord of the Rings extended version marathon.

Yes.

Yes!

Yes, please!!!

No to: internet comas; spending, spending, spending; general Christmas mayhem.

I’m looking forward to a quiet, calm Christmas because I’m not allowing myself to get caught up in the craziness.  No to craziness; Yes to relaxing and spending time with the people I love most.  In my opinion, that’s a very good trade-off.

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