Now that Katie is back in school I’m now emotionally able to pursue a dream that has eluded me for years: writing a novel.
I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo with the goal of knocking out that dreaded first draft. Several exhausting days later I achieved my goal.
This story has been rattling around in my head for a while so it’s a relief to finally be addressing it; I love the fact that my life is arranged so that I have the freedom to devote my days to a project that I’m so passionate about.
Thanks to minimalism my house can be cleaned in a few short minutes; dishes are washed up whenever a few hit the sink. Dinner is a one-pot affair while we scrounge independently for breakfast and snacks.
Thanks to Middle Daughter’s birthday gift of a makeover I’m now sporting a minimalist super-short pixie cut; I had it deliberately designed to look nice even if I forget to brush it after a long night at the keyboard. This enables me to focus on my writing (instead of my looks) for now.
My wardrobe consists of Katie’s handmedown polo shirts and jeans. Sleepwear is a scrub top paired with some yoga pants I caught on clearance after my pajama bottoms died over the winter. I can get dressed with my eyes closed and still look nice ;).
I mostly stay off of Facebook and Twitter now. I rarely even check my email through the day. When Katie arrives home the MagicJack is turned off to eliminate unwanted phone calls.
When the weather is warm enough I move a fold-up table to the porch outside, place my iPad in position and spend my day writing.
In the evenings I force myself to take a break. I fix dinner, chat with Katie and read a book as I curl up on my bed. Katie reads nearby on the loveseat as we listen to some classical music and finish up the evening.
When she goes to bed I write some more before I retire and the next day repeats the routine as we awaken for Katie’s school at 6:30am.
This routine, minimal as it is, frees me to follow my passion of writing. I don’t bother with nonessential socializing, needless shopping or unnecessary trips. Bills are paid once a month and I stock up then on shelf-stable items like almond milk and keep the chest freezer filled to avoid going out for supplies as long as possible.
This lifestyle allows me to focus and thus achieve my dreams. I used it when I first began working from home, again when I had the custody battle to get Katie home and each time I get serious about finishing a book project.
When you evaluate and eliminate the nonessential in your life you become free to archive goals that most will only dream about. This is how I became a stay-at-home single mom, a best-selling nonfiction author and (soon to come) a novelist.
Whatever it is you wish to accomplish, examine your life and edit out anything that is not essential to the achievement of your goal. After you reach the mountaintop you can always return to the valley of the habits (and stuff) you left behind – if you want to.
To learn more about using minimalism to achieve your dreams read the book Minimize to Maximize.
P.S. Here’s a pic of the birthday makeover my daughter gave me: