Back when I was a fixture at Madam Wong’s West in Santa Monica and a frequent flyer at the Whiskey a Go-Go in West Hollywood, Henry Rollins was fronting his band “Black Flag” into the annals of hardcore punk history.
His band’s fliers papered telephone poles from Long Beach to the San Fernando Valley. Still, I stayed away.
Rollins’ reputation as a fighting mean cuss who beat on audience members was more than just urban legend. Nice girls like me didn’t attend Black Flag shows.
I couldn’t have been more mistaken.
Since stepping out from behind a Washington, D.C. ice cream shop counter to join Black Flag, Henry Rollins has proven himself to be a master of time. And talent.
But Black Flag was just the beginning for this Renaissance man.
Musician. Radio host. Activist. Spoken word performer. Actor. Journalist (Vanity Fair no less). Publisher. Comedian. Television judge. Storyteller. Photographer. Television host. Motivational speaker. Is there anything this man cannot do?
I guess it comes down to his philosophy on time management as summed up here:
Rollins had a tough way to go as a child and teenager. He dealt with bullying, assault and depression. But he overcame it. He has persevered and has, thus far, contributed a remarkable body of work to the human race.
As writers, we are often plagued by bouts of depression, anxiety, and other visits from the Black Dog. But we can’t let it win. Every day lived is one less day ahead to live.
We only have so many beads on the old abacus. Slide one from left to right and it’s spent.
So how did 2017 go for you? Did you set any writing goals?
What, if anything, did you achieve as a writer?
If these pics hit home, what are you going to do differently with a brand new year ahead of you?
If you’re serious about writing, try setting three short-term goals for the year 2018.
Remember, goals should be something you can measure, something you can achieve, and something with personal meaning.
Write them down. I’m serious. Do it. Now.
Here are mine:
- I will write at least 500 words per weekday–not counting my blog.
a. Measurable? Check. The word counter on WORD doesn’t lie. Much anyway.
b. Achievable? Check–I can practically do 500 words with my eyes closed and standing on my head. Plus, the more I write, the better I write.
c. Personal meaning? Absolutely–500 hundred words per weekday is 130,000 words per year. That’s two category novels plus smaller works OR one major novel and ten or so smaller projects.)
2. The last day of every month, I will send work out into the world for publication–not counting my blog.
a. Measurable? Check. I got this. Polish the bio and cover letter and let it rip.
b. Achievable? Check. Not too big a goal. Not too small a goal. Just right, Goldilocks.
c. Personal meaning? You bet. There’s nothing like forgetting you’ve got work out there and getting a surprise acceptance letter in your inbox. It’s like Christmas morning. A gift from God. Validation to keep a writer going for the next three-hundred miles.
3. I will manage my writer/blogger email and social media accounts in the evening so as to not zap my writing energy in the morning. I will stay off Facebook and Twitter during the day.
a. Measurable? You darn tootin’.
b. Achievable? Check. I’ve got the willpower of a mountain.
c. Personal meaning? Over the last year, I have been growing depressed over the mean-spirited political nature of Facebook posts and Twitter tweets. Going on is akin to creative suicide. It’s rather like wading into the River Styx only to be decimated by Scylla and Charybdis while en route to hell.
Yes, social media can be wonderful, but it is also a time suck and, often, a river of shit. Don’t be an online automaton.
Set the bar. Your own bar.
Remember, if Henry Rollins can reinvent himself from a violent, hardcore punk front-man to the successful, respected Renaissance man he is today, then what’s stopping the rest of us?
You can do whatever you set your mind to. It’s all a matter of goals and discipline.
These days, I smile every time I launder the classic Black Flag T-shirt in my son’s wardrobe. Back in the day, I never would have thought…
But why not? Anything is possible. With a plan and hard work and perseverance.
Hey, maybe even some day, Henry Rollins will read something I’ve written–I like the symmetry of that.
Whose to say it can’t happen?
Not this chick.