A Goal (and Sponsored Video)

by Marinka on May 17, 2012

This post is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Please watch the video at the end.

One of the things that I’ve done in the past few months is re-commit myself to writing my tale about being born in the Soviet Union and immigrating to the United States at the tender age of nine. Or possibly ten, I have to look that part up.

It is the story that I want to tell because in many ways it is the story that I live every day. Even though I’ve been in the United States for over thirty years now, I still identify very much as The Other.



But that’s the thing with writing. No one can do it for you. Well except ghostwriters. But I’m fresh out, so- that’s the thing about writing. No one can do it for me.

I have to do it myself and that means that I need time and the authority to write.

I’ve been working on both. I’ve been waking up early– earlier than the kids and instead of surfing the internet like a normal person, I’ve been writing. Because it is important to me and because it is a story that I believe in. Having lived it and all.

I’ve given myself some deadlines, but they are soft. I don’t work well with daily word goals, but I do write for a certain amount of time every day. And I have the goal of finishing a first draft of my manuscript by September and having a draft that I’m happy with by January 31st. Why January 31st? Because that’s two months before my birthday and I like to build in some time for watching The Bachelorette and The Real Housewives of New York and/or Beverly Hills. And also like if I have to fly to Oslo to pick up my Nobel Peace Prize. Which is unlikely since I’m a warmonger at heart.

I like tying goals to my birthday because first of all, it’s a handy way of reminding people about when my birthday is (March 31st in case the two months from January 31st was too subtle.)

And also because I celebrate each and every birthday fully. I’m one of those people who is ridiculously happy on my birthday, I don’t regret getting older for a second, I consider it a true privilege. I feel blessed to celebrate another year, to mark more time to spend with my children.

Yes, it’s a privilege. And I hope that one day it will be a right for everyone.

What a great goal.

One year ago ...

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

anna see May 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I will stand in line for your book! 🙂


May 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Phshaw, bread lines were nothing. I’d stand in your book signing for months. #TeamColdWar


Anna Lefler
May 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

Oh, I love hearing that you’re digging into your book project, Marinka!!

I hope you’re enjoying the process – and I know the end result will be wonderful.




annie May 18, 2012 at 9:38 am

Yay for your book and Yay for birthdays!! I’m a big fan of my birthday too. Although since my diagnosis, I tend to place even more emphasis on my daughters’ birthdays.

You know, your book would make an awesome birthday gift. Can you finish it and hand deliver it 1 month from yesterday?? xoxo


Diane May 18, 2012 at 10:00 am

I eagerly await your story as well. And thanks to the work by the ACS and so many tireless advocates, physicians, researchers – we will all have more birthdays to celebrate. Thank you for sharing the importance of continued vigilence.


Megan May 18, 2012 at 10:40 am

Brava on writing every morning! Keep at it; I can’t wait to read it!


Karen May 18, 2012 at 10:54 am

Ohhhh, I’m looking forward to your book!!! You’ve also inspired to get back to my “story”. Birthdays are magical and I celebrate every one! I think people that don’t are weird, not that I’m judgemental !


deb May 18, 2012 at 11:06 am

i will definately read your book. hopefully it will be out in time for my bday next june!

i know you’re supposed to be writing and not reading, but seeing what others are doing/have done is great for the muse. you should read Eva Hoffman’s “Lost in Translation” if you haven’t already. Excellent memoir about growing up in Poland, emigrating to Canada in 1949 when 13 yrs old, and adjusting to her new life. excellent book as i’m sure yours will be too!

And thanks for the shout out to the ACS!


May 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm



deborah l quinn
May 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

stephen king says you gotta get your butt in the chair. that’s half the battle. he’d also applaud your goal (and the ACS goal) of more birthdays. I’m a big fan of birthdays too – I mean, I get all weird on MY birthday, but I love other people’s. I tried getting up early to write & my damn kids started getting up earlier too. Weenies.
like nike says (sort of): just write it.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: