My plan for 2015 was to write and to rediscover the joy of writing that had been lost somewhere in between a bunch of creative writing classes and my first draft manuscript.
So, how did I do?
- Posted 52 Wednesday and 16 Writing Sprint blog posts right here at Eight Ladies Writing.
- Completed manuscript #1 and qualified for RWA PRO membership.
- Completed the draft of manuscript #2 and proved that it really is possible to write 50,000 words in a month.
- Received a request for a full manuscript from a big-name agent
The best part is that, along the way, when I stopped looking at writing as something I “should do” and started approaching it as something I “wanted to do” I was able to rekindle my joy in writing and unleash my creativity. As I noted in my New Story post back in September, I started a journal just to keep up with the story ideas that kept clamoring for my attention.
While 2015 was a good year for me in terms of writing goals, it also included a lot of bad news and trauma for people around me. Disease, financial troubles, unexpected deaths – by the time December rolled around, I had begun to dread whenever the phone rang or one of my team members came to my office and said they “needed to talk.”
It got me thinking (again) about little time we really have on this wonderful little planet hurling through space and how important it is to do things now, rather than waiting for someday.
A Huffington Post article from 2013 on the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying had this quote which really brought that home for me:
“When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”
Who wants to look back and see unfulfilled dreams? Certainly not me.
So, my mantra for 2016 is: Do It Now.
Nancy had some really good suggestions in her Ready, Set, Goal post earlier this week about aligning goals to your publishing path and career strategy. Those ideas have been helpful as I figure out what steps I need to take to meet my writing-related goals sooner rather than at some far-distant future. “Do It Now” also means writing now, even if I only have 15 minutes to spare, rather than waiting for the “perfect” time to write. As November proved to me, if I’m determined to write, I’ll find the time I need. If I’m not that determined, then I should find something that I really do want to do.
I’m also getting a little help identifying what my non-writing dreams are and how to follow them (and how to get the roadblocks, including myself, out of the way) via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and Brene Brown’s Rising Strong. I’ve already taken some action by signing up to go to Oxford this summer and scheduling periodic three-day weekends away from work.
The American Museum of Natural History in New York contains the Cosmic Pathway, a timeline of the universe from the Big Bang to the present, which shows what a tiny blip recorded human history represents in the grand scheme of things. This year I’m going to do my best to make sure that I’m making the most effective use of my portion of that history.
So, what does 2016 look like for you? Are there things you’ve been putting off for someday that you plan to get started on?