In listing my accomplishments from 2011, I also discovered some important lessons I’ve learned. While my list of accomplishments made me feel pretty good, it is the lessons those things taught me that I need to remember to carry forward as I live 2012 with intention.
Lesson #1 – Creativity feeds creativity. Whenever I got stuck in my writing, I would sew or go for a run and listen to music. Giving my mind a creative outlet of another for somehow seemed to “unstick” the stuck part. All of my creative endeavors go hand in hand, but I never realized how intertwined they truly are until this past year.
Lesson #2 – Doing my daily Soul Writing centers me. Some call it journaling; Julia Cameron with The Artist’s Way calls it writing your “Daily Pages,” but Janet Conner’s method of deep Soul Writing, resonated with me. It’s a daily meditation with a pen in my hand. I’ve tried journaling for years and never stuck with it until now. Perhaps I was finally ready for it, who knows, but in any case, I love how it centers and grounds me.
Lesson #3 – I can write! People actually read my writing and like it, or at least they tell me they do. That was shocking for me to discover. I’m usually pretty confident, but when it came to sharing my writing, I felt like I did when I was six and had to go to swimming lessons with the high school wrestling coach who taught swimming in the summer. The man was huge and terrifying. The idea of sharing my writing gave me the same huge pit of fear in my gut, but I got over it and survived just like I did with the scary swim teacher. I enjoy swimming, and I now actually like to share my writing.
Lesson #4 – The more I write . . . the more I write. In mid-November, I decided to cut down my blog posts to once a week in order to be able to devote more time to my novel. I found that overall I actually wrote less. Writing my twice weekly blog posts forces me to sit down and write . . . something . . . anything!
I realize that I made that commitment to focus on my novel as we headed into the holiday season which is already extra busy, and then both of my teenagers decided to seriously challenge my parenting skills. I’d like to blame my lack of progress on the holidays and “momflict,” but really, I just didn’t put my ass in my chair like I should have. Posting twice a week makes me do that, despite all my other commitments, and if I’m writing one thing, I learned that I will write more on other projects as well.
I hope to carry these lessons through 2012 (and beyond) as I build my life around who I truly am and how I want to live. With that said . . . (drumroll please) . . . my intentions for 2012 are . . .
- Run a 5k AND a 10K – this is a holdover from last year.
- Write something every single day, whether it’s a blog post, a paragraph, a small stone, or 3000 words on my WIP.
- Focus on doing work that I love and incorporating those components into my regular day job.
- Finish the first draft of The Overlander’s Daughter by April 15.
- Finish a first revision by July 1 and get it to some readers for feedback.
- Learn how to write a query, write one, and submit it.
- Continue to clarify my intentions, my message, my life with regular deep soul writing.
- Post on my blog twice a week.
- Regularly feed my creativity through quilting and playing with fabric.
- Start a website/community for Teen Writers that includes options for sharing writing as well as an instructional component. This is an offshoot of a Creative Writing Club that is a goal of mine and a group of students. There’s NO time for a club with meetings at school, so I’ve decided to take this route and build it in an entirely different way. I’m excited to see where this can go.
I’ve never put such strict deadlines, so we’ll see how this goes. Just reading over those dates my tummy did a little flip-flop, so that means it’s either a good thing (or not). I guess we’ll see!