Friday, December 30, 2011
Leaving the Year Behind You
We never get there, frankly. It's never perfect. And I try so hard to live in the moment. Some moments are memorable. Some make us smile. Some rip our hearts out. But we learn from each one.
That's why we need to take time to recall what worked and didn't work for us in 2011, before we launch into 2012. NOT to do so, means you catapult yourself blindly into a new year, without rhyme or reason. Looking back gives you bearings for when you turn around and go forward.
In looking back into 2011, I see so much. It was a trying year, a growing year, a thankful year - but then, shouldn't all years be like that?
== I spoke to a large writers conference in St. Louis, Missouri and made some very excellent friends.
== Writer's Digest asked me to do an online tutorial for them - quite an honor for me.
== Writer's Digest selected FundsforWriters for 101 Best Websites for Writers - for the 11th time.
== I became close to the editor of my mystery novel, coming out February 2012.
== I worked on several rewrites/edits to same novel, taking weeks and weeks of focus.
== I became close to a casual friend, a beautiful find. Now we frequent the beach to see her.
== I lost 12 pounds.
== My son married a phenomenal girl, and we enjoyed the full regalia of a wedding with all its dinners and showers
== Another son adopted a black lab from a shelter, and I became a grandmother to a sweet dog. We share secrets.
== Same son left home to a new job a state away, leaving us with an empty nest.
== I enjoyed kisses from a four-year-old granddaughter we hadn't seen in two years.
== We lost Dixie, my mini-dachshund of 15 years, my shadow, my baby, after a long year of tending to her aging needs. I still tear up several times a week when I catch myself reaching for her in bed, listening for her steps in the hall as she comes to visit me in my study, looking for her to share a bite of whatever I find delicious on my plate.
So much experience. What have I learned?
How to compromise.
How to share.
How to appreciate personalities without judgment.
How to dig down deep and try harder.
How to meet expectations and when to meet my own instead.
How to be silent and proud.
How to love and let go.
How to love and embrace anew.
How to be thankful.
There. Doesn't that feel good? To look at the past, remember it in all its warts and sparkle, disaster and glory? Now, what do you plan for 2012? Keep in mind you have three categories:
== The goals you need to meet.
== The goals you want to meet.
== The goals you dream of meeting.
If you are indeed lucky, all three are the same, but in reality, some things we do as writers aren't that much fun - like marketing, maybe blogging, speaking, cold-calling, querying, web design. But once you've thrown away the last of the ripped wrapping paper and sent your guests back safely home, grab a hot cup of something soothing, a pad, and a pen that rests easy in your hand. Envision what you hope to be writing this time next year - the accomplishments you made in 2012. Then make those items your goals.
Happy, Happy New Year, my friends.