Doubt, Dream, Goals, Reflections, Writing

This writer is looking forward

Looking back at my life during the past year, I can see losses and gains, but I can’t yet judge the long-term effects. Every year at this time, psychics make predictions for the coming year. I have no such gift. I can only make resolutions, affirming to myself and all, my intent for the future.

New beginnings are hopeful. This year I’m excited about opportunities to advance in my writing and publishing career. One change I hope to make that will affect not only my writing, but my life in general is obtaining—and maintaining—a balance.

In 2011, I neglected not only the usual housework, but gardening as well. I don’t think my roses will survive another year of the same kind of neglect. In general, I spent too much time in my cave. Since my 2012 plans include publishing one book and writing another, it’s imperative that I improve my time management.

This doesn’t mean I’m creating spreadsheets, but it does mean I’ll be working to conquer my habit of letting doubt (fear) derail my writing. In 2011, I probably wasted a good 30% of my writing time hand-tied by indecision. I vow not to let that happen in this next year. I will boldly write what no woman has written before.

In her recent blog post When You Allow Others to Decide Your Dreams, Michelle Davidson Argyle said:

“Nobody’s goals and rules are ever going to match up to my own on the unique path I’m on. Even if I met all those goals I see floating around online on so many blogs and Facebook statuses and Twitter feeds, I still wouldn’t be happy because I would not have met the deepest desires of my own heart …”

And this:

“I think we authors often forget what we really want. I think we often delude ourselves into thinking we want what everyone else wants, and it’s creating this insane sense of urgency in our heads. We pump out our work faster and harder and less carefully than we would otherwise. We feel pressured, more than anything else, to meet certain criteria, follow the lists and rules and advice others post, and it hurts us deeply when we can’t meet that criteria at breakneck speed. For me, at least, this urgency transformed itself into an energy-sucking, emotionally-draining need.

Until I realized that for me it was an illusion and unnecessary.”

Michelle expressed my dilemma. My lack of self-confidence leads me to compare everything I do to what other writers do, seeking a stamp of approval. At best, that works only temporarily. Sooner or later, doing what others did leads to frustration, doubt, fear because their plan, their path, their dream doesn’t “fit” me.

Let me toast to the New Year. New beginnings. New opportunities. Another chance to get it right.

In 2012, I vow to follow MY dreams. What about you?

Creativity Workshop, Critique, Editing, Fiction, Social Media, Writing

You can say no, Mom

On Wednesday, I told you what I would be writing for the next twelve weeks … well some of it. I also have novel editing to do, and critiquing and preparing my submissions for critique. Oh yes, and writing these fascinating blog posts. What I didn’t mention is what I won’t be doing in my little writer’s world.

The title of this post is what one of my sons always says to me before he asks me to do something for him. Obviously, I have a hard time saying no, and then, of course, I get overwhelmed trying to be all things to all people.

After I listed my goals and the tasks needed to reach them, it occurred to me that something was missing. I needed a strategy for getting to the place where I would have the time to perform those tasks. Part of what we’re supposed to learn in the Creativity Workshop is better time management, so I took my first steps.

I’ve unsubbed from more than half the blogs I’ve been following. Agent blogs are among those nixxed … so if one posts something spectacular please let me know. I’ve also weeded out a few more to which I no longer even remember the reason for subscribing. Rest assured, I stayed subscribed to and will be reading all your blogs, and commenting as often as time permits.

Tweetdeck will no longer be running while I write/edit/critique. I will check Twitter only when I take a break—a real break—not whenever it occurs to me I might be missing the Tweet of the century. But I will do my best to continue ReTweeting the blog posts I feel should be … ideally, from a button on your blog (hint hint.)

I will also, keep my nose out of all the files of unfinished stories that have no use in the workshop or for submission. And I will record any new ideas not pertaining to either of those pursuits in a notebook and/or Word file … and then forget them until twelve weeks from now.

Ahhh! I feel less stressed already.

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