Dear Me Contest Entry (2008). A letter to myself about my New Years' resolutions.
It's that time of year again. Not to make your resolutions, but to see if you've been keeping them. Like most people, January first saw you putting together a list of goals for the upcoming year; a list of things you want to start, stop, increase, decrease, or simply improve upon. But, like many others, your resolutions usually fall by the wayside a few weeks into the year.
So how have you been holding up?
Well, you're still going to the gym, which is a good sign. Not as much as you had planned, but three or four days a week sure as hell beats the three or four days every six months that you accomplished last year. It's not quite the six-day weight loss regime you had in mind, but at least you're getting off your butt and climbing onto a treadmill with some degree of frequency. You're doing well, but let's be honest... you could be doing better.
How about work? This year you promised yourself that you're going to be more proactive about advancing your career. Last year you lamented that you were worth more than your current job was paying you, both in terms of money and respect. So this year, you resolved to do an even better job showing them you're worth more. You've already managed to get attached to a new project that has the potential for not only a new title and a bigger paycheck, but also a skill set that will make you an invaluable resource to many people. Don't mess up this opportunity. Tackle it head on and don't settle for mediocrity.
But what about the writing? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. That hobby you love, yet can never seem to find enough time to do with any sort of regularity. Sure, you co-wrote a screenplay last year, but that was back in April and you haven't written anything since. You THINK about writing a lot, but you very rarely actually sit down and hammer something out. You've developed a couple of ideas so far, but you know it's about the execution not the idea. C'mon... it's time to man up and actually get something out of your head and onto the page.
And what about WDC? This year you promised to be an active member of the community. You joined up way back in 2003, wrote two short stories and rated (not reviewed) one item over the course of four and a half months... then pretty much dropped out, letting your membership teeter on the edge of oblivion, only logging in when reminded that failure to do so would result in your account being canceled. Fast forward four and a half YEARS, and you figure it's time to not only get more involved in the community, but also to get back to your roots writing short stories in addition to your screenplays.
How have you held up so far with your WDC resolution? Since the beginning of the month, you've provided qualifying reviews for every single one of the 176 items you've rated. You've written sixteen brand new short stories as contest entries, tried your hand at creating your own interactive story and are hosting your first contest. Your only regrets at this point have been waiting this long to become active on such a great site... and the fact that you actually have to go to work rather than spend all day online. You're doing well here.
So now that you're at least writing SOMETHING everyday, what do you want to accomplish in the coming months?
You've always been fascinated by poetry, yet never fancied yourself a poet. You should try to create at least one poem this year. It's not your forte and it's not your main area of interest, but in the name of expanding horizons, take the plunge and see what you can do.
You need to save up for a membership. Money's tight right now and the folks over at RAOK were kind enough to bless you with a two month Upgraded Membership (which has allowed you to create more than ten static items and enjoy many of the aspects of WDC you didn't even know existed), but you need to figure out something more permanent. Keep working at saving up gift points to purchase a membership renewal of your own. Hopefully you'll place in some of the contests you've entered... and other users have been generous in rewarding you for quality reviews... keep at it and hopefully you'll reach your goal of purchasing a year-long upgraded membership so your neurotic clock-watching can stop. Yes, March 31 is still a ways away... but it's also just around the corner! Keep doing what you're doing and earn that annual membership!
You want to give back to the community. You started off rating auto-reward items on WDC and have scraped together a respectable amount of GPs, which you're planning on using to pay for the prizes to that contest you created. But let's be honest, it's a little on the self-indulgent side, because you also get to reward yourself by reading short stories that you've prompted. So make it a goal of yours to reward other WDC users this year, just for being good writers. Keep reading and keep reviewing... and be generous. Surprise someone with a big GP award just for writing something that you enjoyed. Give donations to other contests... and forums like RAOK so you can help other people like they've helped you. Be a GP philanthropist.
And finally, let's talk about your actual writing. This one's going to be tough, because I have to lay some hard truth on you. Sometimes, your stories just aren't that creative. Originality has always been hard for you. Sure, you can write well and are always able to effectively execute something in a technical sense. Heck, sometimes you even do it with some style. But the one thing you almost never hear is how great your idea is. Or how original your take on something is. So if you don't accomplish anything else this year, I want you to do this one thing for me... I want you to always push yourself beyond your limits when you write. Always ask yourself how far you can take it... how you can take it to a new level. Really put your skills to the test and come up with something that makes people sit there and think, "That's fantastic," without the "but".
Well, there it is. A year's worth of goals staring at you and, quite honestly, it's a lot of work. But the old adage does say that nothing worth doing is ever easy.
So in the name of doing something worthwhile... and in the name of improving yourself and your fellow writers, I'm going to say two things.
"Keep up the good work." AND "Do more."
Myself & I