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Rated: E · Letter/Memo · Personal · #1635998
"Dear Me..." contest WINNER, January 2010
                                                                                                             January, 2010
Image #1 - Dear Me,

I sit here calmly typing away, but inside I’m bursting with excitement. An exhilaration I can’t explain has taken hold of me, a promise of big things on the horizon. It’s a thrill, a delicious sensation of anticipation, like speeding down a stretch of elevated interstate as it passes through an urban forest of skyscrapers. Where it's coming from, this current of energy pulsating through me, I don’t know.

What I do know is I have to channel the energy, or I’ll explode.

Writing has become my true passion. Prior to joining Writing.com I enjoyed journaling and poetry writing. It was when I started writing for an audience, in late 2007, that my life changed. I used to write when inspiration hit me; now I write every day. But a daily writing practice isn't enough. I need to optimize my writing time to reach my 2010 goals.

The time has also come to address a pitfall in my creativity. When I’m called away from the computer to wear another of my many hats: mother, wife, household manager, I’m still writing. For example, I can be bodily present at the dinner table while my mind drifts away, lost in the heady mist of my thoughts, disconnected from my husband and kids. I must find a balance between my creative life and my family life, because both are vital to my happiness.

So here's the plan to harness my energy and move forward in my craft. In 2010, I commit to these writing goals:

Image #2 - Determine My Priorities

The project I choose to concentrate on this year is my novel, "Overcome," the rough draft of which I wrote during November’s NaNoWriMo. The novel as a genre is fascinating; the process is decidedly different than writing short stories. I realize how much I have to learn. Will the book be a publishable story one day? It doesn’t matter, at this point. I’m after the accomplishment of completing the final draft of a manuscript. In order to do that, I’ll have to make some tough decisions.

*Bullet* My daily WDC experience is very important to me, but I'm guilty of over-extending myself by taking on too many commitments. I belong to a long list of wonderful groups, all of which serve our community. I've decided I can only remain active in two at this time. I've chosen The Rising Stars program (I was thrilled to be promoted by GabriellaR45 to Group Leader last spring) and the Circle of Sisters (I was honored with an invitation to join this past autumn). I love reviewing, and my affiliation with these two groups encourages a regular review practice vital to my own progress as a writer and the continued growth of the WDC community.

*Bullet* In addition, I’ll continue to moderate and judge the "Young Stars Shine Your Light Contest, a contest close to my heart because it touches the writing lives of WDC’s youngest members and supports them as they improve their craft. I wish someone had encouraged me to become a serious writer when I was a teenager!

*Bullet* I plan to continue publishing bi-monthly group emails to "Teen Writers Info-Sharing Team (TWIST) members. I believe in promoting WDC contests, groups, forums, activities and fundraisers geared toward young writers and the pursuit of writing excellence.

*Bullet* It’s with a heavy heart, and after weeks of deliberation, that I have decided to close "Nicki D-Zigns Sig&Banner Shop ~CLOSED~. The time commitment in maintaining the shop is simply too great, and I squander precious writing time searching the Internet for images and designing eye-catching texts. I will not delete the shop, as I envision re-opening it for short periods to coincide with special occasions. One day, if I can again dedicate myself to its success, I may re-open it permamently.

Image #3 - Devise a Writing Schedule

I do my best writing when the house is quiet. Therefore, my principal time blocks are 7 a.m. – 9 a.m., and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. I'll devote the first block to WDC, when I check my emails and interact with my groups. Between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. I'm in the gym, where inspiration often strikes me on the treadmill. Thank goodness for the notepad feature on my cell phone!

Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day I’ll work on the novel. There will be days when appointments and holidays interrupt the schedule, so it’s paramount that I write diligently on the days I’m able. The design wall I’ve installed behind the monitor inspires me already, and adding images cut from magazines, “idea” notes, song lyrics, postcards, and newspaper clippings will keep me visually stimulated as I write.

I have drafted twenty chapters of "Overcome." Each month, I will concentrate on no less than two chapters, expanding and developing the plot and character arcs. As I write and my exploration of the story and its players deepens, I’ll add to current outlines for future chapters. By December 2010, I will have at least twenty-four chapters in second draft stage, and I’ll have decided which direction leads to the story’s end.

Image #4 - Devise a Writing Schedule

I’ve begun to use my blog to experiment with writing styles and descriptive voices. My posts fall into two genre categories: Creative Nonfiction and Fiction.

The Creative Nonfiction entries focus on what I call ‘captured moments’ from my daily life, usually featuring my family and an incident that stirred my soul or taught me a lesson of humanity. I concentrate on vivid descriptions, fluid brush strokes to cover the story canvas, so that the reader experiences each moment as I did.

I’ve already become more in tune with the world around me through this exciting practice. And its benefits are two-fold: I believe it will encourage me to be more present when I’m with my family. Rather than retreating into the fiction of my mind, I’ll have my author’s eyes trained outward, capturing the precious moments unfolding before me and reveling in the essence of my family life, to be archived forever.

I'm equally enthusiastic about blogging in fiction. It began with an epiphany. I realized how much better I got to know a character each time I thrust him or her into new or challenging scenario. This led to an interesting idea: Once a week I'll give my blog over to a character from my novel. First, I’ll take the featured character on a short outing, to the grocery store, the gym, the mall, or a walk around the neighborhood. Concentrating on what I already know about the character, I’ll see the world through his or her eyes, recording his or her perceptions, actions, and reactions. Then, I’ll write the blog entry as the character, not me, and describe the adventure in his or her voice.

Like everything I've written, these goals were conceived as inspired thoughts. By virtue of fingers striking keys, they are now as concrete as any living thing. 2010 is here, and my plans are underway. The energy humming through me is palpable. It’s time to get in the driver’s seat of my life, and the goals underlined in this letter are my vehicle.

Now, go.

Image #5 - Drive

Lots of Love,
Image #6 - Nicki D.


WINNER of the January 2010 round of
Dear Me: Official WDC Contest  (E)
What are *your* goals for the new year? Think it over, write a letter and win big prizes!
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