A letter written to myself for the 2021 Dear Me contest.
| Dear Me,
Well, here we are in 2021 and not a lot has changed really. Hulls, you are still too constrained with your writing. You've got to find the confidence to let go and to write only for yourself, and let anyone else like it or not. I said more or less the same thing last year, and if anything has changed at all, it has been for the worse.
I'm going to say it now in great big bold letters: GET A GRIP! There, now that is out of the way.
You said you were not going to take part in NaNoWriMo last year, but you did, so we won't even think about it for now. There are plenty of other things, especially a certain commitment that you made, remember.
You approached the artist with the idea of using illustrations in a book. Now that he's given permission, it is down to you to get it done. Last year you had plans for a whole series of these books, each featuring a different artist and their free to use art. It was going to be a way of saying 'Thank you for sharing.' Poems, essays, vignettes, short stories... get on with it and stop prevaricating.
And then we come to 'Flyder'. It started as a short story, then you expanded it and made it in to a novella. Read over it, because you did say to me that this year you would work away on the story-line and turn it in to a novel. I know you don't think it will ever be good enough to publish, just like everything else you write. That little bit of doubt keeps on chipping away, and if you don't start ignoring it, you might as well stop writing for good.
Now, on to something slightly different, but still connected with writing. You've almost made the financial commitment to learning a new skill - do it! Photo manipulation can't be that hard, at least not if you buy the course books and work through them. It is something you've wanted to do for ages but were too afraid to even give it a go. Hulls, you know you write a lot of things inspired by images - wouldn't it be great to make some yourself? Go on, admit it. And who knows - you might actually enjoy it.
Try and get back to reading and reviewing. Again, it's that confidence issue and the worry that what you have to say is not worth saying. Most people just like to know that their writing has been read and enjoyed - you should know that by now. You don't have to review five pieces a day, but make it a goal to both read and review at least two.
This should be the year when you focus on what YOU want to say; when you write the way YOU want to write. Stop holding back, because you never know how long you've got left to write. Be kind to yourself. Believe in yourself. Let 2021 be the year that you become the voice of... YOU!
So, you've made a start by writing this when you really wanted to chicken out. All you've got to do is keep it going.
Remember, I'm watching you.