Looking at a new year, dreaming, and making plans
Once again, we're looking at a new year, full of possibilities and hopes. I hate resolutions; they always get broken and make me feel like a failure. Yet it's human nature to be dissatisfied where we are, to want something more, to feel like we haven't arrived yet.
I heard a psychologist say recently, that if you aren't at least a little embarrassed by where you were or who you were a year ago, then you haven't learned anything. I don't want to sound mean, but sometimes you're willing to just coast along and let things happen, instead of making them go your way. I am a little embarrassed by the person you were a year ago, not a bad person, just a blah person. A lot has happened this past year despite the pandemic. Your life and responsibilities have changed.
The current you needs to dream bigger. What does a published author look like? What does one do in her spare time? How does she dress? Is she typing most of the day? How does she treat other people? If someone really spends most of her time creating new material, is she supremely happy? Picture yourself as the accomplished writer you want to be. Remind yourself of this visual every week.
Then there's the matter of the urgent versus the important. Urgent is paying the bills on time, getting the trash out on the street on the right day, cutting the grass before it needs bush hogging. It means doing the dishes, keeping appointments, laundry, running errands, feeding the birds, and cleaning house. Those things could take all day every day, and the important things would get shuffled to the shelf. The important stuff for a writer is thinking time, or meditation, reading, and writing. Somehow you need to prioritize the important stuff and get it on your daily to do list.
You were inspired by James Drury when he claimed he read at least four books a week. (He could also read through several pages of script once, get up and do it perfectly on camera.). So you decided you would try one book every week. It didn't work very well: too many distractions. But this year, aim for 30 books by Dec. 31, a combination of fiction and non-fiction. Keep a list.
You're not a natural poet, but poetry is an excellent exercise. Your goal is to write at least one poem a month. January is done; that's an okay start.
Speaking of exercise, you need to do one hour seven days a week per your cardiologist. It's good for your brain as well as the rest of your body. It also provides more thinking time.
You've told yourself that you will build your courage and confidence by doing more contests on WDC. You'll get back into blogging. And you've already started a handwritten journal. This is all good practice. It's probably your lack of confidence that's been holding you back. This year, test the waters. Try at least one contest per month. More is okay.
Some doubters might tell you that you're past your prime and you can't reach all your dreams. That's not true. You might be a Grandma Moses with a computer instead of a canvas. As long as you have breath, you can dream, you can be creative, you can be productive. Don't let negative thinking hold you back. Every day tell yourself< "This is going to be my best day ever."
Cheering you on,