My entry for the Dear Me contest.
(by Marilyn Mackenzie, of course!)
Dear me, dearie me. I’m writing this because it’s a contest entry, not because I believe in making resolutions. I wrote about that last year. "Resolutions, No! Commitments, Yes!" The word resolve means to decide to do something. Commit means to devote oneself unreservedly to doing something. What a difference!
So, what will I commit to doing in the year 2003? What, indeed?
The life of a writer is much different than the lives of others. A true writer, like an artist or photographer, works all the time. Each moment of life is captured in an entirely different way for a writer. It is placed in the memory banks where it can be retrieved and used once more, in poetry or prose.
A writer keeps a notebook and pen at the bedside to write down ideas that come when sleep does not, and carries a notebook into doctor’s offices, where waiting means yet another chance to write.
A writer reads differently than others, not necessarily critically, but certainly with questions. "How would I have written this? How might I use what I’ve learned here for something I’m writing?" A writer learns from reading and should never neglect that portion of the continuing education process.
My first commitment, then, to myself and to the world, is to be more of the writer I’m intended to be. That means writing more, of course. It means being ready to write down those random thoughts that come at the most inopportune moments.
It means reading more as well. Here at Writing.com, that’s an easy task, a pleasant one. There are new writers appearing every day, writers deserving to be read and discovered. My commitment to them, to myself, is to read and review the writings of three new authors each day. Additionally, I’ll set aside time to read and review at least three of my old favorites.
My reading and studying should not be solely at Writing.com, though. I’ll continue my daily Bible reading each morning, hopefully spending more time trying to understand the life application. I’ll also commit to reading one good novel every quarter, and writer’s resources (magazines and publications written for writers or Christian writers) on a monthly basis.
Reading and writing are not the only tasks of a writer, though. Being recognized as a writer is important as well. Although being read and admired at Writing.com is certainly an ego booster, it doesn’t fill the coffer.
This is where true reason for my writing gets confusing, even to me. As a Christian and inspirational writer, much of what I’ve written has just flowed rapidly from pen to paper and was meant to be shared by whatever means available. In many cases, that meant offering my work to sites or magazines that just could not pay. I don’t believe I’m meant to stop offering my writings to such sites and publications. But I do feel a need and desire to become more of a paid author.
One writer’s group, to which I belong, boasts of a majority of writers who are stay-at-home mothers, who are able to earn an average of $1,000 a month. That is my goal for the coming year as well. Since my son is 18 and beyond needing care like the children of the other writers in that group, I think that is a goal that can be accomplished. It also means writing on a daily basis and submitting on a daily basis. I must commit to doing so.
I’ve never had any desire to write a novel, and I still do not. But it has been suggested that some of my inspirational writings could be published in book form. I must look into that, deciding whether to seek publication on my own or through others.
Dear me, dearie me. The tasks before me could appear too grand for one year. But I’ve been called undaunted, and I will remain so.
Have you entered the Dear Me contest?