The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.
— Melody Beattie
April may seem to be a silly time to be writing a blog post about New Year’s Resolutions, but bear with me.
At the end of last year I knew I had to do something to kickstart my writing again. I’d finished my Cert IV and was well and truly ‘over it’, both my mentor and writing buddy were away and we were at the pointy end of the year where the assessment and reporting period devours everything else in its wake. Each time I sat down with the intention to work on my picture book or my novel, I conveniently found something else to do first.
During one of my procrastination periods, I was tidying up my study. (This, in itself, shows you the extent to which I was avoiding writing.) I happened upon 365 Days of Wonder by R.J Palacio and the first seed of this blog was sown.
My resolution, then, was to start a new blog and write on it every day for a year. This way, I could ensure I was at least writing something every day and, as a result, be motivated to continue with my other writing. (Sitting down to write something creative is like cleaning — once you start, you get in the groove and find yourself doing more and more.)
Up until last week I was achieving that goal — then the wheels fell off. My last round of chemo had the unwanted effect of making me really, really tired. Too tired to do anything, even write. I estimate I have spent more daylight hours in bed or lying down during the last fortnight than I have in my entire life. Add the fact we were away in Wodonga for the Dragon Boating Nationals Competition, with limited wifi (meaning I would have been compelled to handwrite my blogs and transcribe them on my return) and not only did the wheels fall off my resolution, they rolled far, far away at great speed.
What this blip in my plan did, though, was give me a chance to reflect.
At the end of 2016 my writing life was a vast empty notebook, laying unopened on my desk, begging to be filled. I hadn’t written on my in my aspergers world blog for ages. I hadn’t touched my novel in over a year. My picture book projects (yes, there is more than one) hadn’t called to me for many, many months.
Then I started this blog. I wanted this to be one New Year’s Resolution I didn’t give up on.
And I didn’t. I haven’t. Small blips cannot be planned for. I had to convince myself of this. If I can’t write anything for a day, or a week … it doesn’t mean I have failed. On the contrary, I feel I have achieved my goal which, if you scratch the surface, really was to get back on the writing bandwagon.
And I have.
My ‘close to my heart’ picture book, Sultanas for Little Lunch, has been given a total rewrite based on feedback I received last year from CBCA judges, and the amazing inspiration of my mentor.
My novel, The Somnambulist, is back underway. (Again, thanks to some brilliant sessions with my wonderful mentor.)
I have been posting regularly(ish) on my Aspergers blog and as close to daily as I can manage on this blog.
So, yes, I consider my New Year’s Resolution to be anything but a fail.
But credit where credit is due. I feel I owe my achievements in part to a few people:
♥ Janet — who has read and commented on every one of my blog posts. Her support and comments keep me going, and her words and wisdom inspire me
♥ Facebook friends who read my blog — especially those who like and/or post comments so I know my words are being read
♥ a whole range of other bloggers in the WordPress community who have liked and commented on posts, followed my blogs and, to Jonathan Caswell (By The Mighty Mumford) for reposting one of my blog posts, helping me get my blog out there to a wider audience.
All of these people have given me the confidence, and sometimes the inspiration, to keep going.
I set my goals, and I am writing my stories.