A Year

A year ago, I wrote this:

I’ve been 30 for nearly four months now, and quite honestly, have enjoyed this year so far.  I’ve burned off the fat that I needed to, I’m writing again, and at this point, my only regret is that I didn’t do this 5 years ago.

I know it’s stupid and a little trite, but the proverb that, at the end of your life, you only regret what you haven’t done, has been playing itself in the recesses of my mind lately.  Knowing how to balance patience and consistency while moving in the direction of my dreams will be the skill I will need to cultivate.  Hopefully, I don’t make myself crazy in the process.  But, more importantly, I don’t want to be in the same place next year as I am now.  Each step needs to take me closer to my goals, and in a year, I will achieve my goal of finishing a story.

This post was my very first post on this blog. I was high from a successful year at my paythebills job, and from regaining my ideal body composition. I worked really hard at both, and saw the fruits of my labor. I was happy. I reached my goals. But, strangely, I was still restless. I was not content. And I think reaching those other goals only increased the discontent.

Before this post, I only dreamed of writing a novel. I toyed with the idea for years (YEARS!), but that was something Other People did. Not me. Besides, I wasn’t smart enough, experienced enough, good enough, whatever enough to write a novel, so why bother?

A year ago, my mindset shifted. I obviously CAN reach goals. Actually, if I was honest with myself, I have always reached goals. I just never set myself up to choose goals that mattered to me. And writing mattered to me.

So, instead of “Why bother?” the question became, “Why not?” If I can spend so much time and energy to achieve goals that, at the end of the day, I don’t really care about, why not chase after The Goal that I’ve been dreaming about for years?

A year ago, I said this: “I don’t want to be in the same place next year as I am now.” Now, let’s see how far I’ve traveled on my writerly path.

A year ago, I cringed at the thought of anyone knowing that I was trying to write a novel. Or, even be identified as A Writer. Now, I embrace that identity. I am a writer.

A year ago, I started several novels, but was easily discouraged from finishing any of them. Now, I have a novel, WIP1, which is now in the revision phase, and am drafting WIP2.

A year ago, I was overwhelmed with low writerly self-esteem, and pre-rejected myself from submitting my writing to anyone (even to potential writing partners…I felt I was doing them a kindness). Now, I’m writing some short works to submit to various publications. And, my writing partners will be getting part 1 of WIP1 shortly.

A year ago, I felt very much alone (which is probably why I was so easily discouraged!). Now, I have amazing writer friends who I met through the magic of social networks. I even went to an annual writer’s conference last week and chatted with Other Writers about books and stories and other nerdy things. (Indiana SCBWI’s annual conference…highlights of that conference coming soon!)

I’m so thankful for this past year, and look forward to another year of progress toward my goal.

Thank you for your company on this journey.