In January 2015, each member of my Cliffhangers' writing group shared writing resolutions. At the end of 2015, we checked in. Some of us had done better than others. I won the prize for Worst Resolution Keeper. I’m not proud. Of my ten resolutions, I kept one.
I’ve resolved to do better this year. Perhaps that should be my one and only resolution.
Reflections and resolves don't need to happen in January. New Year’s is simply a convenient time to reflect on our journey through space and time, to think about how things are going, and how things would be if they went differently. Resolutions can happen in the middle of summer, on Halloween, or your birthday. Your birthday’s actually a good time to take a look at your life and think about how you'd like it to go on your next trip around the sun. A year is quite a long time, so checking in once a month on your resolutions seems a good idea. That’s what I’ll be recommending to the Cliffhangers when we meet next week: a one-month check-in to keep us on track.
Whether we write a mission or vision statement, goal set, resolve, or choose a special word to guide our year, it’s always beneficial to stop and contemplate our life journey.
As writers we not only get to reflect on our lives but on our characters’ lives as well. What is their journey? What is the transformation they make in their story? If they chose a special word to guide them, what would it be?
I like the idea of choosing a word to keep before me in the coming year. At first I thought about choosing “play” because I think we’re our most creative when we’re playing. Then I decided to choose “fun,” in honor of my granddaughter. At two-and-one-half she’s perpetually happy. She wakes up from a nap and shouts, “Fun!” She kicks a ball: “This is fun!” She pounds the piano: “This is fun!” I’ve seen her fall on our hard tile floor and knew it had to sting, but she didn’t cry or whine. Why? It would interrupt her fun. Onward she goes, to have more fun.
Recently, Seth Godin wrote, “Life is more fun when you don’t compare.” Ah. Those comparisons. They can bring us down daily. “Why isn’t my book on that Best of 2015 list? Why wasn’t my story considered for that award?”
If I want to be true to my word, “fun”, I must stop the comparisons. Let’s follow my granddaughter’s lead. Don’t cry over comparisons. Don’t interrupt your fun with whining when you fall down. Just pick yourself up and shout, “Fun.”
As Helen Hunt says in the movie As Good As It Gets, “Who needs these thoughts?” partially in reference to comparisons, jealousy, panicky feelings, self-absorption. We don’t. Get them out of your head. Don’t let them in again.
In the spirit of no comparisons, for this January blog I’m not posting pictures from others’ books or mine. I want you to think about your book, your story, your next trip around the sun.
My word for the year is “fun.” What’s yours?
Meet the Friday Blogonauts
First Fridays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer , man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
Second Fridays will feature awesome multi-award winning author Marsha Diane Arnold who will be writing about character-driven and/or nature-based books and/or anything she likes :)
Third Fridays will feature independent Aladdin/Simon & Shuster editor Emma Sector who has helped bring many books into the world.
Fourth Fridays will feature the great Christine Taylor-Butler who has published over 70 award-winning fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction books including the acclaimed new middle grade series - The Lost Tribes.
Fifth Fridays will feature the fabulous Carl Angel award-winning multi-published Illustrator and graphic designer.
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