I got up early this morning, intending to spend some quiet reflective time alone, contemplating the events of last year and considering what I wanted for this year. I no longer do “resolutions,” considering I have had the same ones for as long as I can remember; lose weight, eat right, save more money, and get organized. Sound familiar?
Instead, I set goals for myself, attainable goals. This year, my goal is to write more.
I just finished going through my saved documents on my computer and discovered several I could delete entirely (they’d already been published) and some that hadn’t been published yet that I can forsee working on and sending elsewhere. Every writer should do this at the beginning of a new year. I had actually wanted to start the new year the right way, by going out to write, but the local restaurants were closed, and frankly, I really need to do this type of organizing just to figure out what I am going to work on first.
I’ve been writing for publication for over 21 years and although I have seen some measure of success, I still feel a sense of urgency in becoming more prolific in my writing. Turning 50 in November probably intensified those feelings.
If I don’t get my book published this year, will I ever? If I don’t finish my other book will it be an outdated and redundant subject by the time I do? If I don’t send articles and essays out, how will I make any money with my writing? And (this is a big one) if I’m not making any money, am I wasting time with my writing?
These are the kinds of thoughts running through my head these past few days. This past November I was going to be the author of a published book, moving upwards and onwards in my writing career. I had great plans for that book that included a lot of self-promotion, public speaking and media coverage. Giving all that up and terminating the book contract because I couldn’t trust the publisher was the right decision, but still a difficult one. But now I am back to square one in searching for the right publisher.
In the meantime, I missed some deadlines in December for anthologies I would have liked to be a part of, and have some others looming in front of me. Do I concentrate on an essay for an anthology that pays simply in copies or do I shoot higher and write for a contest that pays $500 to the winner? The answer seems obvious, yet the subject matter for one is much more dear to me than the other. And how long do I wait before contacting the editor that is currently reviewing my book manuscript? Do I send more queries to agents or hope I can get a publisher without one? Do I start a new article or send the unpublished ones I discovered this morning out first?
Or do I do all of the above?
The dilemma, of course, is that there is only so much time in a day, and all of these things take time.
How else could I be spending my time this lovely sunny January morning, the beginning of a new year?
I could be cleaning out my coupon box, throwing out all those coupons that expired at midnight last night.
I could be clipping the coupons from this stack of coupons, and restocking said coupon box.
Or, I could choose a book from my shelf of un-read books and spending some luxurious hours reading.
Or, I could put away all the Christmas decorations and my Christmas gifts that are now in a box near my desk (the camera from son Dan was used for these pictures). But then we all know how that would end up since there is more than one package of stationery inside there, some very enticing and delicious papers just begging to be written on.
I will probably end up doing a little of each of these things today and by the end of the day feel like I haven’t accomplished much of anything.
Except, perhaps, completing a blog entry.
Happy New Year, my friends. May your own goals be attainable this year.