Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year. Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. Even though any successes I have had are NOT related to writing, I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! I am pushing through the extreme lack of successes and taking part. Not just for myself, but for any other disheartened writers that may stumble upon my blog- I’ve a crappy list but I’m still sharing it. Here is my list for 2020.
These are in the order in which I remembered them and wrote them down:
- I’m here. I’m here doing the 12 days of Christmas challenge for writers. I almost started crying at this part of Julie’s video but held it together.
- I haven’t given up. Failed at holding it together – definitely started crying some.
- I have hope. This is actually a part of #2, but I needed to write it down again and see that word: HOPE.
- I wrote brand new stories while in quarantine. Those 12 weeks of quarantine were my most productive in regard to writing. Then it all stopped.
- Revised old stories. I had a pile of feedback notes from critique partners that I was ignoring, until quarantine. I revised and, in some cases completely rewrote old stories.
- Wrote in my journal. I’ve kept a journal since I was a kid and I had been neglecting this hobby but managed to start jotting things down again this year. Not often, but hey, I did it.
- New idea for a story. Once I returned to full time work it seemed all creativity halted, but recently a new fun idea for a story popped into my head out of nowhere. It’s only one new idea, but still- I’m excited to get some words down.
- Critique Partners had successes. Is this fair to add? I don’t know, but our little group is a tight group, and I was so happy and excited for them whether it was submitting stories, getting agents, or having books launched. Not my successes, but in a way, they are and I’m keeping this one on my list!
- Read a lot. I didn’t get to the library for a ton of picture books, but I borrowed a lot and purchased some and allowed myself much more time for reading than I usually do. This counts right?
- I submitted to Write Mentor again this year. I was not selected but entering was a big deal for me. Trying. Putting my work out there. Ugh. But I did it. I guess.
- Created a writing space for myself. In January I had created a special writing spot for myself. My own desk just for writing -not for work, not for bills – just for me. Yes, I can write anywhere, but routine helps and so does a sacred space. Even if I barely sat there all year.
- Organized my bookshelves. This is on here because I needed to take a hard look at what inspired and influenced me. It also allowed me to get all my reference books about writing in one spot. Not that I dove into many of them, but I got them ready for when I’m ready.
- Kept up my blog/website. Yup, this old place. I almost killed the site and blog this year. Silly me for starting a webpage and blog before having a published book. But killing it felt like trashing old story ideas in a journal – no need to trash- just return when ready and improve. I think?
I really can’t think of many more writing successes. Plus, anymore and this is a really long boring blog post.
But even though I have no writing successes in 2020, I have other successes in life that may lead to a real writing routine, better health, new inspiration, and with any luck – more actual writing. If nothing else, this exercise tells me it should be pretty darn easy to do better in 2021. So if you’ve had a crappy writing year like me, hey – there’s plenty of room for improvement next year. Let’s get to it.
Best of luck fellow writers!