For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading and re-reading last year’s New Year’s Goal post. It doesn’t sound like me. At least, it doesn’t sound like the me that I’ve become this year.
At the end of last year, I was in a much different place in my life. I had all but given up on my writing. I thought that if I could just surrender and focus solely on my education career, on the job that pays my bills, that I would be happier. Of course, I would still write, but I would simply engage in the process of writing and ignore the product. When I read last year’s post, I don’t hear happiness. I hear defeat. It’s hard for me to read.
So what exactly happened? How did I get from that place to where I am now? A few things are responsible for this shift in my life:
1) Year of Resources – My One Little Word last year was “Resource”. I wanted to focus on how I spend my time, energy and money.
- Time should be spent on my creative work.
- Creative energy should be spent on my creative work.
- Money should be spent on local, ethical, sustainable businesses and artists.
These three guidelines helped me to evaluate whether or not I was spending what I little I have wisely. It also led me to discover new ways to think of my writing career.
2) Supporting Artists – Due to my stated goal for managing my money resource, I went out of my way this year to support independent artists. In my own community, I went to zine shows and indie comics conventions. I attended to Fringe Festival plays. I bought items off of Etsy and books off of Lulu. I became a participant in the commerce of independent artists.
After a short while, I realized that these artists were not that much different from me. They work day jobs and they manage artistic lives. What’s more, they are ballsy enough to ask for money for their work And people like me pay them.
3) 5:00 AM & 750 Words – Around September, I realized that there was something still missing from my life. I still wasn’t creating. I couldn’t figure out how to fit my creative work into my day, because I came home from work so exhausted. I couldn’t fathom writing, because I could barely lift a finger. So, instead, I looked at the other end of my day and thought, what about here? I began getting up at 5:00 AM and writing 750 words every day using the excellent 750 Words site. After my words, I had time to do other creative work. I began revising Blameless Mouth for the last time and finally, I was ready to publish.
If you had told me at this time last year that I would have published my book in 2010, I would have thought you were crazy. I had surrendered that dream. Because I focused on my internal resources, because I found models in other independent artists, and because I surrendered to waking up earlier to achieve my goals, I have accomplished more than I ever thought I would. I’m hoping that 2011 turns out even better.