Douglas Adams once wrote that the trick to learning to fly is to throw oneself at the ground… and miss.
The trick to any kind of success in the creative fields is to start and don’t stop. Daily action and continued movement = Momentum! Each artist, writer, whatever, has a different idea of what success is. As I contemplate my goals for the coming year I know that writing success, whatever form that takes, can only be found on the other side of writing a lot of words.
Double Down in Double Two.
2022 is a good year for creating! All those twos and it happens to be a 2 year for me. A two year is all about co-operation and balance. The seed needs the help and interaction of others. In a 2 year, we work with others, find our boundaries, form new ties. I am really excited about the timing of this.
(In the type of numerology I use, the new ‘year’ commences for at your birthday. To work out the year you’re in, add the numbers of your birthday, for example if your birthday is 5 January just add those numbers and the current/coming year. 4+1+2+0+2+2 = 11 and then break that down 1+1 = 2. If your birthday is on that date, you’ll be going into a 2 year like me.)
Listen to Dr Michael Lennox for direction for the coming year. January 2 is a perfect day for setting intentions!
I have three half-completed manuscripts to get to some kind of ‘finished product,’ before July and another two that I’d like to work on if I have the time. Each will hopefully land at around the 70-90k word mark but one, Circle of Ash is already at 70k and it’s only 2/3 of the way into the story.
I am lucky to have a supportive family who do all they can, short of cooking all the meals, to encourage my writing career/habit/addiction. My sister reads my first drafts and tells me what makes no sense. A roster of friends and family get a call-up to read a final draft depending on their preferred genre. It’s wonderful to have such support and I don’t take it for granted. It’s a gift of their time and time is the most precious thing we have.
I make absolutely no money from writing but I dream of the day when I can tell my husband to retire because my next book will pay the mortgage. (I have a cushion that says “if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!” Actually , when did we start writing quotes on cushions? Weird.) Rightly or wrongly, I’m scaring the crap out of myself with my goals.
If not now, when?
Reflections on 2021… and inspirations for 2022.
- Set goals of all kinds and sizes and work towards them daily. It’s a no brainer but it’s so easy to find excuses.
- Getting eyes on your work is crucial. Feedback literally feeds your work and if you’re not getting any constructive critique, your work will suffer. Lots of great tips here on finding or founding a writing group here in Charlotte Wood’s podcast, The Writer’s Room. BUT, if you are very early in your writing journey, consider that encouragement is what you need, rather than critique.
- Don’t be afraid to disappear. I wish I could find the Instagram post that inspired this phrase. A well-known writer won an award this year and it came on the back of a self-imposed retreat from the world. If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year it’s that in the end we have to be our own best friend and support system because the one “out there” can be pulled away without notice in this current state of affairs. Besides, no one will push you like you will push yourself.
- Physical health is crucial. A writer might not need to be able to run a 4 minute mile but sitting at a desk all day is bad for your health.
- Four questions to ask yourself as a writer/creative (from Charlotte Wood’s podcast.) Ask regularly. Monthly. Weekly even. 1. With no limits of any kind; financial, emotional, temporal, physical, etc, what’s your biggest vision for your life as an artist? 2. What do you need to do today, this week, this month, this year, to move towards that vision? 3. What makes you stop? What story, what sabotage, what force, gets in the way? 4. Who or what do you need to surround yourself with to make sure you don’t stop?
- Find your people. “Surround yourself with friends who would mention your name in a room full of opportunities.” I have tried to find the source of this powerful quote but haven’t had any success. I’d like to add, “and be prepared and overjoyed, to do the same.” Remember, the rising tide lifts all boats.
- The trick to finding creative friends who are open, generous and fun is to be a creative friend who is open, generous and fun.
- I heard a speaker say something this week about ‘launch before you’re ready.’ I did that a few years ago with this blog, with my first novel. After years of making cookie-cutter art for interior-design projects I had no illusions about waiting until I was “ready,” I just wrote and wrote and clicked publish. But in 2022, I’m taking the pedal off the metal somewhat. I’ll be taking a more measured approach with the aim of finding a wider audience.
- Your comfort zone isn’t trying to kill you, it’s desperate to keep you safe. However, getting outside your comfort(m) zone will feel uncomfortable but when you find that sweet spot of the growth zone, you know it. You’ll know you’re there when you’re perturbed but not nauseous.
- The more I learn the less I know.
- Making new friends in your 40s and 50s is wonderful!
Happy New Year