I turned 50 last year and when a family member asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked for a 5 year diary. I had never heard of such a thing before and had just seen one on a TV show. I thought it would be an interesting project.
I’ve been doing this blog for over 4 years but it’s a different beast. In the 5 year diary I only have a few lines so I need to be intentional about what I write.
Now that I’ve been writing in the diary daily for over a year a couple of interesting things occur to me.
1. I have a very cruisey life. If we have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies we are doing better than a whole lot of people and I don’t just mean people overseas in a foreign country that we will never meet. There are homeless people in just about every suburb and town even in a wealthy country like Australia.
2. Things we think are important right now, this instant, often turn out to be not very important in the future. I spent a lot of time last year working on a story that so few people have read it’s embarrassing. I know I really wanted to write that story but it’s not that great and it’s a bit weird. I am sure I learned something while I was writing it because nothing is wasted but yeah, I could have written 15 short stories in the same time and entered comps or pitched them to magazines. Oh well, live and learn.
3. Looking back is only useful to see how far you’ve come. Reading back through diary entries, in the past 12 months I have written more than 150,000 words, won competitions, learnt how to create the newsletter for the Gold Coast Writers’ Association, met so many amazing, wonderful writers at our regular GCWA meetings and the Rainforest Writers Retreats. I’ve survived covid, lock downs, border closures, missing my family and friends.
Looking back can be very useful, too, if we’re using it as a slingshot to push us forward. I am so grateful to 2021 Christine for writing the words.
A new writer friend asked me last week what my plan was for my writing and it stumped me a little. I journaled on my vision for my writing and found it is all about connection and finding and spending time with my people. I want to be around other creatives. I want to travel. I want to connect. Thanks Leina, for helping me clarify my dream.
So today, I head up the coast a little way for a writing staycation. I’m attending an intensive writing course with an Internationally best-selling author and decided to treat myself to a hotel stay so I can make the most of the time. It’s a bit spoiled, I know, but it actually makes good sense. This course and the time and money it’s costing to stay away for a week is an investment in what I hope will be a career for me.
Plus I think my head would explode if I had to come home and do paperwork or cook meals. I know it sounds selfish but I’m really just acting like a man.