“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ”
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
2012 was one of the most tumultuous years of my adult life. Challenge and change have become my travel companions once again, and I am staying open to adapt and evolve in order to progress towards my life goals. The reality is I am still very much adrift, the shore is not yet in sight, and and it’s a darn good thing I don’t get sea sick. The nomadism and solitariness are not completely unfamiliar to me, and certainly are providing some raw writerly material! New experiences are important for an author. On the other hand, the restlessness and transience of my surroundings, and things I have had to let go have, at times, made it hard to focus!
I want to encourage you to become comfortable with taking risks in 2013. Your comfort zone is comfortable because it’s where you know what to expect. Going out on a limb can be scary because you might fail. You might lose something. But you might also gain something, huh?
When you decide to do something, do it for its own sake, not so that you can get a particular result. Let go of your attachment to a certain outcome; instead, focus on the joy of doing whatever you’re doing. Live in the moment.
Acceptance. When things don’t go your way, and they won’t always, let it go and learn, where you can, from your mistakes. If you’re clinging to your comfort zone, you’re hanging on to an idea that the world is supposed to be a safe, predictable place, and that’s an illusion. You’re setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. Open your eyes. The world is a dynamic place where things go right and wrong. That’s just the way it is! No regrets!
I am forging into 2013 with some highlights of 2012, two keyword – looking back and forward, and some goals/dreams. I have always made annual goals and not resolutions!
Highlights of 2012
- Publishing SNOW GAMES on uTales in May and the subsequent blog tour.
- Going to my best friend’s wedding in Wales in September.
- “Meeting” many illustrators through my blog interviews.
- Actively participating in some awesome writer/blogger groups: 12x12in12, Perfect Picture Book Friday and PiBoIdMo.
- Spending three months in New York/Brooklyn (including 4 Broadway shows) – I’m under the spell!
- Being selected for the SCBWI Nevada Mentor Program – those cowboys are crackin’ authors/mentors!
- Writing 11 picture book drafts, one chapter book, an adult short story and several poems.
- Continuing to learn from and work with editor extraordinaire, Emma Dryden of drydenbks, on several manuscripts.
- New friends, some of whom I have been able to visit around the US.
- Having the courage to step into an unknown future and test out new waters.
- Being selected as a round 2 CYBILS judge. I have six weeks of fun ahead of me for this!
- Being interviewed on several different writers’ blogs this year.
- Miss Marple’s Musings had over 50,000 views in 2012. Not spectacular but growing.
My WORD for 2012 is: RISK!
- Start submitting, and find a kindred agent. (okay so this is a goal AND a dream!)
- PLOT and write a YA novel.
- Write fearlessly.
- Complete 12×12 in 2013 (12 more picture book manuscripts). Looking forward to being one of the moderators of this group in 2013.
- Complete the March chapter book challenge again.
- Go to LASCBWI13.
- Write at least a poem a month.
- Once I know where I am living, become involved in an in-person critique group and local SCBWI chapter.
- Attend at least one craft workshop/course for novel-length work.
- Write daily, even if some of that is just journaling!