Welcome and Happy New Year! It's the first Insecure Writer's Support Group post for 2016! Click HERE if you want to know more about the IWSG or sign up to participate in the coming months. As always, a huge THANK YOU to our fearless leader and the creator of the IWSG Alex Cavanaugh and a great, big THANK YOU to our wonderful co-hosts this month: L. G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J. Q. Rose, Chemist Ken, and Michelle Wallace. xo.
Goal setting is important. It keeps us focused and helps us define our plans and dreams. Sometimes, however, I think our goals are inconsistent with where we are in life at the moment. How many times have your New Years' Resolutions resembled this:
1. Get Published
2. Write six novels
3. Finish two dozen short stories and 63 essays
4. Get invited to speak at BIG DEAL Publishing's next conference
5. Win an Oscar
Yes, I'm being sarcastic...mostly. And yes, for some folks, two dozen shorts and 63 essays are a walk in the park. Something done every year for years. Yes, some of you will be published this year and, heck, someone reading this just may win an Oscar next month.
The point I'm making is this: perhaps this year we should try something a bit different with our goal setting. Put more of LIFE into our life goals. During that past three months I've come to terms with something, something that has driven my life my entire life. The pursuit of FAME and RECOGNITION. And those things, Friends, are NOT why we should be doing anything we do.
We are writers because we write, not because we are published and not because we win awards. Those things are WONDERFUL and, yes, I want to be published. I have something to say and I want to share it with others. THAT is why we should be pursuing publication: the share, to be heard, and to connect.
I've taken a big step back this year. I've decided to focus on three very simple actions that will force me to pay attention to each day as it comes:
1. Write something everyday. No word count, no specific task, just put words on paper in ways that make me smile.
2. Make something beautiful everyday. Either through sketching or my new-found love of stitching, I want to make time for art everyday, no matter how simple or how small that time is.
3. And this is a big one: ONTOLOGY. This is a word I learned years ago and it's finally settled in that deepest part of my gut. The very act of BE-ing. To BE is to be present, to be at peace with yourself and your surroundings. This doesn't mean resigning yourself to wrongdoings or the negative. It means allowing yourself to just BE - for a few seconds, a few moments, or for one, blessed entire day.
I want to refocus and regroup. I want to remember why I first started putting pen to paper and forming words into tales. I want to remember the sheer joy of creating something beautiful just to look at it and say, "Hey, I did that!"
Happy New Year to everyone! Congratulations to each and every one of you who were chosen to be published in the IWSG Anthology. Congratulations in advance to everyone who WILL find their work published this year. Who knows? It could be me, it could be you. The point is, we need to WRITE first, HEAR our voices and SEE our own beauty. THEN we'll be set to fly.