Next week is Christmas, and the one after that is New Year’s Day. So this week, I want to take some time to reflect on what I have accomplished this year.
My 2016 resolution was to remain mentally healthy. I achieved this. I had my moments when I was especially down or anxious, but I was able to push through and be my normal self again. That much is a win.
I also “kinda wished” 2016 was the year I’d finally complete the first draft of… any of my stories, really. I did it, and then some! Although I “gave up” writing in February (you can read more about it in my
never-ending ramble post Thanksgiving Day), the need to write was too strong and I started writing again in August… Two months and a half later, on October 31st, I finished the first draft of my guilty pleasure novel. One month later, I won my first NaNoWriMo after several years of failure (writing a thriller, no less!). Oh, and then there’s this blog that I was able to update once a week since the first Sunday of October. May I take this opportunity to thank everybody who follows me, like my posts and comment on them? You’re the best! Also, I’m behind in replying to you and reading your blogs due to a rough end of semester, but I’ll make up for it, I promise!
That didn’t happen in a vacuum; I had much work to do on my mindset. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but somewhere along the way, I forgot why. A quote wormed its way in my mind and made me remember. It goes like this:
We are what we repeatedly do.
That’s right, I want to be a writer because I want to be writing. So simple, right? Then, isn’t it odd that I don’t spend every spare minute doing that thing that I love the most in the whole world? Sure, I liked those other hobbies. But at some point, I weighed every single one of my hobbies and decreed that I could keep them only so long as they don’t infringe upon my writing time.
The first two or three weeks, there were times when I thought, again, that I didn’t have what it takes to finish a novel. That’s when being in a community of writers came in the handiest. After that, I pretty much started to “fly on my own”. Once I took the habit, I needed the habit. Writing at night, after I’ve put my daughter to bed, is the highlight of my day. It’s also the time when I get to relax. For someone with an anxiety disorder, that’s huge. That’s vital.
The writing habit, it seemed, helped me start a positive cycle: writing helped me relax, which helped me sleep better, which helped be more agreeable to those around me, which made them respect my writing time. All of that also helped me have a more positive attitude toward writing. That also decided me to do a certificate in creative writing.
I also found out this year that the University of Toronto as a whole range of online courses in creative writing. I’m seriously considering registering for the autumn 2017 semester.
In the near future, I have to find myself a job, something that won’t ever require me to work 50 hours a week. Thirty hours a week would be the best.
A lot of people seem to have disliked 2016. For me? It was the best year I’ve had in forever.
You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who writes every day, so start writing. You don’t have a job? Get one. Any job. Don’t sit at home waiting for the magical opportunity. Who are you? Prince William? No. Get a job. Go to work. Do something until you can do something else.
– Shonda Rhimes