So here I am almost a year after I wrote my first blog post and I am looking back over 2012.
OMG what a year it has been!
Although I am not able to boast that I have finished my novel, I am proud to say I have ticked off a good number of the goals I set for myself last January. Professionally, I feel in 2012 I stepped ahead several paces. Personally, I will freely admit, it has been a most difficult year.
The first half of 2012, I wrote every day. Some days it was good and more days than not, it wasn’t as good as I would have liked, but I never stopped writing. And I was so very happy. Then as June was finishing off and I was feeling in control of my work and my life—well, as they say—all crap hit the fan and I was asked to once again parent a child. Anyone who has spent time caring for a child will tell you it is the most difficult and most rewarding job you will ever do. I am happy, very, very happy to have had this opportunity, but alas, being a primary caregiver after your own children are grown isn’t the natural order, and consequently, the last six months have been a challenge on several levels.
One of the challenges I faced was in finding both the time and the energy to write. Three months into my new role, life did start to take on a routine and I was able to squeeze an hour of writing here and an hour there, not what I had been managing, but enough to finish off my requirements before receiving a Certificate in Creative Writing from U of T this past November. Unfortunately, my new commitment kept me from my long-standing writing circle and I left the group in October.
It has been a sad year, but it is coming to an end.
Now, as I look ahead to 2013, I am resisting the urge to imagine myself and my novel alone in a rubber dingy, cast out at sea. After all, there is no one pushing me to submit twenty newly edited pages every two weeks. There is no final project requiring me to produce seventy-five polished pages hanging over my head. No agents or publishers are waiting to see my finished manuscript. It is just me, a laptop, and a story that I must tell.
What am I going to do?
I’m going to hug the darling three-year-old I have had the privilege to care for over the past six months. I’m going to take what I can from 2012 and I’m going to make good art.
Then, I’m going to write, damn it.
As always I like to hear your stories. Did you manage to tick off anything on your 2012 TO DO list?
Did you make good art?
6 responses to “Looking Back”
I barely got back to the sequel to my fantasy novel, the one that was supposed to be published this month (but is now on indefinite hold). The sequel, which I left off with when I changed jobs in August 2011, was put on hold because I didn’t have any time to continue writing. Instead, I’ve been reading chapters to my writer’s group. Now I’m almost caught up to where I left off. I had to jump ahead to the stopping point while the group is on hiatus so I could remember where I left off, start anew and get back into it. In the meantime I’ve been writing a LOT of other stuff including some short stories, my blog articles and other web site stuff, astronomy articles, etc.. I also finished editing my icky bug novel and finally sent it off to a pubisher. Waiting… So, the year wasn’t a loss by any means.
Good for you, Ray. I guess it’s at times of trouble where our commitment to writing and our bigger projects is tested. Unfortunately, I suspect there are many masterpieces sitting in drawers because life got in the way of their completion.
Great post. Inspirational video, too (though nothing you haven’t said yourself). Did I tick anything off my 2012 to-do list? Life got in the way for me, too, but in the last 12 months, I started thinking more like a creative writer, less like a business writer. I still can’t believe this but something inside me would not allow me to renew my IABC membership when it came due last summer (I’ve belonged to this association for business communicators since 1981!). I started reading poetry (avidly), participated in three writers’ groups, edited my travel piece for publication, wrote a few other bits and pieces I actually felt good about, and signed up for a writers’ retreat in 2013 to try and find my writer’s voice. I’d say there was a visible shift in 2012. Thanks for asking, and congratulations on your courage and victories. I know how hard it’s been for you.
You’ve laid the ground work, Heidi. I know 2013 will see your first fiction pieces in print.
Sharon, Your time and energy challenges strike a familiar note. I have been faced with similar challenges since my mother lost her battle with lung cancer in 2011. My father has been occupying a greater space in my life. Providing moral support for him in coming to some sort of resolve regarding life after death – from both a spiritual point of view and as a 90-year-old WWII veteran now faced with bachelorhood – has interrupted my own routines and energy cycles normally directed at working on my novel. In the Fall 2012, I managed to hook him up with a weekly seniors’ social luncheon group. There are a number of good old boys from WWII who attend – 90 years plus and also bachelors – who are fit like my Dad, still drive, live in their own homes, and who are such an inspiration in sharing their life stories etc. What a gift to have found this group. Ah, life is indeed a journey, without which we, the writers, would have no stories to write. Hoping to resume attendance at WCDR breakfasts in 2013. Will look for you there. Thanks for your updates. Best writing regards and blessings for 2013, Linda Dempster
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2012 02:20:24 +0000 To: email@example.com
We have all missed you. Your life does sound complicated. As Neil Gaiman says, that’s when we as artists are called upon to make good art. Your father is lucky to have you. Although we may never know what exactly it is, I truly believe there is a reason for everything. I will hold you to a WCDR breakfast.