This Thanksgiving Holiday (almost two weeks ago) was a beautiful time of year. Getting together with family and being grateful for the life I have always gets me into that introspective mindset. I have my natural family and I have the family of friends who are really family to me.
So, of course, this gets to the heart of the matter, was the year well spent? Did I do what I said I wanted to do? Did I spend enough time with the people I care about? What lessons can I bring into 2018?
Of course, there is the small matter of holidays to attend to. The period of the year where a lot of moving pieces happen to set up the new year.
There are holiday functions to attend, there are gifts to get, there are connections to nurture, there are demands at work to stay focused on, and of course, the weather (for those of us who live in the snowy parts of the world)
This year, there is one more piece to this complex puzzle. My writing.
I’ve been enjoying this new thing… hobby… whatever you might call it… called writing. Like, who would have ever imagined that I’d ever be into writing? This blog has reached four years of age now, but I’ve been at this very seriously for about a year and a half. Yet, I feel like I’ve not done enough. I have so much more to say yet no idea how to really say it.
To make matters all the more intense for me, I’m always hard on myself about reaching certain milestones. I wanted to have a book published by now. First draft all done, partial second revision done, but nothing published. The detour along the way was necessary. I had a lot of learning to do about the art of making a book come true. Yet, the mind is just hooked on the fact that time is running out on getting this book to press.
That false sense of disappointment nearly robbed me the joys of knowing that as of this post, I’ve written nearly 450k words for this year. Something I didn’t think would happen for another two years.
Not only am I enjoying my health, seeing my family grow, and adjusting to ever changing workplace dynamics… having had the luxury to push this hobby this far is something I’m very proud of.
I do have more than one book in first draft mode… something I have to keep reminding myself to appreciate. Especially when I have days when I feel like a total failure for not being further along the path of my writing efforts/career.
Why Am I sharing this?
Bottom line, when one is hyper focused on the details of a journey, it’s easy to forget to look at the bigger picture and appreciating the progress.
On one hand, I’m much further along this journey than I had originally planned. On the other hand, I’ve moved up the time line of a few goals and made others all the more ambitious. This change has me feeling a bit pressed. That’s where taking stock helps ease the pressure a bit. Ease the worry.
This is a personal project to have fun with. There won’t be any bad consequences if I push the due date of the book back a few weeks. No one will get hurt. It does give me time to get a better result on the book, which is a good thing.
Often, I struggle with the question “how much rescheduling is good versus a bad thing?” when working on my personal goals. There is a fine line between being realistic and procrastinating. Realistically, I can have this book done by the close of the year. The sacrifice is not worth it to me however. Pushing the due date into the start of the new year is better. However, giving up on a deadline entirely is not going to help either.
What I’m basically saying is this… I’m crystal clear on the vision yet I’m learning to be flexible on the details of getting to the finish line. to badly paraphrase a quote from Jeff Bezos
By writing about this part of my journey, I’m accepting the need to be flexible while also letting others who read this post know that it’s not a perfect straight run to success. There are many variables to accommodate and adjust for.
I’ve had a person or two say they admire how I can push out long posts consistently, as if I had this as a full time job. I don’t. I have missed many weeks of posts. I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments to keep the illusion of consistency. I have lamented the posts that have had low readership and I’ve been astonished at the posts that have had high readership. Yet, I’ve had to remind myself many times to keep at this craft because I enjoy it and do it for the love of writing, not the accolades of being a popular writer.
What I’ve learned so far this year is that it takes a lot of commitment to be consistent at a craft that involves a lot of tenacity. The bar has been set very high for the coming year. I do not plan to write anything less than 500k words next year across the various places I blog. I do hope to have two books in print too (yeah… e-book counts as print lol)… one for this blog and another for the other blog I write.
Lofty goals means my mind is drifting away from finishing this year super strong to devote some time to planning for the new year. I am aware of a few life events that will disrupt my weekly posting goals. It would be so nice to use December to prepare those posts in advance… to keep the illusion of consistency a live and well. Yes, I do batch some of my posts.
I want to pursue this enjoyable craft to a more professional level. I want to continue the site upgrades I’ve done so that people will find this place (and the others) very enjoyable to visit. I want it to feel more community like. And yes, I’m very aware that my introversion is going to get in the way of that goal… a lot… lol.
What is most exciting, however, is the growth I know I will undertake next year as I continue to write. The deep dives into my memory to dig up ideas as well as the looking at other’s for inspiration to create new content has allowed me to work out a lot of stuff internally.
Ever grateful for those who keep reading this blog… I will continue to marvel that many of you like this stuff I ramble about. I’m humbled and overjoyed that you stop by. Even more, that many take the time to reach out to me on social media to chat (not forgetting those who make me blush by leaving comments on the blog itself). Thank you so much!!
Whatever your life story is, remember that you’ve made progress all year, even if it doesn’t feel like it. You’ve learned. You’ve grown. You’ve adjusted. Give yourself a bit of an applause. Finish the year strong.
There will always be complicating details. That’s the way life works. Keep your inspiration levels high. Keep pressing forward. And do let your family and friends know that you care for them. In the end, it’s the relationships that means the most… not the number of stats one can click off (like how many words I wrote in a given year)