January found me wanting me to make yet another resolution to get more serious about my writing.
Usually this involves a detailed list of projects I want to start, finish, revise and submit by certain dates throughout the upcoming year. It ends up being a fairly grueling schedule that sucks the fun out of writing before I even begin.
This year I decided to try something different. At the end of the year, I participated in an online “Renew & Review Writing Challenge” with Jill Jepson. It helped me to look over the past year to see what worked and what didn’t in my writing life. It also helped me to clarify what I wanted my writing life to look like for the next 12 months. What I loved was how we focused more on intentions rather than goals. Goals are product, intentions are process. Goals are future, intentions are present. It just really resonated with me.
When January rolled around, I took a four-week hypnosis workshop at my yoga studio designed to align us with our resolutions for the new year. I showed up each week with the intention to show up to writing practice and life, to all aspects of it:
My writing life will continue to flourish in 2014 by showing up daily to my creativity and writing; being comfortable with not always knowing what comes next; allowing myself to play; giving myself permission to succeed or fail; being present to and grateful for the process.
These intentions held a much more fluid space than the rigid goals I’d normally set for myself. I showed up to my writing and yoga practices, letting one nurture the other. I listened to the meditations from the hypnosis workshop each night, letting the words flow into my subconscious, letting them work their magic.
It all worked. We are halfway through the year and I have a new relationship with my writing life. In six months I have:
– Finished revising my novel-in-stories
– Wrote an agent query letter
– Began rewriting a second novel
– Jotted notes for a YA novel
– Participated in a 4-month apprenticeship for elephant journal in which I wrote 19 personal pieces, edited close to 60 and gained an in depth knowledge of social media
– Became an elephant journal columnist once the four months was up
– Started my own writer Facebook page
– Rededicated myself to building a Twitter audience
All of these accomplishments are great. Seriously, I am super proud of myself. But it’s not even the main point. The main shift I’ve experienced is a more fluid relationship to my writing, to showing up to my work. Much less angst and reprisals. More joy and compassion.
And I think that is filtering into all the nooks and crannies of my life.
I can’t wait to see what the next six months hold.
How about you? Any intentions or goals for the summer? For the rest of the year? I’d love to hear about them.