Sometimes I think I’m going nowhere fast.
One of the real challenges of any sort of creative work which is a sideline to your normal career is that one tends to feel as though they aren’t making the progress they should. I often feel that when I consider how seldom I do blog posts that aren’t flash fiction, or miss a week of generating even 100 words. It makes me feel like I’m falling behind in my commitment to myself.
Sometimes it helps to do a review and see what you’ve done that is on track rather than focus on all the things that are not. For me that review is encouraging. I have been taking steps in the right direction, albeit small ones. That’s OK. Even small steps are progress and I am pleased to say that at least I haven’t completely abandoned my goal of doing more writing.
In the past year and a half, I have:
- Gathered up all my old work and attempted to get it typed up and in one place
- Reread and edited old work to see what may be usable or salvageable – or if there is a hidden gem in one of them. So far, I have found some charcoal, which, with enough applied pressure and time, may become a diamond.
- Written or performed writing exercises more than 20 times
- Written 29 new blog posts that were not flash fiction
- Written 41 flash fiction entries, one for inclusion in an anthology
- Shared some new work with trusted readers and incorporated their feedback
- Joined SheWrites, an online community for women writers, agents, editors, and publicists whose mission it is to provide support and encouragement to writers of all styles
- Bid on and won a scholarship to a one week writer’s retreat, which will be in October
As I put it all in a list, I feel better. I committed to do more and I am doing much more than I have ever done. This is real progress.
Now about that writer’s retreat – this is a long held dream for me. I have looked at them in the past, but have been intimidated by the application process and the fact that I feel like a poser. I want to be a writer, but that doesn’t make me one. I do write, but I don’t really know if it’s any good. I feared rejection and found a loophole – I bid on this item in an online auction supporting Diabetes Research and lo and behold, my reserve bid was ultimately the highest. Now I have a place and although I still have to go through the official application process, the fear of rejection is gone. Whew!
The retreat actually retires many ‘bucket list’ items for me – to challenge myself to become a better writer by attending a writer’s retreat, traveling to the Bahamas for the first time (the retreat is on Salt Cay), and last but not least, swimming with dolphins. I think this is a home run – 3 new experiences in one!
So here’s to progress, however small the steps may be. And here’s to recommitting to doing more to keep moving myself down this path. I love the challenge and can’t seem to keep from trying.