Progress, Progress

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.