Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions 2007


1. Take a few minutes to reflect on the previous year. What are you happy with?

I’m happy because I felt my writing took a leap. I met some wonderful people, and strengthened relationships with friends. I became clearer on my own boundaries.


2. What are you unhappy with?

I’m unhappy that I’m not farther along in the transition, even though I know it was mostly due to the pressures of The Situation.

I’m unhappy in that I feel I lost a part of myself that was optimistic and kind in the Situation, and I don’t know if I can heal enough to regain it.

I’m unhappy in that I feel I spent too much time in groups.

I’m unhappy because I feel I got too caught up in the “busy-ness” of the writing “business” and neglected the art and the craft.

I also feel I often got caught up in other people’s “stuff” – which is very different from being supportive of friends who are going through a difficult time.

I feel I often spun my wheels, instead of settling down to do focused work.


3. What unexpected joys did you discover during the year?

Getting to know some wonderful people.
Even sporadically, the time spent in yoga made a huge difference.
Strengthening bonds with some of the people close to me.

4. What were some of the unexpected obstacles that came up, and how did you deal with them? Looking back, would you have done anything differently?

Regarding The Situation, I would have struck back sooner and harder, and worked less from a position of fear. Spent less time in a tizzy, and more time acting. I also feel that I got caught up in a cycle of loyalty again, often with people who did not deserve it, and with that, I worked against my own best interests.


5. What expectations did you find you needed to let go of?

That I have full control over the transition.
That I have as much stamina as I need.
That other people are going to listen carefully and actually respond to what I say/write, instead of skimming it and imposing their own frame of reference onto it.


6. Looking ahead, how do you want to structure next year to support your writing?

Say “no” more
Put the writing first
Not get caught up in the web of what other people say one “must” do to become successful, and follow my own path to my own kind of success.


7. How does the rest of your life support your writing?

Most of the rest of my life does, because I’ve learned to redraw boundaries this year. I need to push harder with the business writing. I need to manage time better and stop making excuses. And I need to worry less about other people not fulfilling their potential. It’s their choice, not my problem. I have enough to juggle.


8. How can you change/compromise on the non-supportive elements?

Hold to the boundaries drawn.
Remove unsupportive people from my life (who are different than the supportive ones who give me a reality check when I need it).


9. What new aspect of the writing life do you want to try next year?

I’m not sure. Every year, I keep saying I want to expand more into travel writing and food writing, and I keep holding back. Maybe this is the year I take the leap? I want to keep playing with cross-genre pieces and write whatever interests me. I want to learn more, listen more.


10. Where do you need to be more disciplined?

Time management, especially with less time on the internet.


11. Where do you need to ease up on yourself?

I need to make sure I leave time for fun, and don’t let writing become a job, even though it’s a vocation. I need plenty of percolation time, which I didn’t give myself this past year. This past year, I had it when I collapsed out of sheer exhaustion and stress. I want to build it in for the coming year.


12. List your goals for the coming year.

--Finish at least three unfinished projects that are sitting around
--Do the first drafts of at least three new novels
--Get the relocation DONE
--Expand the business writing
--Get the websites up
--Commit to both the fitness/yoga practice and redevelop my spiritual practice
--Keep 13-in-Play/Focus on finding homes for every piece
--Not let a backlog of projects accumulate


13. List three positive, active steps to take on each goal to get it going.

--Finish at least three unfinished projects that are sitting around.
Pick one
Work on it every day
Move on to the next one

--Do the first draft of at least three new novels
Go over my notes
Pick what’s pulling the hardest
Work on it every day until it’s done; then move on to the next one.

--Get the relocation DONE
Put the financials in order
House hunt
Do it

--Expand the business writing
Get the websites up
Pitch continually
Stretch with new projects

--Get the websites up
Learn faster
Set aside blocks of time to devote to the learning process
Don’t get discouraged and frustrated so easily

--Commit to the fitness/yoga practice and redevelop the spiritual practice
Create the schedule I need/want and stick to it, without excuses
Follow the study paths that are opening
Realize there’s no such thing as being “too busy” for this part of my life, and be as ruthless with the time management of this as I am in the writing.

--Keep 13-in-Play/Find homes for everything written
More comprehensive lists before I start submissions
Keep track of those lists (don’t put them away and “lose” them)
If something comes back, re-read it, tweak if necessary and send it back out THE SAME DAY.

--Not let a backlog of projects accumulate.
This is tied in to the above – making more complete lists when I prepare to send it out the first time, and just keep moving it down the list.
Really try to match projects to markets more realistically than I have this year.
Keep pieces in motion instead of letting them stack up on the desk.


14 List your dreams for the coming year.

Relocate
Create a secure, peaceful environment for my family and my writing.


15. List three positive, active steps to transform each dream into a goal.

--Relocate
See above

--Create a secure, peaceful environment for my family and my writing
Create boundaries and hold them
Relocate
Freelance full time

16. List your resolutions for the coming year.

--Try to find the kindness and compassion that was stomped out of me during The Situation
--Sew more
--Paint more
--Take more quiet time for myself

17. List three positive, active steps to help you stick to them.

--Try to find the kindness and compassion that was stomped out of me during The Situation
Give myself the time and space to heal
Spend more time with positive people; remove negative people from my life
Return to writing in my journal each night a list of the things/people/happenings during the day for which I am grateful.

--Sew more
The sewing machine’s out – use it!
Work on quilts as well as clothes
Experiment with designs

--Paint more
Get over the “you can’t” I’ve felt all my life
Use it as play time, not serious work time
If it helps, make like a kid again and finger paint!

--Take more time for myself
Schedule long meditations a few times a week
Find a good yoga studio so I can take classes
Book creative/percolation breaks


If you'd like to take another look at the questions, hop over to Wordish Wanderings.

3 Comments:

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Anita said...

Great goals, dreams and resolutions, Devon. I especially liked your #17. We seem to be in the same place, where we want and need to take time for ourselves to recharge and refresh. Maybe we can keep each other in line!

On a side note, I appreciate all the advice and encouragement you've given me in the past year. It has been a tremendous help, and I feel I've learned so much from your example. You are one of the reasons I wrote more in 2006 than I ever have before. Thanks so much for that.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Brandy said...

Devon, your goals and dreams are wonderful. You've been a great influence in my little world and I hope I can be there for you if you ever need anything. Good luck!

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Of all the wonderful things you wrote in these GDRs, these hit right where it hurts:

I’m unhappy because I feel I got too caught up in the “busy-ness” of the writing “business” and neglected the art and the craft.

Ditto.

I also feel I often got caught up in other people’s “stuff” – which is very different from being supportive of friends who are going through a difficult time.


Ditto.

I feel I often spun my wheels, instead of settling down to do focused work.


Ditto.

Have a wonderful, productive, prosperous year, Devon.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home