A Day Ahead

So here it is New Year’s Eve and already I have a jump start to one of my New Year’s Resolutions – to write a few essays and submit them to Skirt! Magazine. I have my March essay ready, sort of, what I mean is that I got the meat and potatoes down and now I need to let it sit for a day or two before I go back and rework it.

Also, on Facebook (and on a whim) I decided to post that I am looking for an editor. Ask and you shall receive they say, and receive I did. This is what I posted….

I need an editor – experienced, honest, quick-turnaround time, reasonable rates.

And within minutes someone that I’ve never met, but lives in my town, suggested someone to me. My friend told me to message her editor friend and within minutes, before I could think about it and let fear set in, I messaged him. So without going into all the cool details, it looks like I may have an editor. I’ll send him my first essay and see how it pans out anyway. I’m not all that, I’m just an amateur writer, but the thought of having someone I do not know and who will use a constructive and critical eye makes me feel like I’ve taken a small action step towards taking my writing seriously.

It’s scary. But I’m going forward anyway. But I’m scared. It’s just an essay Carol, it’s an opportunity to practice. I wonder if Stephen King, Pat Conroy, Elizabeth Berg, J.K. Rowling, or Rebecca Wells were ever scared the first time they submitted any of their writing, or heck, just let someone else read their work for the first time, like an editor, someone outside their friends and family? It is terrifying to me. What if I’m not good enough? What if people laugh at me for trying? What if I have to give up writing because I’m crappy at it, writing is something I absolutely love, my passion.

It’s quite funny that I am writing all these “what if” scenarios because that was exactly the theme for March at Skirt! Magazine – what if.

I’m not going very confidently in the direction of my dreams, am I? But I’m going anyway, scared.

And yes, I am FULLY AWARE that rejection is part of the process. I can handle the rejection letters, it’s professional and part of the writing process. It’s the, “What the hell does she think she is doing?” that makes me shiver.

Resolutions, For Real

OK OK, so I had a little fun with the previous Resolution blog post. While most of it may be true, it was still written in jest. Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty….

Here are SOME of my REAL New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Attend a writing workshop, one in which I will actually pay money for and attend in person. I have one in mind already and I have the dates saved. This is big scary for me which is the reason it is number 1 on my list.

2. Submit a few essays to Skirt! They have a monthly theme and I think it is a great opportunity to practice.

3. Read more – I’ve already written about this in an earlier blog post.

4. Take myself more seriously as a writer. Let me rephrase, take myself SERIOUS as a writer. This statement needs a breakdown, just a few that come to mind:

  • set up a schedule to write
  • get an editor
  • collaborate with other writers
  • submit my work

5. Stop feeling foolish for wanting to write, or wanting to be a writer. This serves no purpose whatsoever.

6. Keep reading about other writers.

7. Go ahead and dream big, why not, and write about it too.

8. Seek out and get a writing mentor.

This is all I can come up with for now. Am I missing anything?

[rez-uh-loo-shuhn]

So for the past week I’ve been trying to determine my New Year’s Resolution(s).

Normally I am not one for making big huge resolutions, especially while ending one year and bringing in the New. I quit making New Year’s resolutions when I was a kid. I learned at a young age how easily I can disappoint myself.

But now that I’ve gotten older and time is running out, well, I think I have changed my mind about this whole resolution-making business.

Let’s take a look at the definition of the word “resolution” first, shall we?

From Dictionary.com the definition of “resolution” is below:

res·o·lu·tion   
[rez-uh-loo-shuhn]
–noun
1. a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group (the many voices in my head). Compare concurrent resolution, joint resolution.
2. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
3. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
4. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

But there was one more that I particular liked…

10. reduction to a simpler form; conversion.

A conversion! Simpler form! Now THAT is what I’m talking about here people.

I’ve had many things rolling around in my head the last few days. Mostly it is a reflection of lessons learned from 2010; how I want to take what I’ve learned and move forward in the New Year.

I’ll try to break them down here but most of them will run together and probably have the same meaning.

1. Be resolved (duh). Well when I say “be resolved” I mean make a decision and stick with it. I want to make up my mind, CONFIDENTLY, about whatever then move forward with goals and take action. But first I need to MAKE UP MY MIND WHAT IT IS I WANT. Well, that’s not fair, I DO know what I want, I just can’t make an immediate living from it. Not yet. Really, I just want to quit being wishy-washy (or what I used to call it, open minded, which is really not the case here. No, I’m just plain ole wishy-washy). Heh.

2. Move on. In this, I mean stop the madness with expecting certain people to change. They are not going to change. They will always be that way, you’ve given them time and time again to prove to you that they are a person of their word. They continue to fail you. Move on.

3. Quit caring. Stop worrying about what everyone else on God’s great earth is doing, thinking, or not doing. And certainly, stop caring what others may think of YOU. Because in reality, they are more than likely NOT EVEN thinking about you. 😉 You already know this Carol so stop it. (OK, why all of a sudden I am talking to myself on the blog is beyond me.)

Um, so the first three are really kind of the same thing. Let me try a little harder….

4. Stop saying, “I don’t know.” Because you DO know. Stop lying and saying you don’t. This is a cop-out. You say this phrase a lot. It’s time to get honest and say the truth out loud and stop hiding behind, “I don’t know.” It’s weird how you have the ability to actually say those words out loud while at the same time your brain is thinking something else entirely, you know, like with an opinion of your own, an original thought, a new idea, or perhaps even an actual answer. But you never say it out loud, you just cop-out with, “I don’t know.” Just weird.

5. Write.

6. No more excuses, not from you or from anyone else. If someone else wants to give you an excuse then so be it, but don’t sit and stew over it or hound them about it. Refer to resolution #2 on this one. Now, for yourself, young lady, stop making excuses. You know a lot of people who are achieving their dreams that have a ton of other obligations going on in their life, and yet they are successfully moving forward. No more excuses.

7. Stop comparing yourself to others. You know the old saying, “Stop comparing your insides to everyone else’s outsides.” Good grief woman, when are you EVER GOING TO LEARN THIS ONE? I’m not even going to say anymore, you know what to do.

8. Focus. Commit. This one really sounds a lot like resolution #1 – but let’s elaborate. First of all, you may want to cut down on some of your “activities” – stop signing yourself up for so much. Let’s scale back, focus on a few and do them well. Commit to a few and see them through. You know which ones. Stop saying, “You don’t know.”

9. Keep quiet. Stop telling everyone what you want to do, what you are doing, bragging, what you are NOT doing, giving them excuses, blaming, and blah blah blah. Just keep to yourself, YOU KNOW what you want, you don’t need to tell someone else about it over and over and over again. Just do it. I know it’s difficult but perhaps you need to try to practice a little humility.

10. Be positive. OK, I have to give you a little credit on this one, you have gotten a lot better with trying to be (and stay) positive. Keep up the good work and continue on.

11. Last but not least, please stop talking to yourself on the blog.

Sitting Here Drinking Coffee

Yeah, I don’t have much to say right now. But the other night? I had a lot to blog about – I had planned to tell you all about what I was going to do for the New Year; my little plans and designs. I had it all in my head, ready to plan it out on my blog, put it in writing, making it real.

I must be getting old because now as I sit here and sip my coffee, well, um, I’ve just plum forgotten all that I wanted to do, how 2011 and I were going to change the world. OK, not really change the world, just change my little world in my head.

Today I went into work, cleaned up my office, preparing it for 2011 and felt how good it was to be thinking of the New Year ahead and how much more on-top-of-it I was going to be at work, more organized and stuff. I liked it. I then decided to take the rest of the week off to do the same at home (and spend some extra time with The Boy before he goes back to school on Sunday).

So now I sit here on Monday evening, starting to feel lazy and unproductive and I have forgotten what I was going to do, write, and plan for 2011.

It will come to me again. It’s right there, just in grasp of my memory. I know I want to organize my home life, take down the tree, and other things. I’ll just enjoy what is left of this evening, go to bed and wake up fresh. After all, tomorrow is another day.