Happy 2014!

2013 has been a pretty intense year for me.

It’s the year I got a house, the year I got a dog, the year I started grad school, the year I celebrated my fifth year being married to Boxy. Now that we had a place to hold them, we hosted a Halloween party, and a formal family Thanksgiving and Christmas– all for the first time. Michelle Hauck and I even started an editing business, which has been an adventure all on its own.

So basically, the past year involved me hitting a lot of what I consider to be the milestones that mark adulthood, with all the personal growth associated with it.

 

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My puppy at six weeks and six months.

In the meantime, my writing has taken a bit of a hit… but on the plus side, I’ll call it an opportunity to learn from my failures.

This has been my first year competing in Nanowrimo and not completing the project. However, that’s taught me to prioritize my goals. My clients, classes, and family came first, which meant something had to go. And honestly, it was liberating to give myself permission to fail at something.

I’ve spent the entire year spinning my wheels with one project in particular, and famously, I’ve been re-writing three chapters in particular. At the end of the year I finally sat down in a diner with my muse, Kya, and actually asked her for help. What I got was phenomenal: she picked the story apart at the seams and then stitched it back together in a way that somehow managed to preserve almost everything I was proud of while fixing a whole plethora of problems that I’ve been struggling with all this time. In the interim, I’ve become more aware of some of my biggest weaknesses as a writer, and focusing on correcting those behaviors (and maybe, in time, work on turning them into strengths). And possibly most importantly, I’ve learned how to actually ask people for help.

My blogging has also fallen by the wayside, as some of you may have noticed. I’ll chalk that one up to learning to prioritize. But I’ve also moved my blog to this new location, experimented with blogging daily, and gained wonderful new followers. 

Now for the annual New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Draw daily. There’s more than one kind of creativity, and it’s important to cultivate as many as possible.
  • Mark the holidays on my blog. There is, in fact, more to the universe than writing (gasp!), and I want to bring more of reality and current events into the blog. Not in place of writing, but as a supplement and a source of inspiration.
  • Finish Dreamkeeper and get it ready to publish. In the past I’ve focused on producing a large quantity of zero drafts and WIPs. The result is that I’ve got a lot to work with, but most of it lacks a degree of structural integrity. This year, I’d rather spend my time polishing instead of stressing over yet another shelved WIP.

The rest of my plans are less specific and more maintenance: keep my GPA up in school. Be the best editor I can be. Keep my house in some semblance of order. Cook more. Shop local as much as possible. And in general, try to be the kind of human being that I can look back at next January 1st and be proud of.

To finish, I’ll leave you with a quote by the ever wonderful Neil Gaiman:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes…you’re Doing Something. 

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