Friday, January 1, 2010

Write Now. A View of Tomorrow

We have a new year before us. There's something clean and hopeful about a new year. Fresh starts and all that jazz. Traditionally, it's a time for making resolutions. A more recent tradition is to poo-poo the idea of making resolutions this time of year.

To make or not to make resolutions - that is not the question. Either way, it can't be denied, we have a front row seat for tomorrow, and an opportunity to dream.

For the writer, the new year can mean an opportunity to stretch himself. The chance to write something difficult, daring, or cinematic. My hope for each of you is that 2010 is a year of intentional living. A year of examining what you do and why you do it in order to bring meaning and purpose to your life- and your writing.

And while I fall well within the camp that poo-poos making New Year resolutions, I want to share with you my intentional living goals for 2010.

1) Pray on a step-by-step basis about this roller coaster of an industry called publishing. This is about keeping short accounts with God this year - of keeping it real in my relationship with Him in order to serve His purposes (whatever they may be) and not my own.

2) Check my ego at the door. I've learned over the years that my life has very little to do with me. I gave my life away a long time ago, and I'm learning to hand it over to God in increasingly larger chunks as the years go by. I love writing fiction, I love learning the craft and pushing myself to improve as a writer and storyteller - but at the end of the day, it isn't about me. Galatians 6:14 is my verse in this matter.

3) Say no. Ugh. So hard to do. There are so many things that need doing - important things. How am I going to know what to say no to? See number 1. Then I have to pray for the ability to actually say no. So many appealing ideas and opportunities can come down the pike. But I'm only one person, and I can only do so many things before my eyes spin and my ankles wobble and my brain falls out my left ear. Ya know?

4) Relax. Anyone who works from home knows it's difficult to maintain the barrier between work and family life. I've noticed many times in 2009 when I missed opportunities to be fully present with my family (especially my gaffers) because of busy brain disease. I'll be using positive self talk, prayer, and family support to help me with this one.

5) Be a better writer. I've learned I'm a lousy multi-tasker. But I'm very good at taking one topic, going deep, and learning as much as there is to learn about it. That is my approach to improving my writing skills in 2010. I'll be focusing on specific aspects of novel writing, and going deep, learning as much as I can, and then putting it into practice. It may not be the fastest way to learn, but it's the way that works for me.

What about you? Have you a list for intentional living? What is on your top 5 of things you want to live out in 2010? I'd love to hear it!


Nichole Osborn said...

Bonnie, I have a "growing" top 5 list.
1) To grow in my faith. This past year my faith was stagnant at times.
2) To grow in my marriage. We have had some issues in this area, this past year.
3) To grow as a mom. There's always room for improvement there.
4) To grow healthier. I am working with a local radio station on a fund raiser to lose weight. My goal is to lose at least 75 pounds in 9 months.
5) To grow as a writer. As with mothering there is always room to improve.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to make a resolution but couldn't think of one!!!
But I do have a bit of a lifestyle shift. It was one of those lemons - lemonade moments. No money for the semester's tuition = no daytime classes and a few hours of the day where I have uninterrupted writing time. I've been looking for uninterrupted writing time (that doesn't occur at 4 am) for seven years. I'm kind of excited.

Lisa Lickel said...

I got tired of myself trying to do the resolution thing years ago, but you've inspired me, especially with the check ego dream and write better. I plan to keep learning this year, work better with my groups and leave less for my editors to do than my previous mss.

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