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Where did 2009 go?

I sit here, 15 days until Christmas, wondering where the year went?

I had some quiet time recently to think about what I accomplished this year--which is a fair amount, though I wish more of it was writing related--and what I hope to accomplish in the year to come. It's something I do every year and, I will admit, my hopes and plans for a new year tend to be quite lofty. I have grand plans each time with every intention of following through. Then reality rears its ugly head. Whether it by the day job, family obligations, family illness, my own health, etc, things happen and my writing is the first thing that suffers.

I know I'm not alone in this. I've talked to enough authors who deal with the same setbacks I do. We just have to trek forward, barrel though all the other stuff, got it, WRITE. :)

I'm lucky enough to have a great support system. I'm not talking about the husband or other family members, because as much as I love them and they love me, they don't get being a writer. Some of them don't even view it as a career. To them, writing is my hobby. (insert eyeroll here) No, I'm talking about the group of writers I'm blessed to call my friends. And boy, do they know when to call me on my b.s. LOL Oh, they are supportive when one of the kids is sick or something happens, but they are ruthless when they see I'm making excuses for not getting things done and will call me out without hesitation. Sometimes their words aren't what I want to hear, but dang it all, they're what I need to hear, each and every time.

It was a conversation with one of these lovely ladies that made me realize I was setting myself up for failure with my overzealous writing plan for the coming year. We were talking about what we wanted to accomplish and when I laid out my intentions, she immediately said, that sounds great but what happens when your son gets sick or when you're overwhelmed when your husband has to go out of town for 2 weeks for work or a project at work needs your undivided attention?

She made me see that my plan was great if I could focus 100% on writing and nothing else, but that certainly isn't going to be the case. So I had to pare back my plans to something more manageable--even with distractions that are bound to come up. And if a miracle happens and I end up accomplishing more than I set out to do, then woohoo for me. :) But what I have done now, I know is very doable.

Do you do an inventory of what you've accomplished at the end of each year? (And I don't just mean this question for other writers. I certainly do this in every aspect of my life, whether it be things I wanted to do as a family or accomplish at home, etc.) Do you make a list of things you want to accomplish in the year to come? What is your process for making your plans? Do you go big, like I did, or do you plan conservatively?

I hope everyone is enjoying, and continues to enjoy, the holiday season. Here's to finishing 2009 with a bang and starting 2010 on the right foot. :)


Real Woman, Irresistible Men, Endless Possiblities


Devon Rhodes said...

Eternal optimist checking in here. 2009 was the more bizarre year I have yet lived through, in mostly good ways. A major improvement on '08, so the trend will hopefully (optimist part) continue so that 2010 is even better.

I have a tendency to plan big. I certainly don't ever want to come up short and find myself with time on my hands and nothing to do. (Why are you laughing?)

I give myself some exceptions to the rules, and while I sometimes grumble about not having enough time and really enjoy crossing things off the list, I secretly like having a bunch of writing projects to look forward to. To me, it's more than my career, it's my personal raison d'etre.

Sigh. I love my job. Can't wait to tackle my four current WIPs tonight. ;)

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Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Jess,

Funny, but your post made me realize that I DON'T make plans for the new year, in terms of what I'm going to accomplish. I just see what the days and weeks bring in terms of opportunities and obligations. I wonder if I'm unusual.

That doesn't mean I have an excuse not to write. I mean, writing is as much a part of my life as eating or sleeping. But I don't say to myself, "Oh, my goal is to publish 10 titles this year", or anything like that.

Maybe I'd accomplish more if I did set some goals. On the other hand, I'd probably make myself a good deal more crazy.

Happy Holidays!


ZDENNY said...

A man named Finite awoke and found himself in a sinkhole full of quick sand. He was sinking very slowly and knew that he would meet certain death.

A man came along who had holes in his hands. The man threw Finite a rope and told him to grab it and he would pull him to safety.

Finite looked at the holes in the man's hands and said, “Your not real.” “It is not scientifically possible for a man to live who has holes in his hands.

The man with the holes in his hands looked at the guy a little puzzled and said, “You are in a sinkhole and about to die. Your response to my help is to say I’m not real?”

Finite said, “Well, I like how warm the sand is and I really don’t want to get out. Second, I know I am having an illusion because it is not possible for a man to have holes in his hands and still help me out.” Therefore, morally I like my plight and scientifically, you don’t exist being a mere projection of my mind.

The man with the holes in his hands said, “Listen, I was sent here by my father to help people out so please let me help you! I will take you to my father’s mansion where you can enjoy life for eternity. Obviously, death was not able to hold me in the grave because the holes in my hands are proof that I overcame death. I now have the power to save you so grab the rope!”

Finite put his fingers in the ears and said, “Now I know I am hearing things because there is no such thing as eternal life…Everyone dies so I am going to take my turn and just enjoy this warm sand until the end.”

The man with the holes in his hand said, “If you won’t grab the rope, then I won’t be able to help you…please, please take the rope and I can pull you out. Have faith my friend.”

A few moments later Finite sunk into the quick sand and out of sight. Finite was surprised that he did not die as expected. He just sat there surrounded by sand, unable to move, unable to breathe, unable to talk with his fingers in his ears. Finite tried to comfort himself by thinking, “I would rather stay here for eternity than believe that the man with the holes in His hand could help me. Faith in that mirage is irrational!!

So Finite sat in the quicksand for eternity. Day in and day out for eternity Finite was always thinking about the man with the holes in his hands. He would comfort himself thinking, “It was better to not have faith than to believe something that didn’t make sense.”

The man with the holes in His hands continued to call him for the rest of eternity; however, Finite could not hear his voice because he had plugged his ears.

The Lesson

If you are not with Christ, you will be thinking about Christ for eternity anyway... so have faith.