2012: The Year In Review

I can’t believe I started this blog back at the end of June 2011.  I thought I’d only started this year!  Time sure does fly, doesn’t it?  Maybe it only seems like I started this year because I had to step back and write every other week rather than every week.  I’m glad that I made that decision, although it seems like I’m still writing my entries the day they are “due.”  (No doubt a holdover from my school days when I procrastinated absolutely everything.  Even my senior paper I wrote the night before it was due.  But I got a “B” so I call that a win.)

I’ve covered a lot of territory this year.  In some ways, I wonder if I have anything else to say about writing.  Sometimes I look back and wonder, “Well…what else can I talk about?”  Sometimes I feel like I don’t really have the authority to talk about some subjects because I’m not good at them, have little experience with them, or simply because “I’m not published.”  But I’ve realized that being published doesn’t mean you have all the answers or know what you’re talking about.  I might not be published yet, not even by a vanity press, but at least I’m writing.  I really took to heart Chuck Wendig’s admonishment of “aspiring” writers:  “If you write: you are a writer. If you do not write: you are not.”  (Whether you write well is a whole different story.)

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A Writer’s Mantras

The first week of National Novel Writing Month was glorious.  I was consistently ahead of my daily word count, I had a routine that not only allowed me to write, but encouraged me to write.  It got me off to a good start so that when I flagged in the middle of the month, I could still grind through and reach a total 50,065 words.  I’m not entirely satisfied because a significant portion of my NaNo entry was fan fiction and various rants about life, but it achieved its purpose:  it established habit.

I have never felt quite as focused on writing as I have in that first week.  Writing became all-encompassing.  My world.  My life.  And while everything else crumbles around me or changes at lightning speed, I have created some rather intense writing mantras.  They may not be for everyone.  But these mantras are what give my life structure, my existence meaning, that keep me moving forward when all I want to do is break:



This is my life now.  There is nothing beyond this computer in this room.


The rest of my life is nonsense; writing is the only thing that matters.


THERE IS NO LIFE!  THERE IS ONLY WRITING!


This is the point.  This is it.  This is the reason I exist.


Write every day.


Everything else is my life is fluff.  It’s extra.  This, writing, every day, is what matters.  Not my day job, not socializing, not even my family.