Whether it was noticeable to you or not, I took 2013 off from writing and creative projects…almost completely. An entire year passed without me really focusing on anything in the creative realm. Sure, I’d participated in some local chapter meetings and open readings, attended the FWA conference, published a special edition version of The American Scream, and did some minor editing and a handful of blogs and tweets, but that was about it.
Entering 2013, I was burnt out. I’d taken on too much. Aside from my personal writing projects, I was involved in joint writing efforts, ghostwriting projects, pagination work, speaking engagements, and helped to run a writing/critique group. Not to mention all of the social networking, website updates, and communications to coincide with these projects. On top of that, I was very busy and stressed at my day job, often working extreme amounts of overtime. I had my share of those 70+ hour work weeks.
For 2013, I decided to back out of all writing projects, including my own. Sure, there were some hurt feelings here and there, but I knew it was the best thing to do for my well-being, as well as for my long-term writing plans.
2013 involved a lot of change for me. I had committed to a relationship, moved approximately 1,300 miles north, and invested in a whole new wardrobe (after 19 years in Florida, I was ill-prepared for a true northern winter experience.) It also involved some personal and emotional change, like maturity and growth. Forgiving and understanding.
Creativity wasn’t part of all that change…other than the lack of it. Yet I wasn’t upset or bothered by this realization. I kept telling myself, When I’m ready, I’ll start writing again. And despite what some may claim this lack of writing didn’t make me any less of a writer. It made me one who was out of practice and in need of a long break.
As 2014 approached, my creative desires began to return. I found new excitement for a couple of my unfinished/shelved works. A creative exuberance formed that I hadn’t felt in years. I began to formulate writing goals for 2014, which I’m going to share with you now. I plan to write for at least one hour every day, six days a week. And possibly more importantly, I plan to read some form of literature every day, whether it’s only for ten minutes or ten hours. The commitment to reading is something that I’ve gotten away from in recent years, and is a practice that I miss, especially since it’s always improved and/or supported my writing in one way or another.
I have some additional, more specific, writing goals as to which projects I’m going to work on and when I plan to complete them, but I’ll spare you those details for now. Whether you’re a writer or not, I hope you’ve set your own personal and professional goals for 2014. I wish you the best of luck in reaching them! Happy New Year!!