Here we are: the finale of 2012. Despite numerous prognostications and my own nerves, the world didn’t end. Just like when I turn to the last page of a journal, I love to look back and ask what the hell happened?
When I scroll back through the posts of this year, I discover an interesting inversion: though the year began with lonely weekdays and little connection to the outside world, you, dear reader, kept my spirits high. Then, as the year progressed and I began to write more (and sometimes for money!) I began blogging less.
The switch occurred for two major reasons. First, I learned that any work I posted on my blog could be considered “published” and therefore ineligible to submit to contests. Second, I began introducing myself as a Marketing Communications Consultant and actually won projects, which necessarily ate up quite a bit of my time. Rather than focus on creative work every day, I began writing and learning how to make money.
Another 2012 discovery came in the form of my preferred genre. When I undertook November 2011’s NaNoWriMo, I wrote about half of a fiction novel. As my sci-fi gears ground to halt, I revisited my MFA portfolio and realized my favorite pieces were true. I loved to write about real life and welcomed the challenge of elevating the authentic through art. Writing true stories, I discovered, also relieved my fear of the endless horizon. Real life offers a temporal beginning, middle and end, constraints that offer the structure I need. I took my first creative non-fiction class in the spring.
Since that first course I’ve taken two more class, several day seminars and read onstage (from memory!) twice. I’ve written short and lyrical essays, chapters of a startling long-winding work, and blog posts for artists across Charlottesville. Between growing groups of writer friends and discovering new literary mentors, I built a community to surround my effort with the love and attention my extroversion craves. I’m proud of my progress, such as it is, and feel ready to take great strides in 2013.
My only major resolution: finish 15 essays (or one very long piece) by June 30th.
While January 2012 saw me sitting lonesome in an armchair in my new living room, writing fiction and banging my head against an emotional wall, January 2013 looks completely different. I’ll be working full-time at my old scent company while my replacement enjoys her maternity leave. As I bounce back and forth from Virginia to New Jersey, and I’ll revisit a life I thought I’d left: corporate by day, writer by night (and early morning). I’ve got ten weeks of classes, a writer’s retreat, and a book of ten-minute prompts to get me moving. I’m really excited to go all-in, and I’m grateful that, as always, you’re here by my side.
I’d also love to hear your goals, to know the dreams and writerly passions you plan to fuel in 2013. How will you there? Any big dates in mind?