Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Road Ahead

Is it weird to say I'm jealous of myself?

Let me qualify, then. I'm jealous of where I seemed to be a year ago. I logged on to This Writing Business to find a photo I'd posted a while back (which isn't the photo I needed -- go figure) and began reading some old posts.

I miss blogging. I miss writing fiction regularly. Don't get me wrong -- I'm still working on my fiction, but I've been far more focused on revising and learning this year than I have on creating new work. I've come a long way in 2011, but I haven't documented the journey very well. And if I'm super honest with myself, it's because I haven't had my priorities quite as straight this year as I seemed to in 2010.

For the past several months, I've been taking part in a fiction workshop at a local university. It's been fantastic, phenomenal, amazing, eye-opening. The facilitator is a longtime writer, professor and author of 11 published (and several unpublished) novels and 50-plus short stories. This workshop has played a crucial role in the progress I've made this year, which comes down more to increased confidence in myself as a writer than it does to word counts or queries. Not that I believe my writing is any better than I might have believed it was last year -- just that I believe that I should be doing this. I am a writer, really. I struggled with that entire concept in 2010.

Now I need to put two and two together. Actually, I need to put 2010 and 2011 together -- I need to take the confidence I've gained about what I want to do with my life and make more time to actually do it, document it and more forward with it. 2010 + 2011 = 2012. And that's my goal for the coming year: Write more, blog more, send queries, work on moving forward.

My professor has this thing he says about how we writers don't need to think of what we're doing as an indulgence -- the indulgences are the things we give up to be able to do it. I'm a writer, and I need to write. It's what I want to do most of all, anyway.