Well, 2019 is ending and leading us into 2020 are people all over the world making those small wishes and wants that chase us through the year, into what we like to call: New Year Resolutions. How many of us actually follow through on these resolutions I wonder? Get fitter? Save money? Start a hobby? See more friends? Aim for that promotion? So many resolutions.
This year, I found that I am more determined and motivated than I ever have been; I don’t know why I suddenly have this fire in my belly but I do and I hope I never lose it. So often before I have been hit by these waves of action, to only follow through for a short while before, inevitably, stumbling and finding ‘excuses’ to stop trying. That’s not to say I don’t work hard - because I do - but I definitely don’t chase my dreams the way I should, the way I want my son to. Maybe that’s why I suddenly feel different. Firstly, I think many wish for this, I want to be fitter and healthier so I can spend more time doing family things. In addition to this, for me personally, I want to wake up every day doing what I love the most: writing. I want to be excited the moment I wake knowing that I get to bring to life the ideas that bounce around my head all night. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my job as a primary teacher, and you just cannot do that job without the love there for it, but I also find a quiet sort of comfort and an insatiable hunger for writing so why can’t I do both? The only thing that brings me greater joy than either of those is my son.
So this year is the year of dreams. Or at least the beginning. I am going to have to work harder, faster, better. I no longer want this to be ‘just a hobby’; there is passion there that I should be proud of! I should want to shout it from the rooftops that: I AM AN AUTHOR. But doubt always creeps in and I think it is this doubt that causes anxiety and produces those excuses as to why I ‘can’t find the time’. Well it’s about time I made the time! It is going to be a long, hard road to finish Aphora and get the next trilogy out (currently in the planning process after having learnt lessons with lack of planning!). Then even after this, I will have a battle to keep up the stamina required to ensure I can continue to pursue and achieve my dream. We are talking YEARS down the line. That used to be something I would balk at, perhaps even stop altogether because ‘what’s the point?’. However, if I think that in those ‘years’ time, my son will be old enough to start asking questions about what I do, noticing what I am doing and if I am happy doing it. If I think like this then that gives me even more desire to keep at it. When it’s tiring, when it’s late or early, when I hole up in my study, when I can’t remember how many hours I’ve spent researching SEO’s or whatever they’re called and I still don’t understand, when I have to be technical and learn how to make my work visible to readers, when I just can’t catch a breath because I’m trying to work and raise my son and keep the household going - this is when I need to remember the bigger picture.
So how am I going to remember the bigger picture I hear you ask? (And if you didn’t actually ask, just pretend for me!) I am going to write down a couple of phrases, things I need to tell myself and see all the time, and frame them above my writing station so on those long, hard days, I can see what I’m aiming for. I’ll also need the help of my husband, who I am so lucky to have behind me, and likewise some friends who end up being part of the beta reader squad - their support on that is invaluable. I used to be somewhat shy - perhaps you could say embarrassed - about my writing, it is, after all, quite personal as it’s an extension of you, but I need to own this.
Here is my wish, my resolution, my promise for 2020: I WILL have four books written by the end of the year. I WILL have started to master the ability to utilise SEO’s and other marketing tools. I WILL be more vocal and active on social media. Why? Because I am my own best advocate. If I don’t first believe in me, who else can I expect to?
One of my extra promises to myself is to post on my blog once a month, more if I can manage. It’s a place for me to extend a side of myself to the public, in what feels like a safe way. I get to share news and also practise those all-important writing skills. I’m not the best (and what defines ‘best’ anyway?) but I will become my best. It won’t happen overnight though so be prepared for some dodgy writing, questionable grammar and downright horrendous social media activity but hey - it’s about the journey and I hope to see you on it with me.
Finally, that brings me to my conclusion where I wish you all your own successes in the New Year! What resolutions and promises are you going to make?
P.S. Full transparency: I spelt grammar wrong when I first typed this out - oh the irony!