I’m not apologizing. Just stating a fact. Here it goes:
I realized that I needed something more in my life shortly after my 32nd birthday. Don’t get me wrong, I had a pretty good life. I had a cute little house, a job that I didn’t hate most of the time and a wonderful fiancé (the BEST!) I had hobbies that kept me busy, reading and gardening. Even with those things, I needed something else to challenge me besides planning a wedding which would be over in a few short months anyway. I need something creative to fill the void.
My mind kept coming back to what I used to love doing more than anything else – writing. When most teenagers were out having fun and causing trouble, I was at home reading or in front of my Brother word processor, my most prized possession after my romance novel collection. During the weekends and breaks from school, I stayed up late into the night and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning typing away. (I was the only person I knew my freshman year of college that could type 90 words a minute.) During those late hours I wrote about love, mystery, murder, places I had never been to and probably never would. I wrote thousands upon thousands of words. I was a writer.
Somewhere in my twenties, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment though I’ve tried, I gave up on writing. Maybe it was because I was sure all my writing was utter crap or maybe I was tired of schlepping old manuscripts from apartment to apartment, but one day I just threw it all away, all of those old printed sheets of paper, all of those crumpled legal pads full of scribbles. I would give almost anything to have those back again. Not because it was really great writing. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was awful writing, but it represented who I used to be and who I could be again if I dared.
Sure, I resurrected the old writing bug every now and again and bought a few books on the craft. I even managed to jot down a page or two, but as quickly as the bug came, it left, and I moved on from that dream again.
So in May of 2010 (yes, I’m 33 and a Taurus) I had an inkling of an idea for a novel and some determination that I would write this time. Even if I just wrote for me. I had thrown that part of myself away before. Never again.
I decided to put my writing project off until after the wedding. I knew I was going to write about Faeries so I bought all of the books I could on the subject. I discovered Katharine Briggs and Brian Froud and Peter Dubois. I devised a plan. 2011 was going to be the year. I was excited as I was terrified.
Now as we arrive at 2012, I have to say I’ve come a long way.
Last night I finished the first draft of a short story (15,000 words) that I started over the summer. I know that’s not much, but I finished a draft of something. I haven’t done that since I was 18 years old.
I’ve written over 150,000 words in 2011 between blog posts, my NaNo project and a few failed drafts. For someone like me, that’s a lot of freaking words. They may not be the right words or in the right order, but they are my words.
I’ve learned a lot about the craft of writing this year. Some of it has come through trial and error, some had come from my friend, Nina Alvarez, and some has come from the great writing blogs I read weekly. Thank you Roni Loren, Janice Hardy, Jody Hedlund, Jami Gold, Chuck Wendig and many others.
I started my own blog which I vowed I would never do. I always assumed blogging played into society’s narcissistic tendencies. Maybe it does, but I love writing Pixies Don’t Have Wings. Thank you to all of you that take the time to read my posts and follow my blog. I appreciate each and every one of you.
My husband and I both participated in NaNoWriMo. We were both winners though we are still working on our manuscripts. 50,000 words do not make a novel, but it’s a damn good start.
Last night I asked my husband what his New Year’s resolution was. He told me he was going to make better use of his time. It was a brilliantly simple resolution that carried a great deal of power. I decided I was going to steal his idea.
My name is Buffy and I’m a New Year’s resolution thief.
So was does “Make better use of my time” mean to me?
· It means that must put aside time every day to write. I have time to sit down on the couch and watch a mindless hour of Storage Wars. I don’t even like the show. I can make time to do something I love.
· It means that I take the time to make myself healthy meals instead of eating out or ordering take out. Cooking isn’t hard and I’m good at it. I have no excuses.
· It means doing something physical three times a week. I leave four doors down from a freaking park. Enough said.
· It means spending quality time with my husband. He’s the love of my life. It’s the least thing I can do to show him that I appreciate him every day.
Specifically, my writing goals are as follows:
· Finish revising and editing The Dark King’s Lover, a short of approximately 15,000 words. I will try to find a place to publish it.
· Finish the first draft of my NaNo book, Enlightened. If I think it has enough potential, I’m going to revise and edit. Maybe there is a publisher out there for this work. If not, it was a great learning experience and I can always release it as a serial on my blog.
· Finish the first draft of Darkness Peering, the first in the trilogy I have been dreaming of since May of 2010. I will tell Greer’s story if it kills me.
· Continue with Faerie Fridays and add more quality posts to my blog. I have a lot say about faeries. Well, I do!
What did you learn from 2011 about yourself? What are your goals in 2012?