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Kernels of Truth from 2010

December 30, 2010

Because I started this blog at the beginning of the year I felt beholden to offer up a post at the end.  It’s all the rage in the blogosphere this time of year but just because it’s fashionable doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.  It’s a good thing to look over the navigational charts and see where you started, what went right, and what went wrong.  What I learned this year though is that it’s more about how you represent your journey.

This blog was started near the end of 2009 but, as the year turned into 2010, I decided to “hire myself” as a writer.  I was hoping to kick things off forcefully and this blog was going to help.  I had some grandiose plans coming out of the gate of January 2010.    Yeah, that didn’t work out so well.  At the end of January, I lost one of my writing icons, Robert B. Parker.  That one stung and seemed to set the tone for the rest of the year.  Funerals, stress, finances, and an overall crazy life tossed me around.  As Life came rolling over me, I couldn’t seem to get the energy to write fiction.   I poked at it.  I played.  I DID do some writing and some of those pieces fit nicely under the category of “a pretty good start.”  However, I didn’t get anything done.  As far as this blog goes, counting this one, I’ve got 8 total posts over the course of the year and the first kick-off to an Allegory Harbor story.

Ouch.

I had high hopes for so much more.

As the end of the year wraps up, I’ve been thinking about all of it and my writing.  It’s hard not to look it over and call it a failure.  Some kernels of truth did come forward and they might just serve me well for many years to come.  If so, then it’s possible the stress of the year of 2010 was well worth it.

~~~

Number One –  I talked about this in my previous post in November.  It’s not about goals.  It’s about getting something, no matter how small, done on a daily basis.  Even if I take the time to scribble out 20 words on a scrap of paper, I’ve moved it forward.

Number Two –  It’s not really about the completion of goals as much it’s how much you learn from failing at them.  I started the year with bold, strong steps.  I put forth a forceful push and you can hear it in the tone of my writing.  “Fear was no longer an option and I realized that this was it.  It was fight or die.  Write or die.” I talked about going hard until my eyes crossed.  I might as well have added things like “I’m pushing forward until my fingers bleed” or, maybe, “I’m going to finish this story or pass out from exhaustion and hunger.”

Isn’t that what all “great” writers do?  Poundy, pound, pound!  Isn’t that what much of the writer’s advice says?  “Force your way through it!”  “Hammer it out!”  Maybe I’m not destined for greatness because looking back, it all comes off a little silly.   There’s something to be said for conviction of purpose.  Many a great deed has been accomplished by running till the wheels fall off.  It’s just that I think this year I went “more boldly” then necessary and what I found is that particular mode of thinking, right now, may not be the most healthy for me.

Number Three – This one might be more powerful than the previous two.  It’s also been a bit harder to wrap my head around.  It’s hard to write when you run around with the perception that your life is hectic/crazy/insane, that your world is falling down around you.  If you carry that perception you also carry with you the appropriate responses, some of which are not the best for a healthy, creative lifestyle.  Those responses have a way of wearing you down, tiring you out, so that when you DO actually get a chance to sit down and be creative, you’ve got nothing to give.  You’re tapped out.  In order to fix that you’ve got to go to the source, take a hard look at your deeper perceptions and, in turn, how you react to them.

Don’t misunderstand, sometimes life throws a lot at you at once.  It happens.  You’re forced to triage.   This year was definitely one of those for me and I never got the chance to recalibrate those reactions until much later in the year.  As things wrap up, it’s what I’m doing right now.

You live.  You learn.

~~~

What about the year ahead?  Do I have any plans?  Any goals?  I may be the only blogger this week that takes this particular stance for my end-of-year/ New Year post but for once I can say, with utmost confidence, “Goals?  Nah, not really.”

I know I want to post more here this year.  I’d like to get more than 8 posts, that’s for sure!  I want to add a bit more on shared storytelling and definitely offer up a web-based serial piece.  I’m not gonna put those down as goals though.  Consider them notes to myself that I may or may not look up at the end of 2010 when it’s time to do this all again.

This year I’m planning on just cruising around the Harbor and seeing what happens.

Which brings me to the bonus Kernel of Truth.

It’s about the journey, not the destination.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 30, 2010 11:48 pm

    Way to put the whole New Year’s resolution business into proper perspective! There have been times recently where I felt creatively drained and after reading your post I know why. I have been thinking that my life is currently crazy. I think it also serves as an excuse not to write. I will work on stopping those thoughts and fostering a more positive outlook on life. I’m sure that will help my creativity.

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