Hello, writers and bloggers. I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. I understand it can be stressful. As such, writing can be rather scarce. Because of this, I am posting my self assessment a little early. I mean, if TV can broadcast their “best of” lists a week or two before the year ends, why can’t I do the same?
2016. What’s the one word that can sum up my writing journey?
There was so much I wanted to do this year, but for whatever reason, I didn’t. I let some goals fall by the wayside. But if I was honest about who I was as a writer, I probably wouldn’t have tried. Two goals stick out from my list. One, start writing a novel. Two, write a short story series for my blog. These goals, I saw as a challenge to my passion for writing. To say I failed miserably is me being nice. I had these great ideas, but they were nothing more than ideas. There was nothing concrete to build upon. The short story idea was worse because I wrote a couple of stories. But they didn’t feel right. There was no sense of story; it felt more like info-dumping.
So, honestly, what did go right for me? One, I completed the A to Z Challenge for the second year in a row. I felt better prepared for it, even though coming up with topics was more of a challenge. And I posted some more stories. This is probably not something to toot my horn upon since readers don’t really respond to stories. Still, the fact I wrote more stories than last year must count for something. And speaking of stories, I came close to beating a goal during NaNo: to complete three short stories. I finished two. The third is still in progress. So, in that respect, I did well.
Throughout the year, in the quest to meet my goals, I had to sit myself down and think. Think about my reason for writing. Think about my purpose. And I had to be honest. Was it something to distract myself from what was really important? Was it something I could make a profit from? Could I devote the time and energy needed to make this more than just a hobby?
I’m sure these are questions every writer asks. I took some time off writing on a few occasions this year to ask those tough questions and really be honest with myself. From those sessions, I came to one conclusion. Writing is something I can’t imagine not doing. Even if I don’t do anything with my degree. Even if I don’t publish anything. Even if my audience is just me and some members of my family. Writing is in my blood. I love to tell stories and I want people to share in my experiences. Writing allows me to do so.
So, in being honest, I realized this year was more about revelation than accomplishment. Which is good because without it, I’d still be a bit delusional about who I am as a writer. This year, I learned some things about myself. I learned to be more patient. I learned I need balance with my writing and everything else. I learned more about writing with purpose. I learned a way to write without editing midway.
These may not be big revelations to others, but it means a lot to me. In the midst of it all, I learned to be honest with myself as a writer. That is what matters above all else.