2011 has been another year of change for me, but it’s ending on a high note. I’m enjoying working at Sylvan Learning Centre – I like the fact that I’m doing a variety of jobs there, not only tutoring, and I like my co-workers. On the writing front, the rough draft of Deliverance – Carl O’Neill’s story – is half-finished, and it seems that sales for Shattered are starting to nudge upward. I’m going into the new year feeling encouraged about writing and life in general.
My watchword for 2011 was gratitude, and the year certainly brought me a lot to be grateful for. All of my nearest and dearest have been well, I’ve been given so much support for my writing from so many quarters, and I produced another book, which is getting very gratifying feedback. Now I need a new word for 2012, and it’s going to be DISCIPLINE.
Let’s face it, writing is hard. There are days when it’s a joy, when the words flow so easily I can put a thousand or two on the page without even trying, but those days are rare compared to the ones when perspiration has to take the place of inspiration. Distractions are always present, and by nature I’m easily distracted, but 2011 was a year of growth for me as a writer and now I have to build on that.
This time last year, McShannon’s Heart had just been released. A second novel is always a milestone. It’s easy to feel that the first book was a fluke, that it doesn’t mean you’re really an author. A year later, I’ve been through the self-publishing process with my third novel, learned about formatting and tax forms, what’s worth doing myself and what it makes sense to pay others to do, and, though I will never be a marketing whiz – it just isn’t in my nature – I’ve learned a lot about promotion, too. I feel like a different writer than I was this time last year, but Rule 1 of the writing life still applies – you have to put your butt in the chair and write!
I haven’t touched Deliverance over the holidays. I think I truly needed a break, but now it’s time to hunker down and get this baby written over the next month, so I can move on to editing. I also need to find a new exercise/diet routine, as my Curves attendance has gone out the window due to my topsy-turvy work schedule. For me exercise requires a set schedule, and that’s something I haven’t had for three years. Every time I think I’m settled, I change hours or jobs and find myself back at square one. I think I might try some kind of home exercise program, a video or something I can do more easily on my own time. As for diet, I know what I have to do – I am a carb addict and I have to get off them. Again.
DISCIPLINE. Not my favourite word, but a very necessary one.