Last Friday was our Life List Club New Year’s Milestone Celebration. If you haven’t already done so, please check out my reflections on 2011. Today, I’m diving into part 2 of that list of questions – a look at the year ahead. While my 2012 resolutions are basically to keep on keepin’ on with the Life List goals I set for myself back in July, these questions are a great way to reflect on a bigger-picture. They’re sort of an overall outlook on happiness in the coming year.
What do you look forward to learning?
– The ins and outs of self-publishing
– Continuing to explore and gather information on writing markets and ways to earn a living as a writer
– Continuing to stretch my wings as a writer and explore new genres, formats and ideas
– What it feels like to finish a novel
What undeveloped talent are you willing to explore?
Many aspects of entrepreneurship. For me, this involves learning the best ways to go about self-publishing my first novel. If I stay on target, a first draft will be finished by mid-summer. That doesn’t mean it will be ready for publication – there will need to be an incubation period and lots of editing, not to mention cover design. But I have so much to learn about publishing and marketing my book that it is definitely time to start thinking through my options.
In addition, Lee and I have decided to take his new interest in small woodworking crafts and learn how to turn it into a profitable venture to complement his landscaping and lawn service work.
How will you experience more joy?
I will stick with my gym regimen to make my mind and body feel good. I will look at the projects I’ve mentioned above as adventures and an opportunity to share a learning experience with others. I will do something loving and laugh at something funny each day. I will try to see the humor in obstacles and challenges and turn them into something fun to write about rather than frustrations to stew in.
What loving service will you perform?
Believing in and encouraging Lee’s ventures in the same way others have believed in and encouraged my writing goals. Approaching my day job as an opportunity to be a mentor and support system to others rather than seeing it as a necessary evil. Making more time to be with loved ones – especially my grandparents.
What risks are you planning to take?
Investing my most precious resource – time – in the ventures outlined above.
Also, taking what for me is a hard leap of faith and investing some financial resources in my goals. I am purchasing a laptop to add mobility and flexibility to my writer’s arsenal, so that I am not confined to the PC in my living room when I want to pursue my goals. I am also investing in converting my spare room into a writer’s nook so that I have a pleasant, inspiring and most of all private place to work.
These may not sound like risks to you. But to me, taking the leap of faith required to invest my entire teeny-weeny financial safety net in creating a better environment for myself as a writer is huge. It means I believe I will make the money back with my writing success, and that if something happens in the meantime that requires emergency funds that I know I am resourceful and inventive enough to figure out alternatives.
How will you encourage others?
Primarily, I hope I do so by example. I will share my challenges and successes here in hopes that they will provide inspiration, hope and lessons learned to other writers and entrepreneurs. I will seek out opportunities to notice and recognize others who are pursuing their own dreams. I will remember that my mood and my outlook impact not only me, but everyone who crosses my path, and act accordingly.
What about you? What will you learn and what talents will you explore in 2012? What risks will you take? Where will you find your joy?
A few blog housekeeping tidbits:
— I will announce the two winners for my Life List Club Milestone Giveaways on Friday, January 6th. If you haven’t already done so, you’ve still got time to hop on over to the post and leave a comment to to be eligible to win!
– For the next few months at least, I’m slightly trimming back my posting schedule. I will continue to post every Tuesday, and of course on Life List Club Fridays. If I have annoucements that just can’t wait (like this Friday’s winner annoucement!), I may still post on non-Life-List Fridays too. But I’m reserving the right to take those Fridays off to get more focused on my fiction and other writing ventures. For now, Tuesdays posts will be a grab bag, since I’ve got so many ideas that have been brewing during the last few months of theme posts.
– I have made some revisions to my Life List Club goals. The biggest of those changes is that I am adopting an approach shared by fellow writer and LLCer Gary Gauthier. I have tended to only sit down to write when I have time to bang out a “big” word count for the day. Gary’s 500-words-a-day approach seems like something that will mesh much better with my other goals and obligations, at least during the work week. I am looking forward to seeing how this works for me!
Happy New Year, friends. Let’s melt the ice that usually covers good old January and kick off a great year!