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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out With The Old. In With The New.

2013 Was A








Well... It was a year.


My Muse looked like this for most of 2013:

I spent a lot of 2013 trying to figure out just what was wrong with her anyway.  She is so moody.  She's flighty.  She's unreliable.  She's wishy-washy in ways that make good ol' Charlie Brown seem quite strong and stable by comparison.   I mean, I don't call her Sybil for the fun of it.  I never know what mood she'll be in-- not that it matters, since her moods change so fast it makes my head spin.  I also never know which of her personalities might show up... if she bothers to show up at all.

At one point, in early July, I decided she was simply in it to watch me suffer.  I spent a lot of time in August wondering if she'd ever return.  By October, I'd given up on ever seeing her again.

Then, in November, I did something I've never done before.  I entered my very first NaNoWriMo.  And my Muse waltzed right back in, took a seat on my shoulder, and smiled as if I were her very best friend.  And I wrote an entire book that month.  We were thick as thieves, my Muse and I.  We had a date-night every night.  We shared hot tea, chocolate, and ideas.  We laughed, we cried, and we wrote late into the night... every night.  We had a very good month.  Then it ended.

December rolled around.

I decided to take the month off from writing.  After all, I had just finished a book!  I had earned a break.  I spent the first part of the month focusing on my classwork.  I spent the middle part of the month wondering why I had gone back to college.  I spent the last half of the month preparing for, and then enjoying the holidays.  I enjoyed my winter break.  I didn't think twice about Sybil.  I forgot that Sybil needs to be fed.  Sybil needs to be desired.  Sybil needs to be heard.  Not just when I feel like listening, but every single moment.  I've become quite good at ignoring her.  Putting her on the back-burner with so many other things that I find too needy in my too busy schedule.

I've spent most of my winter break reading.  This was a wonderful thing.  This is a thing I haven't made a lot of time for outside of school.  I have read over 100 books this year, but admittedly many were about writing, or required reading for school, or books about autism.  I have read some great fiction, but only recently.  And that, is what convinced Sybil to return.  I was feeding her her favorite meal... well-written fiction.

It hit me this afternoon.

My muse doesn't have a problem.  I do.

Let's face it, I've not been a very good best-friend to her this year.  I've been distracted by everything from school to sickness to my attempts to save the world, and then instead of embracing her, I wallowed in the ensuing frustration and depression when I realized I cannot save the world.  I forgot that one of my favorite ways to "save the world" is to create one worth saving... in my stories.

I can't save the world.  What I can do is make a difference.  One of the ways I've chosen to do that, is through my writing.  So, when I ignore that calling, when I refuse the opportunity, who can I blame for not making a difference?-- for not living my dreams?  Myself.

I've decided that 2014 will be a year of change.  I'm not getting any younger.  The world isn't slowing down to accommodate me.  All those things I want to do?  They won't wait on me to do them anymore than Sybil will wait on my fickle friendship.

I know that many people make New Year's Resolutions, and I've made a few myself.  I'm not big on them though, since I never seem to stick to them.  Moment of truth here... I'm not the most consistent sort.  You might have noticed that when you realized this is the first post in almost six months.

I'm determined, but I'm not consistent.  I'm a free spirit who is easily distracted.  It's something I must work on.  *Adds that to the list*

Instead of resolutions, I'll be making changes.

What's the difference?  Well, a resolution is something you tell yourself you will do.  A change requires action.  You don't just say it, you do it.  At least, that is the way I look at it.  It's easy for me to tell myself I'll do this, or that.  It's much harder, and requires more focus to actually take action and make the changes I want to see in my life, and in myself.

So, I won't resolve to do things.  I will instead act to change things.

Some of those changes you'll see happening here live and in color.  Some will be of a more personal nature, and I've not yet decided if I'll be blogging about those or not.  I have a blog set up, and on hold, just in case I decide to share that part of my life.  I'll be deciding on that, and other things, in the next week or so.

I'm rather excited about the changes.  I used to be afraid of change.  Now, I'm more afraid of stagnation.  Change is good.

I've already started changing things in my house.  For one thing, the main living areas are all clean and organized now (gasp) and this looks like an actual home instead of a ransacked storage facility.  This one change, has made a big difference in my life already.  I'm more at ease in my clean surroundings.  I don't feel as chaotic, now that there is much less chaos around me.

Another change includes my plan to implement something that terrifies me... a schedule.  I know, I know, I've said that before.  I've created many a schedule, only to abandon it.  Okay, so maybe it was more like burning it and then running away screaming.  But, I am going to try again.  This time with a much more do-able schedule.  Baby steps.  Small changes.  I can add to it as I go.  I'm including some fun things, and some free time, because I know myself too well.  Without a bit of freedom my free-spirited side will grab a box of matches.  A schedule is a change that is a must.  It is something I try to implement each year.  It is something I must learn to accept, embrace, and love.  I know as scary as it is, I'll be better for it in the end.  They say it takes 21 days to create or break a habit.  I'm going to shoot for one month of "scheduled life"... and re-evaluate the situation in February.  It's much less frightening this way.  Envisioning a full year of structure is something my inner rebel just won't allow.

One of the main reasons I want this new schedule in place is so that I can schedule in writing time and stick to it.  I'm talking written in stone, nonnegotiable, every-single-day writing time.  Writing as a hobby means you do it when the mood strikes you, or when time allows.  I'm about so much more than a hobby.  I write because that is who I am-- who I want to be.  I'm a writer.  It is my job.  It is my chosen career.

The problem is, that I've been approaching it as a hobby, and not a job.  "Job" has that negative connotation that I didn't want to bring into my magical writing realm.  The truth is, you don't have to hate your job.  It's not a requirement.  You can love your job.  It's okay.  Some of us, those few of us that love our jobs, we're the lucky ones.  We shouldn't let the guilt of truly enjoying our jobs keep us from doing them well.  One way I'm re-learning to approach writing as a job is by implementing this daily schedule, and another way is to take on small writing jobs with deadlines and pay checks.

2014 is the year that I focus on WRITING.  I won't ignore the other priorities in my life, but I will no longer push writing to the side as something less important.  My writing dream is important.  It's just as important as being a home-maker, a wife, a mother, a student, a teacher.  It means that much to me, and it's high time I begin to act like it.  So here's to a year of FOCUSING ON MY WRITING.  I'm ready.  Are you?

I hope you will look forward to seeing the changes around here... and I hope you'll come back to see them!

What will you be making in 2014?  

Are you going to resolve to do something?  What?

Do you plan to take action to transform yourself, your life?

Let me know below.