They say ‘start as you mean to go on’ – whoever the great ‘they’ are! As one of those glib homilies it’s actually not bad when you think about it. Preparation is often the key to success in so many things, so building a secure foundation to support yourself is a pretty fundamental requirement for achievement – however small or immense.
The New Year is a good time to take stock, reflect, digest, learn and shift up a gear. There are all sorts of reasons why time and space get swallowed up in our lives and it can sometimes be genuinely tough to re-claim what we need but staking that claim is vital. January is a good time for this with the added bonus of knowing there are thousands of people out there in the ether trying to do the same thing. You can feel it in the air and if you’re a tweeter, or facebook devotee, you’ll see it for yourselves: loads of people like you, trying to make a difference in their lives. The writers amongst us are a part of this, a whole worldwide community often so generous in their mutual support. The ‘good luck’s’, ‘well done’s’ and commiserations are so heartfelt, the ‘go for it’s’ so encouraging and coming from people who really understand because they’re doing it too. And there are many sites painstakingly set up to provide masses of information on every aspect of ‘getting there’ you can think of. It’s all out there, you just have to seek it out or ask someone how to!
Here are a few places you can start:
So where does this take you? To the land of no excuses? Perhaps, but I prefer to think of it as the route to opportunity, to new beginnings and that feeling of positive anticipation when you don’t know just where something may lead. The year to come is unwritten, a vastness full of possibilities. Who says you have to do everything the way you always have? Some things maybe, but move your axis a little to the left or right and a whole new vista could open up before you, one which provides that little bit of time and space.
So, if you didn’t manage to start, or finish, that novel make this the year that you do. If you didn’t enter any, or many, competitions go for them now. If you weren’t able to read the books that you wanted to, choose one and buy/borrow/download it today. Set yourself some goals: realistic ones that you feel are achievable and one or two that are right out of the ballpark – who knows what might happen. Don’t let that critic in your head tell you there’s no point, you’re not good enough, there are loads of other great writers out there. Somebody’s got to win those comps., get published, achieve great things, why shouldn’t it be you? Just make sure you get involved, look and see what you can do to move things along for yourself ... and remember ... you’re not alone ... I’ll be doing it too!!