In the spirit of starting off a new year and a new blog, I've been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish in 2013. Aside from launching this blog, my main goals are to query my current book-in-progress for literary representation and to write a first draft of something new. I managed both of those things in 2012 (querying my first novel, which I've currently put aside to rethink in the future, and writing and revising a second novel), so I'm pretty confident that I can do both again. Go me! The problem is, as much as I love writing itself, I'm a very end goal-oriented person. In 2012, my ultimate goal was to get a literary agent. I... didn't accomplish that. And despite everything I have accomplished with my writing, I sometimes fall into the rut of beating myself up over not having "gotten there" yet.
That's why my word of 2013 is:
I do think of myself as a patient person... when it comes to other people. Not so much when I'm looking at myself, my work, my own progress. I work hard, and I get discouraged when I don't see results as quickly as I'd like to. Especially by the end of 2012, more than two years and three full novel revisions post-grad school, I was struggling to stay patient with myself and with the fact that sometimes, getting published just takes time. More time than you want it to. It's just how it is.
(For the record, this doesn't just pertain to writing. Another of last year's resolutions was to master a handstand. A full year of solid yoga practice later, I'm significantly stronger, but still can't consistently kick up to handstand. This bugs me, but it isn't going to stop me from working at it.)
So, this year I really want to strive to be patient with myself and with the fact that my publishing journey will take exactly how long it is meant to take, and not a second less. I will try not to compare myself to other people who've gotten agents and book deals more quickly, who are "ahead" of me in what really isn't a race, even though it sometimes feels like it. I will try to stay present in the moment, to love what I'm doing right now, and to celebrate small milestones.
Do you have a word that's driving you in 2013? (I know at least some of you do; I got the idea from my friend Ghenet Myrthil's excellent blog, which you should all read.) Share it in the comments—I look forward to the inspiration!