I like the new year. People complain about broken resolutions, but I actually like having an excuse to make them: promises, plans, fresh starts.
Two years ago, my resolution (as had been in previous years…) was to ‘Write More’. The thing that was different that year though was that I actually held myself to it. And not just writing more – submitting my work to be read by others, too. It was probably my most successful resolution, lasting throughout the whole of that year, and by the end of it, I had my first writing published.
Last year, my resolution was to continue with my writing, aiming to get paid work published (as anyone who writes will know, this is a LOT harder than it sounds). But again, I stuck with it, and was lucky enough to get paid for a few pieces, and landed a paid editorial role with Great Jones Street app.
2017 was a difficult year for the world, it seems. Personally, my writing and publishing credits continued to grow, but sadly, the wonderful community at GJS closed their doors at the end of December. It was a blow – to lose a regular income from a writing gig is always hard.
Sometimes, it can take a while to drag ourselves back to the writing page, or the computer screen, with its often seemingly mocking, blinking cursor. I’m no different, and as I begin to sit back at my desk this week, I’m contemplating what this years resolutions – or plans – will be.
Vichara – the practice of self-inquiry – is something I picked up through my adventures in Yoga. I often turn to my Yoga practise when my writing practise is going hard. Like any form of exercise or concentration, it helps to free up the brain cells in a way that sitting at a desk never will.
The premise of Vichara is to ask yourself: “Does the quality of my life currently reflect my fullest potential?” Considering my writing practise, this can be translated as “Does the quality of my writing currently reflect my fullest potential?” Regular writers will know what I mean when I say that sometimes, not often, but occasionally, I’ve sent out work that I think is ‘good enough’. I’ve also sent out work that I’ve written simply because it fits a requirement from a website or magazine.
But it never feels fulfilling to me to write that way. If writing is my creative outlet, and I earn money through various other means, then shouldn’t I commit to writing the work I want to produce? Taking my time over the stuff that makes me proudest?
I’ve decided ‘Yes’, it does. I’m going back to the blank page with a fresh work ethic. I’ve already achieved more than I ever thought I would through my writing, and had a great experience working with GJS. I think it’s time to get back to that self-inquiry that first led me to writing.
If you need me, I’ll be scribbling in a corner somewhere…