Plan Happiness

As I’m looking back at many of the posts I write, I notice that first, this blog is older than I remember. 😉 And second, that I write a lot about overcoming frustration, remembering our successes, and moving forward even when we get discouraged.

Because here’s the thing: I get discouraged, too.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My first stories were kind of romances since I wrote about people meeting and “loving” each other (I didn’t know how to spell the word “like” and getting everything corrected by the teacher annoyed and slowed me down, so I stuck with words I knew.) I have written ten complete novels, with four or five more abandoned early on (though I do have plans to go back to them – really!) And when I tell someone I’m the writer, the first thing they ask is: are you published?

I know at this point hitting them over the head or screaming is not an acceptable response. After all, I am trying to set a better example for my daughters (I try, anyway.) I want to grind my teeth. Perhaps a bit of gnashing. But instead, I usually smile politely, and say “No, not yet.” I may even try to enlighten them a bit as to how our industry works, ie: while there is the option of self-publishing, it isn’t the path I wish to take just now, and it can take a long time to become traditionally published, etc, etc.

But you know what? Especially at the end of the year, when I have to look back at what I’ve accomplished, the “still not published” rankles. In fact, if I let it, it can blot out all the other wonderful, great things that HAVE happened that year. It can blot out the fact that while I may not be where I want to be yet in my career (and to be honest, I suspect no matter where I am, I’ll probably always keep wanting to reach for whatever the “next step” is), I am moving forward. I am always becoming a better writer. I have met some of the most wonderful writers, and consider some of them my friends, for which I am incredibly fortunate.

And so this year, I decided to do things differently. This is my jar of “Good Things” for 2016, and on into the foreseeable future. I am far from the only person doing this, nor is it originally my idea, but it’s one I liked. I made this jar and placed it prominently on my mantle where I can see it everyday. And I chose the saying “Remember…Life is Good” to remind myself of that, especially on the days I have my doubts. 😉

As you can see, there are already some pieces of paper in there. And so this coming New Year’s Eve, as I look back on 2016, I plan to read these pieces of paper with my family so we can remember all the wonderful things we enjoyed, instead of bemoaning anything at all.

It’s only January, almost into February. I can hardly wait to see what this year brings, and this time, to remember the great things.

What about you? Are you planning on happiness?

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a great week, and happy writing!

Confession Time…

So here’s the thing …

I like setting goals.

I like new starts (mostly.)

I love seeing the end of December (because honestly, after you’ve survived it–as wonderful as much of it is–nothing is better than seeing it done.)

I do NOT like January.

There. I’ve said it. I’ve put it out there. January and I are in a rocky relationship, and frankly, we’re both pretty glad there are only two weeks remaining that we’re stuck together.

I’ve tried to sidle up and make friends with January. In fact, I used to get all wound up and excited about the freshness of a new year, the blank slate, etc, etc. But since I’ve had kids (which has coincidentally coincided with changes / progress in my career), maybe December has gotten so nuts that I’m too tired to enjoy January. In fact, I don’t quite reconcile to the whole new year until around late February or so, perhaps around about the time I have the energy to do so again. 😉

And I’ve decided … I’m okay with that. Mostly. Kind of. Would I rather start the year with a burst of creative energy and let the happy bubble of writing and imagination-mojo carry me through one of the darkest months of the year? You bet! But, since it’s not happening this year at the very least, perhaps I should try and accept it and move forward anyway. Maybe January and I can be friends next year.

What about you? Do you start January with a battle-cry and burst of renewed energy? Is it one of your favorite months, or not? Love to hear from you. 🙂

But, since I’m trying to follow through on the whole “actually working” part, I need to run and put some words on the page. Hope you’re doing the same. 🙂 Thanks for reading, happy writing out there, and see you next week.

Hello 2016!

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016!!

First up: apologies that it’s been ages since I last posted (just before or after the RWA National Conference in July, I think.) Anyway, life kind of intervened. I now have a second kidlet, an almost finished basement, and a new book / series.

For now, I’m working on a brand new series that I’m really excited about. No, I’m not yet published (I wouldn’t have hidden that lead all the way down here), but I continue to write, submit, and move forward, even if sometimes it feels like I’m inching my way forward.

So, with a new year, have you looked back at the year-that-was and remembered all the great things you accomplished?

Or (like me) did December 31 roll around, and you weren’t quite as happy-dancy about the year that was?

I’ve posted before about how it’s important to focus on all that we have accomplished and not forget that when we look back and reflect on some of the goals we wish we’d reached, but which remained just out of reach. And this year, to remind myself to do just that, I’ve decided to try something different: based on an idea I saw on Facebook, I’m starting a “Happy Days” jar.

It’s a big mason jar (as I anticipate a great year), and everything somethings good happens to myself or my family members, I want us to write it on a piece of paper and slip it into the jar. Then, come December 31 or January 1, we can read all those pieces of paper and remember all the great things we enjoyed in the past year (and hopefully drown out the sound of the voice insisting there was lots we could have done – that voice is ALWAYS annoyingly loud.)

Also a la social media, I’ve seen the idea of deciding on a guiding word for the year ahead. I’ve heard about it before, and despite my resistance, this year I kind of have one: Courage.

What about you? Do you assign a word to the year? How are you going to change something for the year ahead?

So, as I sign off on this post, I wish you all a courageous, terrific year – and hope to see much more of you as I’m going to try and resume weekly posts. Happy 2016, remember all that you accomplished in 2015, and here’s to a great year! Happy writing out there. 🙂