Here I blog about writing, editing, reading, books, submissions, freelancing, getting published (and rejected), journalism, revisions, life after the MFA, teaching writing, and living the writer's life. Welcome. BUT -- if you are a writer: Write first, read blogs second.




Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Beginning to Look Like *I Did It* Time


It's mid-December, almost time for me to begin thinking about The I Did It List – my small act of defiance against all the emotionally upsetting lists we humans tend to mentally make as the year draws to a close: the one that ticks off the things we failed to do all year.  We didn't lose weight, clear out the basement, organize the photos, cook better meals, take that trip, call that old friend.

As writers we do our own version of the miss list – we take ourselves to task about the books or chapters or essays not completed, the conference not attended, the acceptances not received, the work not submitted, the agent not contacted, the class not taken, the revision left undone. We tend to see our writing year as a finite lot of things not yet achieved instead of a valuable step along an infinitely curvy road.

Give yourself a break. Please.

Write your own writer's version of The I Did It List.  

Make it a good one.  Please. Write down everything that's happened in your writing life in 2012 that's been good, maybe even great.  At least positive. Little steps accomplished. Medium goals reached. Medium ones broached.

What did you do that moved your writing life ahead?  What did you get done? Who did you help with their writing goals?  Were you published someplace that meant something to you? Did you begin a project?  Finish something, anything?  Did someone you respect say something encouraging to you about your work?  Were you invited to participate in a writing project you are pleased to be involved in?  Did you finally "get" some aspect of writing craft you'd been stymied on before?  Did you write more regularly? With more conviction?  Did you?

In my own I Did It List, I include all the small and the big things. Why not? The tangible and the intangible. The noteworthy and public, the private. Not only does everything add up, it's all part of the whole. Without a lot of small "I did it's" the larger ones can't have transpired. That's how I choose to see it.

I know you did something, many things good for your writing life in 2012. You know you did too. Write it down.

That's the challenge.  Some time between now and December 31, write your own "I Did It List" all about your writing year.  

You can even get started now, and share one "I Did It" in comments.


9 comments:

Kizzy said...

I really like this idea. Making a list helps me to see that actually have made progress.

Amy Morgan said...

Thanks for the "feel good" end of year suggestion Lisa. I'll definitely be doing this and then starting the New Year with Boot camp! A good combination for sure.

Steph Auteri said...

I like this. 2012 felt like one big, fat failure but, when I brainstorm items for an I Did It list, there are definitely some highlights:

1. I landed a lit agent.

2. I received positive feedback from publishers, who expressed an interest in working with me someday.

3. I was a panelist at the ASJA conference.

4. I was accepted into ASJA.

5. I finally landed a project from a client I've been wanting to work with for years.

6. I did a fun piece on local bookstores for Inside Jersey magazine.

I could probably come up with more if I really wracked my brain...

justinemanzano said...

1) I completed NaNoWriMo.

2) I lost 50 lbs.

3) I started submitting short stories to lit mags.

4) I started my new blog.

5) I received encouragement from one of my favorite bloggers. ;)

This is really a great activity! I feel better about my year already!

Our Stories God's Glory said...

Oh thank you for this Lisa! I used to be a childbirth educator and this was my advice to new moms who I knew were in for more busyness than they could ever imagine. How much time could a little baby take? So I encouraged them to write instead of a To Do list a Got Done list at the end of the day.
It is so easy to see what I haven't done with my writing. I like keeping an account of what I have done much better.
I Did It!
1. I started a new contributor/community website www.CirclesOfFaith.org.
2. I had my article College Essay Excellence published.
3. I did more college essay coaching than ever before.
4. I held College Essay Excellence workshops.
5. I blogged more regularly than ever before at www.OurStoriesGodsGlory.blogspot.com.
6. I had to let go of a ghostwriting memoir project...and that turned out to be okay!!
7. I went to my second Writers Conference.

And there's probably more. But this was a great exercise. Thanks for the opportunity.

Lisa Romeo said...

Such wonderful lists to see here! Thanks - and kudos!

fullsoulahead.com said...

I started an awesome writers group. It is really clicking.

I made contact with an agent that is interested in looking at the project I am currently working on.

I blogged my heart out, as usual.

David Healey said...

Lisa, thanks for sharing your accomplishments and keeping in touch. All the best to you in 2013!

David Healey

judith pepper said...

I did it in 2012! My first book was published. I positioned myself as a transformational speaker for women and am building my audience. I am reinventing myself at age 64 and moving out of a very comfortable zone to my extreme zone of genius! And I hired Lisa Romeo! And in my day job I raised over a quarter of a million dollars for my favorite charity! Oh yeah, I did it in 2012!

Happy New Year,
judith pepper