Time for Reflection
For me, December is always a month of reflection. With every Christmas card I write, I think about my family and friends and question whether or not I have spent enough time with them throughout the year. I also look back on my accomplishments, both with my writing and my teaching. What have I learned along the way?
I am a life-long learner and consider each mistake I make as an opportunity for improvement (even though I may cringe at the time). As long as I learn and aim not to make the same mistake twice, I can move onwards and upwards in the quest to become the best person I can possibly be.
I recently received a lovely email from one of my former teaching staff who reminded me that throughout my life I have changed careers and worked hard to be successful in each of those professions. He told me that I inspired him and he was considering a career change. I felt humbled by his words. He then asked me how my writing was coming along and I had to carefully consider his question. I thoroughly enjoy my writing and continue to learn so much about the craft . I am working harder than ever to improve and achieve publishing success but with the exception of a few letters printed in a writing magazine and being short listed in a short story competition, I haven’t yet achieved my goal. Yes, I’ve completed a novel and yes I have written about a hundred short stories over the past eighteen months but fighting for my place in the world of fiction is the most challenging task I’ve ever undertaken.
For me, the most frustrating part of being a writer is the lack of control one has once a story/novel has been sent away in the hope a magazine editor or an agent will notice it. We simply don’t know what is happening to our work. In the past, I have received a manuscript back which was covered with coffee stains. That is just rude! No wonder a lot of writers opt to self-publish and decide to take control.
I have always taken control of my own life, taken risks and ploughed through some tough times in order to achieve success. It is rather frustrating having to rely on someone else to see my work come to fruition. So maybe, in 2016 I should re-think my writing journey and create more control for myself. I haven’t got a clue how I am going to do it yet but I will be sure to share my journey in future posts.
Are you a life-long learner? How do you take control of your writing? I would love to hear your story.
Congratulations to all members of the IWSG for a great 12 months and a special thanks to the team who make this group possible, especially the founder, Alex, who has supported us all throughout 2015.