Words of the Year (2010): Persistence/Patience

January 5, 2010

Last year, I posted a “Word of the Year” instead of doing a New Year’s Resolution. I’ve never been much for the latter, but I really enjoyed choosing a WotY. Last year, my word was “Believe.” Mostly, I chose it because I wanted to believe in myself as a writer. And as 2009 came to a close, I could tally 2 upcoming articles accepted and awaiting publication in the coming year, and I’m significantly closer to completing my non-fiction book that I have been working on for about two years. I think and hope that in 2010 I will get it finished!

So, for 2010, I’ve actually selected two words. I couldn’t decide on just one. They are:  PERSISTENCE / PATIENCE.   To me, they have very similar qualities, and I think I’ll need a lot of both to get through this upcoming year – and to successfully meet my goals of completing my book manuscript.

I need PERSISTENCE to keep on writing, to keep believing (building on last year’s word), and to keep going, even when I get tired, discouraged, procrastinate too much, or begin to think that despite the work I’ve already done, that I may never get finished.

I need PATIENCE because by rushing my book to completion, I’ll set myself up for disappointment. In fact, rushing things will be the fastest way to doom myself to failure. Rushing and impatience would make me get sloppy, lackadaisical, and ultimately could self-sabotage the entire effort. I also know I’ll need patience to face some personal challenges and changes I’ll be experiencing at work. Since I’ve decided on patience as one of my Words of the Year, I actually have a lot more peace about the impending changes, some of which start right away.

Last year was the first time I had done a Word of the Year approach, and I really liked it a lot. As I was reflecting on this tonight, I realized that this approach actually is a lot more satisfying and nearly a fail-safe way to approach the new year. A resolution is soon broken. But a WotY stays with you, and can help guide you if you need direction or inspiration. You really can’t mess it up. Just Believe, have Patience, and be Persistent!

© writingreading, 2010

Word of the Year (’09) – Believe!

January 4, 2009

Christine Kane suggests choosing a Word for the year, rather than making a resolution, and being a wordy and idealistic type, I think that sounds like a great idea!

So my word is going to be: BELIEVE!!

I find the most insidious evil thing in supporting my ongoing procrastination on my book is Doubt. I wish I could write that with a small D – but right now, it is just that big.

I doubt that I will ever get finished. I doubt (despite all evidence to the contrary) that I have anything new or original to say. I doubt that the cause is worthwhile. I doubt I’ll have time. Or interest. Or linguistic skills or typing skills or concentration or persistence or on and on and on.

These doubts are really just excuses, and they keep me hampered, sometimes even buried.

If I BELIEVED my subject was worth writing about, that it truly is the purpose of my life to write about it, that it really is a book that needs writing – if I really believed all this were true, then I would ACT like it – and WRITE!!!

Too often, lately, I’ve found myself dreamily fantasizing about writing – but doing nothing. Or – like now – surfing the internet instead. Then, it’s late – time for dinner or for bed or the next Thing – and another day gone, “wasted” as far as writing goes.

If I only BELIEVE – then I think my writing will show it. Not just by my productivity – actually doing it – but the depth and passion that I bring to it. I know it is there – I just have to believe in it, myself.

Christine Kane proposes following the BE-DO-HAVE model. Choose a word to guide you throughout the year, to guide you to be the person you want to be. Base your actions upon the word you choose. So – if I Believe, then I will Write (do) with the outcome of having a published book! Ta-da!! Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Kane explains her concept far more eloquently than I do here – and ironically enough, I just realized she does not list “Belief” as one of her possible Guide Words – but it seems right for me, for now, for this year, and so I’m going to try it on and see how it goes.

Best wishes for you and your Guide Word in the New Year!

© writingreading, 2009

Keeping the momentum going!

October 28, 2008

If you’re wondering where I’ve been lately, well, the good news is: I’ve been writing! Working on my magnum opus, offline. A lot. Which is a good thing.

Today I feel like I finally have some momentum, and I like where my book is going, and most days, I believe it can get there. It’s been quite an uphill climb, lately, until just the past few days when finally it feels like things are beginning to fall in place.

I think right now, for me, it’s a lot like a bike ride uphill. You struggle and pump and pant and feel like you are making almost no progress. And yet you still have to pant and pedal, again with very little forward movement. But then you finally reach the crest of that hill – and wheeeee – it’s a free and easy coast on the down side. You can see the finish line in the distance, the gorgeous view of the countryside spread out before you, and you believe – and finally, know you are going to make it.  The uphill struggle and your aching calves are quickly forgotten, and you ride through the exhilarating breeze, using all of that energy you and your bike gained on the long climb. That’s where I’m at, now.

Oh, sure, I know it will be shortlived, and there are still many more hills and mountains between where I am now, and where this journey will end. But I do know that it is crucially important to not put on the brakes and to keep going with the momentum I’ve got.

For any fellow writers out there – I hope this gives you encouragement if you are struggling on the upside of a hill in your own work, right now.  I know I was on that side of the mountain myself, just last week. Just keep pedaling, and you will get there!

© writingreading, 2008