Scott D. Parker
I have a printed quotation thumbtacked to my corkboard here in my office. It reads “A year from now, you may have wished you had started today.”
I can’t say for sure when I found and printed that quote, but I do remember a choice I made a year ago this month. I could be pithy or witty or funny, but it boiled down to a simple acknowledgement: You have not been writing for long enough. Time to start again.
It was 1 May 2013 that I started writing again. It was in fits and starts that first month, reminding my fingers and my brain what to do--actually they never forgot. I was just too lazy. Yeah, that last thing’s the truth, without the shiny candy coating. As May 2013 went on, I worked on what was supposed to be a short story. It ended up blossoming into a novella, the first of a new series character.
Looking back on the year that I’ve just lived, there have been some incredible highs: I wrote two novels, back-to-back! I wrote consistently! I created some new characters I really like! I can also recognize the not-so-highs (I refuse to call them lows): I realized my limitations. I realized the things I need to improve on to write better. I realized I need to always have a plan for my writing. Along the way, I kept word count totals (269,792 words written in 2013) and I had that incredible writing streak: 255 consecutive days of writing.
When I look back on my past year, I am very proud of myself. I can remember making the decision that 1 May 2013 would be the day I started again. Ironically, these past couple of months, I’ve again fallen into a non-writing slump, but I started again on May First. Looking back, I like how far I’ve come. Looking ahead, I now project new thoughts and goals on this new “Writing Year.” (I just thought that up; wonder if that’s a new thing for me. If so, then I get two New Year’s Days per calendar year!) If Writing Year 2013 was the year in which I reminded myself I can write and demonstrated I can do it consistently, then Writing Year 2014 will be dedicated to improving my craft, producing more content, and making it available to the reading public.*
If you are on the fence on some creative endeavor, let today be the day you start. A year from now, you will definitely thank yourself.
TODAY IS FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. Find a store near you and find a new story to enjoy. I'm heading out to The Pop Culture Company here in Houston.
*I know that goals are best achieved when they are enumerated and spelled out. I know that, but I need a bit more time before I make them public. I think I know the complete set of goals, but need to make sure they fit into a coherent and realistic plan.