|My new scarf. Thank goodness I live in the tropics.|
In the meantime, I join millions of others in looking back over the year of 2012, and wondering where the hours went and what I was doing while the hours were going there.
Way back in Week 1, I set modest goals for 2012: Year of Learning to Write, and I am proud to say that I stayed true to most of my endeavours, but acknowledge that my laziness got the better of me at times. So how did I do? Let's see now...
- Start and maintain a writer's blog. I'm not sure how I reached Week 52, but, by jingo, I did.
- Read one classic piece of literature a fortnight. I read at least thirty novels of various styles and genres over the year, and about as many 'how-to-write' books. To me, the two complemented each other nicely, that is, the 'how-to' books provided me with a better understanding of what I should be stealing from the literary masters.
- Write at least 500 words a day. I doubt I wrote 182,500 words during 2012, but I did draft an 85,000-word YA story (which is unlikely to ever see print, I fear), 51,000 words of a travel memoir, and lots of gumph in between, so I forgive myself.
- Complete one short story a fortnight (preferably one I've already started). I failed this one miserably. Those unfinished short stories are still pining for attention.
- Enter at least one writing competition a month. I entered six competitions, and won none. How could that happen?
- Submit at least six pieces for publication. This was a psychological and physical test. I submitted four small pieces, received two encouraging rejections, and two go-away-fool rejections. And I lived.
- Commence at least one writing course. No, I was very lazy and didn't do this, snivel, snivel.
- Establish a support network (of some sort). I attempted to establish local connections and have so far failed (such is the nature of a small island and my own lack of persistence), but the support I've encountered in the blogosphere has been most humbling.
- Maintain a tracking system for all of the above. It's all under control, folks. I know exactly what I'm doing.
- Learn and have fun! Not only have I revelled in the reading and writing challenges I set myself, I have met some fantastic people who - poor souls - think a little bit like I do, share similar dreams to me, and are brave and proud enough to open their hearts through their writing and their websites. Thanks a billion times over. (You know who you are.)
I've learnt it's more about heart, and less about technique.
I've learnt an original story and true characters will trump well-executed composition.
I've learnt verbs are the key.
I've learnt that to be a writer, one must write... a lot... and be incredibly courageous, or crazy, or both.
And I've learnt that one can never stop learning, about the world, about oneself, and about writing.
Happy New Year