Is it really the second week of July already? Yowsers.
It’s cliché to say that, I know. And serious writers are supposed to avoid clichés like the plague (see what I did there?). But all clichés had to start somewhere, and I imagine this one started when the first person in the world realized that the year was flying by faster than they intended it to – and by golly they felt the need to comment on it.
Clichés aside, it’s time for a mid-year check-in on whether or not I am living out my Word of the Year.
Am I Creating?
Yes. And No.
I’ve not made much progress on my novel since my critique class ended. Life has been full, which is part reason and part excuse. Between weekend duties for the day job and travel to visit family and a much-needed week of vacation where I tried not to touch a computer, there hasn’t been a lot of free time on the weekends to really submerge myself in the text. And I need to give it some large blocks of undivided attention. My critique class reinforced that I have some things to fix, and they are going to take time and steep reflection.
Based on this point alone, I would feel like I had failed my Word of the Year in the first half. But luckily, I know me and gave myself a little wiggle room in my definition. I chose “create” instead of “write” because I knew I would need some.
And I have created.
I have been diligently posting twice per week here on this blog all year long. Every Tuesday and Thursday, without fail (although sometimes in a very down-to-the-wire fashion), I have a sent a blog and little piece of writing or photography out into the world. It’s felt good to be consistent, to treat this blog like a job and to keep my promise to myself for once.
I’ve spent time in community with other writers and readers, mostly on the internet – but it still counts, right? I’ve created dialogues and met new people and have created a space where I can share – and where I can listen to others.
I’ve taken more photos – and better photos – than ever this year. In fact, I’m wrapping up my first ever corporate photoshoot this week – at my day job! Our company wanted new head shots for all 40 employees, and it just so happened that I have a camera and some growing photography chops. In addition to all those portraits, I also took some for Claire, did a family shoot with a friend, and in general grew less shy about pulling out my camera and snapping shots whenever I felt like it – even in public!
I’ve read a lot of books, written about some of them, and learned when to a quit a project that just isn’t working. I’ve written a few freelance articles, put together a Madison, WI city guide for Feast + West, and continued working on The Collaboreat.
It’s been a full year, and it might not seem like I’m making progress. But I have been creating.
Now if I could just take Ashley Brooks’s advice and focus on one thing at a time…