Friday, December 15, 2017

Flamingo wrangling 101

Next year is a bit of a mystery. I have been contemplating retraining. I know you all think I'd make an awesome ninja assassin or flamingo wrangler but I actually had something else in mind. I am still undecided but time is running out. 2018 is so keen to get here.

I am off on holiday with my honey in January in honour of being wed for 30 years. This seems like quite an achievement these days - not too many folk make it that far - but if I'm honest it's not like it's been hard. But who am I to say no to a celebratory trip away. There will be photos and commentary at some stage because I'm not one to keep you out of the loop.

In the meantime I'm hemming and hawing and its not about whether I should pack my bikini. So while I make up my mind here are some tips and rules for 2018 because y'all know it's nearly upon us...

1) Say yes to things. Your instinct might be to say no because you have limited experience or you feel nervous but if it fits with the long game you have embarked upon then the time to start is now. Or five minutes ago.
2) It's okay to say no. Not often, but often enough to give yourself time and space to do your core activity. If you are an author and you run out of time to write new content you need to address this.
3) If you do have time and don't fill it with writing, don't beat yourself up. The stars align for writing at their own discretion.
4) People will disapprove that you seem idle - why are you not in paid employ or studying? That's how the rest of the world works! My response is the creative world marches to the sound of its own drum which they can't hear. We have our own set of rules and more than enough self doubts and criticisms without the offerings of others. Tell them it's a full time job. Say you are doing research. Tell them you found their comments very interesting and have taken notes. Say you are very sorry about what happens to the character you have based on them.
5) Plan a reward. Maybe for mid year. Have a weekend away with other writers, a night out with friends, a visit to an exhibition or show or... you get the picture. Whatever wine or chocolate you buy or thing you do, double your investment and treat yourself like the star/god/goddess you really are. It may not be visible yet, but anyways just persisting in this industry is noteworthy.
6) Do a charitable act. For other writers, for young readers, for someone new to the industry. Charity is the marshmallow that cushions and sweetens our community.
7) Be charitable to yourself. Writers tend to be their own harshest critics.
8) That 100 rejections thing is a good idea. Plan for 100 rejections in 2018. Make a list of what you will apply for and who you intend to send your work to. Make a list of what work is ready, nearly ready to go out. Make a list/calendar of the competitions/opportunities you would like to enter. Add the one thing you have always secretly wanted to do/try but have always felt was out of reach. Make a plan to be ready for them all.
9) Have a safe and happy holiday peeple. And see you in the new year!