As we approach the end of 2014, I decided to consider what I’d set for resolutions in this year, and see if I managed to accomplish any of them. Surprisingly, given that I suffered a breakdown just past the halfway mark of the year… I did okay.
- Procrastinate Less: This is a biggie for me, as I could probably take out Gold, Silver and Bronze in the Procrastination Olympics. I’m a professional procrastinator and it’s not a good thing. Procrastination leads to doubt, doubt leads to not writing and not writing leads to a feeling of failure and ‘I’m not good enough’. So my first and biggest resolution is to procrastinate less and write much more. I read somewhere that it doesn’t matter if what you write is crap – just keep writing. Every word you write leads to improvement and that’s my goal for the year.
End of year note: I didn’t procrastinate quite as much, but it still proved to be a biggie for me. Of course, doesn’t help that I had a breakdown, which I’ve discovered is a great procrastinating tool. So many new things to fret over… I’ve wasted hours! But on a bright side, I did manage to write more and spent less time worrying over the quality, as I worked towards quantity. Now I’ve learning to trust myself to put the words on paper, and go back and clean ’em up later…
- Give Up Smoking: I use smoking as a crutch, it’s true. Stressed? Have a cuppa and a smoke. Bored? Have a cuppa and a smoke. Writers Block? Have a cuppa and a smoke. Angry? …. Well, you get the drift. (In actual fact, maybe I should try and give up the addiction to tea, too!) I have given up smoking before, in fact, I’ve given up for as long as a couple of years. But I always manage to take it back up again. But this year, I’m quietly confident (and being nagged perpetually by my friend who also happens to be my G.P.) that I’ll get there.
End of year note: I did this! I stopped smoking around mid-year and despite every single thing that went wrong, I managed to refrain from taking up the habit again. But I must admit, there have been some days, when I desperately wanted the stress relief a cigarette would bring. But my husband and family have been so proud of my efforts, to give in now would disappoint them, so I’ve stayed on the straight and narrow. And besides… people who smoke stink!
- Believe in Myself: I’m a disbeliever, it’s true. Three published books and I still think I suck. But THIS YEAR, I’m going to take a more positive outlook towards this business of being an Author. People seem to like what I write, so I’m going to try a little harder to believe that I can do this, and spend less time considering what I’m doing wrong.
End of year note: This has been a work in progress. To a certain extent, I’ve improved, and I have published another book this year, and have one ready for release in late January. But I still struggle with believing in myself. Visits to the
Evisceration Expert, er, psychologist may help this situation as I move into 2015. But I think, like all authors, I will never truly overcome the need to doubt myself. I have improved in believing that I can write first person… third person (my own personal bogeyman) is still proving harder.
- Spend More Time Blogging: One area which I’m an abject failure in doing, as can be seen by the huge blocks of time in which there are no blog posts. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t always have any idea of what to write, but I promise, 2014 will include a bit more effort in finding something to write. And I’ll try not to be boring!
End of Year Note: Success! I’ve found that as the year progressed, and my mental health declined, blogging was actually an outlet which proved therapeutic. I’ve always loved the written word over the spoken, and in the circumstances I’ve found myself in for the latter part of 2014, being able to ‘voice’ my thoughts, fears and progress through the written word has probably kept me from creeping any further into the depressive and dark world I found myself in. So blogging, and keeping family and friends up to date on Facebook have been a lifesaver for me. Long live social networking!
- Go Out More: I’m a self-confessed introvert. Nothing I like better than being at home, in my nice safe little house, with my family close by. The thought of going out, socializing and dealing with the world is not something which is close to my heart. But new experiences make a better writer, so this year, I’m going to give it a shot. I will force myself to go out and visit the world, see what it’s like. But I definitely won’t be adding the beach to my list of places to visit – the phobia about sharks is still alive and well!
End of year note: Alright, this one has not worked out so well. Although admittedly, I did force myself into far more social contact situations in the earlier part of the year, the situation now is such that I’ve taken a gigantic leap backwards. A fear of social situations has seen me become more introverted than ever before since August, along with developing a debilitating anxiety over anything which involves leaving the house. But with support from family and friends, I’m making baby steps. So perhaps, for 2015, I’ll aim to get back to where I was, at the beginning of 2014. Anything beyond that, will be considered a bonus.