Friday, December 06, 2013
I have decided to change the way I do New Year's Resolutions. Normally I make a list of 20 or so unrealistic or under inspired resolutions that I fail within days (if not minutes) of Midnight of the New Year. Usually my list contains no less than 5 resolutions I have made at least a dozen times in the past. I'm changing that TODAY!
One of the most inspirational things I have ever read on Spark was in a blog. I do not know who she was, but I was so impressed I wish I had at least friended the author so I could use her for inspiration on a daily basis. She had overeaten on her dinner calories & immediately went for a walk. She didn't wait until tomorrow...until Monday...until the 1st...like I would have. She got right back on the wagon THAT NIGHT!...That hour!
This may seem like a small feat, but to a super-star procrastinator like me, it was huge! SERIOUSLY!
I have blown entire years by overeating 15 calories.
I have blown entire years by not exercising first thing in the morning.
I have blown entire years by smoking a cigarette 2 minutes after midnight.
I have blown entire years by drinking a sip of what was left in the bottom of a bottle.
I have blown entire years by being 10 minutes late.
It wasn't literally years at a time, but all that time has added up to years. I really have procrastinated away half my life. It's embarrassing....to say the least.
I have wanted to be a published author for years. I wrote my first book 20+ years ago. I even submitted it to publishers. It was rejected. I never tried again. I was arrogant. I didn't follow their guidelines. I didn't submit a query first. It wasn't good enough. It wasn't typed correctly. It probably wasn't even edited. It wasn't FINISHED.
I recently joined 3 writer's websites. I have never had enough faith in myself to invest money in me. Somehow it seems like self-indulgence. I had to talk myself into investing a few dollars. I worry that I won't follow through, won't be good enough, won't be able to compete, will get writer's block...I worry about anything (everything) so I can have an excuse not to try.
The worst that can happen is that I'll find out I'm not a published author. I'm ALREADY not, so what's that going to hurt? I can afford the few dollars that I'll spend on dues. I could spend that much money on soda & candy. If it works out I could win it back on one writing contest. Even if it doesn't, I'll be okay. It's a few dollars.
The first website is just a personal blog. Much like the one I write here. Hopefully, they'll be longer & more organized. I've gotten more organized since I started writing these blogs. I know I still jump around, but I consider that part of my charm. HA! I have another personal blog that I've made public, but since I write here I don't usually write much there. And because I don't have an 'audience' I don't feel as motivated to write it & therefore I haven't become attached to it. This blog is part of me.
What I'll probably do in the beginning is share the same blog of the day. I enjoy writing these blogs. I would like to try to make money doing it, but from what I understand they kind of want you to stick to a general topic. I'm not interested in writing about the same thing every day. I want to share my knowledge about Bipolar, Alcoholism & Mental Illness, but I'm so much more than that. I want to write about so much more than that.
The second website I joined is a place to be reviewed & review other author's work. Novice & published author alike can critique your work. I can review theirs too. I can even submit reviews if I like. This one concerns me. I do not take criticism very well. I know nobody does, but I have lost friends over this. I'm very sensitive. I hear belittling & hatred in criticism. I expect honesty because that's the only way I know how to deal with people. I was never given 'constructive criticism' as a child. I was called names, punished or threatened when I didn't do something right. I wasn't taught to do it right. I was expected to do it right!
This is probably the most important website for me. I need to be able to hear criticism without just giving up. I can't wait 20+ years between rejection letters if I really ever expect to get published. I am going to work hard to take this as a lesson. I want to be the best writer I can be & being able to take criticism will be helpful to me if I can learn from it.
The third (& final) website is contests. I can enter contests for poems to a full length novel. I can submit a Haiku or a chapter from my life story. A Non-Fiction event or my poetry. I can join every contest or none. With a monthly due all of the contests are free. It has a monthly or yearly fee that you pay & they offer up to 75 contests a month free of entry fees. I can't remember the dues right now, but I know it's less than $10 a month. You also have 7 days to cancel your membership.
I'm not waiting for January 1, 2014 to make resolutions. My resolutions are going to start being committed to on the day I decide to take on a new venture. I'm not going to waste any more time surmising what could, should or would have been.
I am not wasting any more years taking a last sip, smoking another cigarette or overeating an extra bite. I may lose a minute or even an hour, but I will not let those moments turn into years. I am going to go for a walk 20 minutes after my overindulgent meal....not 20 years later!