The other day I had a novel thought – “Wouldn’t it be uplifting to focus on what I’ve done, rather than what I still need to do?”
I’ll admit to being a glass-half-empty kind of person, so it shouldn’t be surprising that I look back at the previous year and take note of the things I *didn’t* do. But recently my sister encouraged my writing accountability group to make a list of the things we *did* accomplish in 2010. Though writing down things I wanted to accomplish was easy, looking back it was hard to remember all the things I had actually done. Selective pessimist’s memory, maybe? It took 3 tries, and I still forgot to list the online classes I took in 2010.
But when I was done, I felt so good. I’d done a lot more things than I’d originally thought. Here’s the updated version:
This year I have:
~Attended all HOD meetings and Orlando National Conference (where I went to many workshops)
~Entered 3 contests, finaled in 1
~Submitted to agents/editors 7 times
~Received 6 rejections
~Pitched 4 times
~Completed 1 novella
~Wrote 2 proposals, 3 cover letters, 2 synopsis, and did light revisions on 1 full.
~Wrote 3/4 of the sequel to my GH finaling book.
~Plotted novella and 3 book southern gothic trilogy.
~Taken 2 online courses about characterization.
Often we focus only on pages written, but I did a lot to get my work out there and improve my writing craft too. Looking over this list filled me with pride. Last year was rough, but I still found time to write. I sincerely wish I had one for every year I’ve been writing. Though I have calendars where I track some of my progress, it isn’t the same as seeing a succinct list in front of me.
Look! I DID ALL OF THAT. It may not have led to the exact results I wanted, but I still had proof I worked my ass off last year. Most of us don’t pat ourselves on the back (mentally or physically) for the things we do. I know especially as a mom I look at everything I should have done for my family, instead of everything I have done for them.
What a terrible shame! One of the reasons I started writing, besides the creative outlet, was that as a mother of a 2 year old, I wanted something that was mine alone, and something that would stay done for longer than 5 minutes. Okay, 2 minutes.
How sad that I accomplished that without realizing it. I want to embrace the pride and positive energy of a job well done, whether anyone else acknowledges it with me or not. So I’m making Accomplishment Lists part of my annual January ritual. To make it easier, I’ve started a file on my computer to add to as I journey through 2011. :)
What would you add to your Accomplishment List?
Join us this Wednesday when author Vicki Dreiling visits the Playground!