It's befitting today that the writer in me wore my Harry Potter shoes to yoga. Wrapping up the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I also came to realize that I want to end the last couple of days before the New Year in a certain way that sets me up successfully for the next several months. After all, was Harry not resentful he never asked Albus more about his past accomplishments while he had the chance? Seizing moments and opportunities is so important. Likewise, so is planning your New Year's goals (and any goals for that matter) in increments of three months, and making them attainable goals.
Ironically, this is the first lesson I learned from writer and producer, Greta Heinemann, at the end of October last year, and the last lesson I am leaving with before another year begins. I met Greta during the Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference in 2018 at a time when I capped out growing at my job, was losing more money than I was earning because of what the job offered (or rather did not offer), and my writing suffered horribly. Near-tears, Greta graciously gave me a few private moments to pick her brain. My attitude altered completely. I stopped feeling sorry for myself, like I was trapped, and realized that in order for me to flourish as a writer, my standards needed to be raised. I quit my job after only seeking work that enriched my skills as an author and was hired as a book editor for an incredible London-based bookmaker. Sustaining my basic needs allowed me to be more honest with myself and my partner. Valuing my time and energy became a healthy priority. Fast forward and 2019 is ending dedicated to mindfulness, self-fulfillment, and mastering my craft as a storyteller.
Today, I attended an hour-long yoga session the last week of December; it was merely a conscious choice which involved me getting out of my pajamas, lest I wish to further indulge in holiday lounging. This act to treat myself kindly, even if it involves efforts I'm not accustomed to, and reach attainable goals served as my anchor. Deciding to commit to yoga allowed for private coffee time with no disturbances early morning, which led to updating my author website, which in turn helped me reflect on my thoughts and clear my mind before yoga. Frog pose, mandukasana, was a challenge — just what I wanted from today's session, to stretch my capabilities — and shavasana ended on a positive note.
Writers, I know it's hard ending another year of pouring your soul and creative energy into a new book or screenplay (or even a daunting agent query). I've done all three this year, some tasks with more success than others. During the holidays, I earned two more agent rejections (ho, ho, ho!) and after CAA requested the full manuscript of my book last month, ultimately received another rejection to fan the writing flames.
Have you had any recent accomplishments? Feedback? Challenges or let downs? Please share them! The more we open ourselves to each other, in less of a competitive manner and knowing that the idea of limitless storytelling awaits each and every one of us, the more we can continue to pursue those tales in our heads that make us tick. Perhaps you can finish that book you started by the New Year, or submit another query, or even consciously decide to stretch your brains and bones with a quick yoga session.
Regardless of how you choose to utilize your remaining hours of the New Year, be kind to yourself; take a moment to breathe and refocus your energy into your work. Every action that brings you success, fear, joy, or self-discovery is important — and so are the stories you are creating.