Friday, January 13, 2012

Celebrating 2011 - A Little Late

Okay, 2012 hasn’t started out so well. My car battery keeps dying, the cat has scratched her eyeball and my diet has resulted in a two pound gain. My exercise program is going nowhere and I can’t find my new pedometer. My calendar for keeping track of everything is lost in a pile on my desk--a pile that was going to be sorted before the end of the old year.

Now January is starting out with Friday the 13th. Grrr...  I refuse to give in to bad luck! In the spirit of looking on the bright side, and thumbing my nose at evil spirits I’m going back to a blog I was supposed to have written two weeks ago to end the old year -- looking at all I got accomplished in 2011 and some of the rewards I witnessed.
145,069 new words. That’s how much I wrote in 2011. That is one book or two at least. Of course, 52,484 were for NaNoWriMo. I used those words in Part two of a suspense series I am writing. That leaves another 92,585 words unaccounted for. Those went into re-working other books, blogs and new classes. But it still means I was writing and that is what counts. It is something to applaud!

One good habit I started last year (and I’m sticking to this year) is keeping track of how many words I write every day. I put it on a spread sheet so it totals itself at the end of the month. I also write down all the pages of editing that I get done. When I looked back, I discovered I didn’t do too badly with my writing last year. I finished editing one novella, sent it in and ended up with another publishing contract with The Wild Rose Press. I did re-edits with my editor and then went through the galleys and final galleys. The final result is Shadows from the Past, a gothic suspense story that will be published in March.
Dreams may take time but they can come true! Sharing important events with friends is also a good way to celebrate life. 2011 saw two of my good friends reach for their dreams and I was happy to share great moments with them. For my friend Liz, it was joining the Peace Corp after years of wanting to join and then going off to Azerbijan to teach. I got a chance to visit her in California for a champagne goodbye at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  

For my Cary, it was building her dream house with a fantastic view atop a Colorado hillside.  We celebrated early with champagne as she gave me a preview in June. It is now finished and the pictures look gorgeous. I can hardly wait to visit again for a guided tour and celebrate with mimosas.

Looking Forward. Speaking of dreams, that brings me back to the new year and reaching forward to making more of my own dreams come true. Last week I ran across a blog that said you need to touch the ball every day. I realized I’ve been taking practicing that idea because of my writing spreadsheet. I like being able to look back and see the progress.  
I’m continuing to keep track and suggesting the idea to others. It only takes a couple of minutes every day and it’s great to be able to go back and get a good look at how much you’re actually doing. Start by writing down the number of pages you edit and keep track of your new word count. Try it for a day, a week, a month. It can pay off on those days when you feel you haven’t accomplished anything or you will never accomplish anything. We’re often so hard on ourselves that we don’t pay attention to what we do accomplish.

Rewards, Rewards, Rewards!  And don’t forget to reward yourself! I’m a big believer in celebrating success. Last year I rewarded myself with major league baseball! I followed a trip to Spring Training with tickets to Opening Day at Coors Field and then the great experience of my third All Star Game.
This year, well, who knows? I’m keeping the champagne cold just in case anything comes along.

Good luck.

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