Out with the Old; In with the New!

Since a very dear, but sarcastic friend of mine posted earlier about played-out, dog-tired clichéd end-of-the-year resolutions:

2011 – New Year, New ME/
No Time for BS/
Making Moves/

I have to admit to a little hesitancy about writing this post.  Mostly because he is absolutely right (count the number of resolutions you’re gonna hear tonight that include some, if not all of the above) and also because I hate following along with the crowd.  It helps that I gave up New Year’s Resolutions for Lent in nineteen. . . oh never mind!

Instead, I prefer to give honor to history.  Who was it that said that if we don’t know our history, we are doomed to repeat it?  And probably not the good parts!  So, I use this time for reflections; lessons learned, the good, the bad and the ugly and take that as guidance for how I plan to move forward.

This time last year, I had an idea to write a novel, had taken a couple online writing craft classes and was annoying the hell out of my friends and family trying to talk out the plot (thank y’all for still talking to me).  Over the course of 2010, I found a wonderfully brutal critique partner (I only have to bug friends/family every couple months for plot ideas), continued to study writing craft (who’d’ve thought writing a novel was so freakin’ complicated? Thank You, Sweet Jesus for Stephen King), and established a network of publishing professionals who provide guidance  on not only how to write a novel but what to do with it after “The End”.

Today, my novel has a beginning, a middle and The End.  While it may have been just me banging away at the computer keys, I didn’t do this alone.  It is the coolest thing to see how “KAOS” has evolved over the course of the year, starting with the name change; some of you may remember the novel as “The Runaway“.  I’m in revisions/editing/rewrite mode, or whatever you want to call it (I call it torture).

But here’s my take, lessons learned from this experience.  Probably anyone who has ever had a dream may be able to identify with this:  you can’t share your dream, your vision, your tender seedling with just any one.  At least not in the beginning.  It’s too easy for the wrong person, to say the right thing that will discourage you and keep your dream unrealized.

And you can’t always predict who that wrong person will be either!  I’ve had quite a few surprises.  People I expected, ones I just knew would be first to walk this course with me, well, let me just say that they would describe my novel as a story about a time-traveling, runaway slave called Niema in “The Runaway”.

Then serendipity came.

God sent me more than a few angels who offered encouragement,  supporting words or ideas, guidance or just a well-timed “that is so awesome!”  You provided the wind against my back that kept me moving forward when I fell into temptation to listen to the naysayers.  One of my favorite quotes this year is reported to come from Henry Ford,

Obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals.

Reflections on 2010:

  • goals guide actions
  • choose wise counsel
  • keep polishing and perfecting

I pray you God’s grace and mercy!  Have a wonderful and prosperous 2011!

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