What a Year

Every year, on or around January 1st, I choose a word for the year, a word that serves as a theme for the year or that sums up my goals for the year. It's a testament to the kind of year I had that when I sat down to write this annual recap, I could not for the life of me remember what word I chose. I had to look back in the blog archives to find out.

Turns out, my word for 2014 was seek. Apparently, I believed wholeheartedly in the concept of "seek and ye shall find." But that's not quite how the year turned out. I spent a disproportionate amount of the year seeking payment from a delinquent client. I spent that interim time between being owed the money and finally receiving payment seeking ways to make ends meet. And all of that redirected my energy from what I wanted to seek to what I had to seek. So by the time I started thinking about writing this reflection, I was feeling pretty frustrated with my year.

The more I thought about it, though, I realized my year was actually more successful than I remembered:

I finished Drafts 3 and 4 of The Novel and entered it in a couple of contests. The feedback I got in those contests was mixed, but the experience helped clarify for me the type of writer I want to be. So The Novel is on the shelf, and I'm plotting The Next Novel.

I learned how to write query letter and found out I'm actually pretty good at it.

I learned that filling the empty-feeling parts of my life takes some addition (volunteering at the animal shelter; joining a book club; joining a new writers' group) and some subtraction (distancing myself from certain people and patterns; purging my house of stuff I don't need).

I finished last year convinced by my vet that my dog wouldn't survive the winter. Nobody told the dog. He's still kicking. In fact, he's curled up next to me right now, and even though he's moving slowly these days, he's not showing any signs of going anywhere any time soon.

So, on the whole, I'm feeling pretty good about my year, and that feels like a good way to start the next one.

Happy New Year!