Monday 19 December 2022

Spoonie Writer: New Year & You


I've been a spoonie for more than half my life now, and I've been a writer for about the same. I was always going to write, I think, but I never planned for it to be my one and only job. I had dreams as a kid of being a doctor, I wanted that from a young age, and it just never happened because my health got in the way. But I wrote on the side and I was okay with that, until I had no other way to work and earn a living, and that's when writing, and eventually being published, came to the forefront of my mind.

I say this only because at almost forty-one, I have seen a lot of new years come, I have worked through them, I have done the fun thing of staying up until midnight (which is now next to impossible for me, because of my health conditions) and the swearing that this year is going to be my year, that it's a sure thing, that I'm going to hit those best-seller lists and I'm going to win all the awards and my income is going to go through the roof and all of this. It doesn't ever happen, obviously, not because I don't give my all to my writing and books and the like. It's just not happened, whether that's because of other reasons, or not, my writing career just hasn't hit that peak, and maybe it never will, but my point is that it's okay to dream big, but it's also okay to be realistic about it.

Telling myself that I will release lots and lots of books this year, I know it won't happen. I know that while I can write about four novels a year, I can't go through the editing process for more than one or two. Right now I'm getting ready to start the editing train in the new year for a project that, in my initial plans, was supposed to come out this year. It didn't happen, and that's okay, life throws you curveballs from time to time and you have to roll with it and hope for the best. Anyone reading who's also a spoonie knows that one on a deep level.

For a lot of us spoonies, it's all about having realistic expectations. I always set yearly goals on my authortube channel (found here) and then I also set bi-monthly ones that reflect those yearly ones. I do monthly goals on a private blog, and it all comes together to, hopefully, starting to get to the point where at the end of the year, I can cross off a bunch of things and call the year a win. It's been something I've done since I started the blog all those years ago, and something that very much works for me, but I know that it doesn't, and wouldn't work for everyone.

You have to face the new year with your own idea of what it'll be like for you. I'm not going to tell you not to dream big, but just to be wary about what it means if you can't reach every goal on your list. I know for me that setting a goal I'm pretty sure I won't manage, drains me, it annoys me, it makes me angry at myself, and it makes it hard for me to focus on those that I can reach. All I can think about it how I should be doing better, and I keep beating myself up to the point where I end up burning out, or dropping the ball when it comes to other, smaller goals. I don't want that for you, though it could very much be a me thing, but if it's not, I don't want anyone else to feel like that about things that they can't manage.

Far too often, the focus is put on beating your goals, on attaining more than you did last year or the month before, or whatever. That's fine, I think it's good to have some level of competition with yourself. I just don't think it should be the focus of every single thing on your goals list, of every thing you plan to do in the new year. Be kind to yourself, and recognise that you're working and living life on hard mode. Have some grace and all of that.

The new year is a fresh start, it's a chance to open up a new calendar and start on a fresh page and have the world at your feet. Dream big yes, but also be aware of the consequences of that if you can't reach that just yet. I don't think it means that you will never make it, just that these things take time. It takes as long as it takes, and that's okay. Good luck, and go forth and do amazing things.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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