Most people are familiar with goal setting. One of my habits is having a journal entirely devoted to writing goals where I list them and then reflect or journal about it. It’s short and sweet but this keeps me on track. Having writerly wishes is different from goal setting. Think about the time you were a child making a birthday wish. When you were about to blow the candle, you were not thinking “what if I don’t get it…” or the steps you will take to get that wish, or fighting doubts. You had hope and dreams. Making writerly wishes took me back to that moment when I simply enjoyed dreaming and wishing—it’s the proverbial child-like faith.
As I grew older, I forgot how to wish for something. I didn’t even feel comfortable having dreams or talking about my desires. I was constantly shut down, had difficult issues, faced traumatic situations that just sucked vitality from me. Exhaustion, depression, and apathy took over. I didn’t even want to think about my dreams and desires. It was about getting through the day. Now that I started dreaming again, it’s as if I’m coming back to life. If you can relate, please don’t be guilty. Go for it. I dare you to make one, two, three…heck as many writerly wishes as you want.
I got the idea of wishes from the closing session of Muse & the Marketplace conference. The writers conference that I recently attended ended their event with a birthday cake for Grub Street. The point was to celebrate 15 years of the conference. They placed a cake on each table after the Sunday keynote session. The cake was lit in the same manner as a birthday celebration. We were instructed to make a wish or two for ourselves as writers. Here are my wishes.
Be better connected to the local writing community in Boston. Writing with other people, getting feedback, taking classes, and participating/volunteering at a writers organization are the many ways to be plugged with other writers. I’m the kind of person who gets excited about everything and want to do it all. Then I realize that I’m only human and don’t want to spread myself so thin. I’m looking around.
Have short stories accepted for publication. I found a workshop that serves wine and cheese. The group is focused on short stories. While writing my novel, I want to also write one or two short stories that I want to get published to gain experience.
Get my novel completed and start revising. I’m still going strong. It’s my time to experiment, get into the characters and situations, and enjoy composing those sentences.
Recovery from illness. Having a neurological illness sucks. It’s not terminal but enough to be a constant nuisance. I had to leave my teaching career because of it. I’m constantly exhausted, slow, nauseous, weight fluctuations. And, did I mention exhaustion? I have little or no energy at all. Recovering is still a process. I’m very hopeful that things will be under control and I’ll keep living my life to the fullest.
So, what are your writerly wishes? How did you feel after making them?