It isn't just a new year for She Writes, it's a new year for me, as my birthday and She Writes's are very close together. (Mine is today!) For the anniversary last week, we asked She Writers all over the world to get together and share their wishes for the coming writing year. For my birthday, I am going to take a big leap and write mine down here for all the world -- or at least all She Writers -- to see.
This is a big step for me. As some of you know (but many of you don't), I started She Writes two years ago at a time of deep emotional turmoil and pain. My marriage was ending, and with two small boys to protect and my own guilt and grief to process, I wasn't able to write. I tried, but the words just didn't come, and the isolation writing requires was dangerous for me in the throes of so much depression and anxiety. (My journalling was critical to my survival and mental health, but my journals are not something I would ask any other human being to read!) I needed to reach outward at a time when I couldn't go in. So on the advice of a very wise friend I decided to do the next best thing, responding to my own need for a home, a community, and an empowering space for women writers, a place where all of us can turn during those times when writerly isolation is hard to bear.
Two years later, I am thrilled to say that I am ready to write again, and writerly isolation sounds heavenly! (Now if I can only find some.) I have ideas that have been percolating for some time, and are now too urgent, and too inviting, to ignore. I am also aware that the very existence of these ideas and creative impulses has been comforting me for months now, making me feel as though I have accomplished something when in fact nothing has been tried. That must come to an end. It's too easy to bask in projects yet unattempted and unrealized -- in that hazy, dreamy light, they all seem doable and brilliant, and it is tempting to leave them in their idea-state just for that reason. But I owe it to myself, and to the stories I want to tell, to subject them to the harsh and unflinching light of the work itself, and see how they hold up.
So without further ado -- three wishes for my writing in the year to come.
I wish that...
1) By this time next year, I will have completed a television pilot and have settled on a novel idea (I've got several in my head), and have gotten it well underway.
2) By this time next year, I will have found a writing group to support me in my efforts, and be settled into a routine for doing the work regularly.
3) By this time next year, I will have written something I am willing to share with my agent. (Ack!)
How about you? Declare your three wishes here, and ask other She Writers to hold you accountable. I know that this is one of the places where I will get the support, and the gentle hounding, that I need in the year to come. That is certainly one of the things She Writes is for, and I can't tell you how good it feels to to know that, now that I am ready, it's here.