January in Review

I am not the type of person who can look at a great expanse of the unknown, which generally separates me from some better field, and charge across to the other side. I like to think I can do that, that I’m a go-getter- but if there’s anything I’ve learned in the last strange year, it’s that I am really not the kind of person who can take hold of her future with a leaping, happy stride and go where I want with it, perfectly aware that it would help me and certainly be good for me to just go.

Now, in my comfort zone I am a go-getter. I can rush around happily where I know what I’m doing or what’s expected, and generally get something done. And fortunately my comfort zone has grown. I used to dislike-ish sewing, now I love to sew and can do it competently, and I am recently adding experimental sewing to what I do- including, most recently, embroidery (which I love) and beading (which I’m still not sure about). I also know how to play a few instruments, and want to learn more- and I’ve learned how I like to play and generally where I want to go. I’ve also learned that I like card-making, and don’t get me started on cooking!

The only reason why I brought up those ‘hobbies’, of course, is to reassure myself that I can actually do something well- or well enough. But when it comes to the future, the great expanse of the unknown- well, how in the world is that supposed to be a part of my comfort zone, when I don’t know what’s going to happen?! I mean- I love to write! That’s a part of my comfort zone, what I know– but when it comes to the great wide world of literary craziness, that’s such a different story, I don’t even recognize Writing anymore! It’s like someone dressed it up in impressive and impregnable armor!

So- the temptation is to just hide away again. Just let things be for a little while. Of course, there’s also the fact that life is hectic enough, and I’m getting so much information, I don’t think I should act until I’ve processed everything. But I really shouldn’t pretend the future isn’t there- and I have to do something about it. But one of the things I’m going to do to hopefully make sure I don’t get stuck in the mire of indecision is to do a month in review of my writing process.

So here’s a look at what I did in January: I’ve done some editing on a story I wrote in April last year, which is actually a longer time than I usually take to edit. I’ve started several times but unfortunately I will probably have to change a few plot twists, and I’m having trouble figuring that out.

I got a couple of books from the library, one about writing fundraising letters and the other about writing pitch letters. First of all, I’m not really interested in writing fundraising letters, but it was the closest I could find to copywriting, and of course now I will know about writing fundraising letters, in case the chance comes up. As to the pitch-writing book, I’ve found it helpful and both encouraging and daunting.

As to checking out copywriting possibilities, one of the important things about it is to have a portfolio, obviously. So I’ve made a list of the people I know who I may be able to help, and the most obvious one is my Mum, who has taken up Pampered Chef. While I still need to go a little farther on this possibility, I feel that I’ve made some headway, by taking lots of pictures of her products, and hopefully I’ll be able to start up a Facebook page and help her with advertising.

I listened- with my sister- to a webinar this Monday, which is technically February, but I felt like I may as well mention it. It was on Self-publishing, and provided by Writer’s Digest. I was going to mention who spoke, but I just deleted the e-mail and now I can’t find it. Among them was a lady who has been in the business for a while, and I felt rather naturally inclined toward her, sense she’s pretty much done what I am working toward. I was impressed by her because she seemed to be able to talk so easily, and that’s something that’s actually kind of important for a writer, to be able to talk, especially about your work. And I am really not good at talking!

I enjoyed the webinar a lot, and it seemed helpful, referencing things I should’ve known about. But it was a rather unpleasant reminder of how many steps it takes to get to publishing a story!

Anyway, that’s what I have done about writing in January. I would give a little outline of what I plan for February, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a bad idea for me to plan for something I have no control over. However, I will say that I will hopefully have gotten something done about the Pampered Chef project.

Here’s to hoping and praying February will go well for everyone!

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