Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Progress Report

It has been almost exactly a year to the day that I wrote my first blog from Camano Island, where I moved after quitting my job in Bellevue. Yes, that means that it has been a year since I started this crazy adventure to write for a year and see where it got me. I feel like a lot has happened since then, some of it expected and some of it unexpected, so I figured now would be a good time to mark my progress.

A year ago, I wrote that the year to come was all about creating time to write. “My dream is to be able to dedicate myself to writing – as much time as I want to and all the creative energy I have.”

Well, I’ve done that. I can basically write whenever I want to. Sometimes I’m more interested in writing than others – the more settled into my routine I am, the more time I dedicate to writing. What I’ve been writing is what has changed over the past year.

So here’s what I’ve accomplished in list form:

1) Confessions of a Travel Addict – done. Needs to be sent to more publishers/agents.
2) Started a serious novel that I got the idea for while traveling through Australia. Have now written 48,000 words – roughly 162 pages.
3) Started a funny novel about dating in your twenties. Have written about 19,000 words.
4) Wrote a short story called Jim’s Wedding, about 22,000 words.
5) Started a project to create a recipe book that pairs local wines from the Chelan Valley with recipes from the area. Now have a graphic artist designing the book, a watercolor artist’s work on the front page and dividers, recipe contributors, recipe testers, a photographer to shoot pictures of finished recipes, a bunch of wineries involved and a bunch of businesses willing to sell it once it’s done.
6) Joined a writers group.
7) Trained for 2 half marathons.
8) Ran 1 half marathon.
9) Took a week-long road trip to see Jasper and Banff.
10) Went to Oaxaca (Mexico) with my parents and managed to get myself a 3-month house sitting gig there for this coming summer.
11) Have already skied more this winter than I have in all other winters put together, minus the winter I was a ski instructor.
12) Realized that a year is not enough time to finish all these projects that I’ve started.

The hardest part of this year was allowing myself to give my writing priority. I have to admit that, even after a full year, I still have the most difficulty with that part. Once I’ve actually sat down to write I’m usually fine, but getting to that point is hard when there are other things on my plate that I could be doing instead; I am much better at prioritizing something that I owe to others than prioritizing what I want to be doing. Discovering this about myself has led to the most important thing that I’ve learned this year: I will never be happy doing anything for someone else. Whether I’m writing, compiling a cookbook or something else totally arbitrary that makes me next to no money, I am much happier working for myself. If there were nothing else that I could take away from this year, it was worth that realization.

Love and writing kisses