Reflecting on the past year in my glass-half-empty way, I gave a nod to all the happy events with a smile, then replayed and agonized over every misstep, mistake, and misunderstanding. That’s healthy, right?
Upon reflection, I realized that I’ve been sabotaging my own success, which is weird, because I’m pretty sure I’d like to be more successful, not less. So I’m resolving to change that.
Warning: I might ramble a bit here but I hope you’ll stick with me. I have a good track record with New Year’s resolutions.
Remember the Year to Conquer Fear?
In 2015, as in the couple of years before it, I wrote and edited a lot of ad copy, product descriptions, websites, etc. I’m good at that kind of work, I enjoy it, and it pays enough to buy chocolate. I don’t mean to disparage that. Not everyone can make money doing what they enjoy. Not everyone can eat chocolate. Not everyone has choices. I truly am thankful for what I have. But my choices held me back.
The thing is, I started this journey by following my bliss. I wrote because I love words. I wrote because I had something meaningful to say. I edited because I wanted others to realize their dreams of getting their stories out into the world. Following my bliss is what got me published in the first place, and what fueled me to study and to push forward.
Corporate writing and editing were only meant to be placeholders between projects. But corporate work ended up taking the wheel because a) I enjoy doing it, and b) it gives me immediate
money for chocolate gratification.
During 2015, words danced around in my mind, begging to be written. I jotted down notes, so I wouldn’t forget them. Then, instead of tending to the writing of my own imagination, I took on as much corporate work as I could manage, leaving a drawer full of neglected ideas.
Now that I see my own self-limiting behavior, I choose to fix it. I choose to pull out those scribbled notes, one by one, and give them the attention they deserve. I’m not swearing off corporate editing entirely, but it’s going to have to hang out in the back seat. Which brings me to my New Year’s resolution.
In 2016 I hereby resolve, as God allows, to FOLLOW MY BLISS.
Here’s my 2016 five-point action plan for following my writing bliss:
- Not just read and agree, but actually follow Kristen Lamb’s advice. She’s right. I know she’s right. About everything.
- Finish my WIP. Because I want the writing of my heart to succeed, I will treat self-imposed deadlines with the same ‘grab a cup of coffee and keep writing’ diligence that I treat other-imposed deadlines.
- Get help. Because building my own website with ever-changing backgrounds and multiple email addresses is fun, but amateurish and time consuming, I will get professional help. Stay tuned for updates.
- Settle on and stick with a name. For years, I used Kathryn Frazier professionally, but started using my middle initial a year or so ago. I don’t know why. Fear? Boredom? Now I’m toying with using my full middle name, like Ralph Waldo Emerson or Edna St. Vincent Millay. What do you think? Should I go back to Kathryn Frazier, stick with Kathryn A. Frazier, or change to Kathryn Anna Frazier? I’d love your opinion. (Note that Kathryn Anna sounds kinda like banana. Is that a pro or a con?)
- Keep eating chocolate, even if I don’t earn it.
As my beloved Frazierhead always says, “Nothing to it, but to do it.” So with chin up and shoulders back, I stride with renewed purpose (and a fistful of Hershey’s Kisses) into 2016.
I invite you to share your reflections and resolutions for the New Year in the comment section, so we can cheer you on!