Greetings from the desk of The Drum and Page. At the beginning of each year, I choose a word to help give me focus to the coming year.
In 2021, it was Limitless/Breakthrough.
For a COVID year, there was little breakthrough and a lot of limitations, yet it was a year to keep thinking what it means to be a writer and an artist.
Last year, 2022, the word was Relentless.
For many reasons, 2022 was relentless, particularly on a personal front, yet my focus was on moving in a direction where my writing was developing. This resulted in three publications: The School Magazine for The Diving Tower (November), winning the WestWords Living Stories Prize in July for We Three Kings, and winning the Blacktown Mayoral Creative Writing Prize in December for Cutting Through.
I was also a member of the WestWords Academy which was a fantastic time to network and gain further understanding into the writing and publishing world.
What does this next year hold?
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
I had this verse running through my head over the last few days and while I can plan and prepare, no one knows where the wind comes from or where it is going to so you make sure you adjust the beach towel wrapped around your neck, pretending it is a cape, and stand facing the wind so the cape billows out behind you, and you strike an appropriate superhero pose.
I know I want to maintain, and build on, the momentum I gained from last year. Therefore, my word/s for 2023 is:
To determine what this will look like for me, I have to examine my practices and my focus on where I want to expend my creative energy. Hence, for me, my words mean clearing the decks of older projects by either removing them from my work lists, or leaving them for another time. It also means dropping those things that look shiny and interesting but don’t advance where I want to go. For example, I’d been thinking for some time about a Red Bubble/Etsy store to sell my art, but that’s a whole business side of things that I don’t have time for. My art is personal expression and peace. If someone offers to buy a piece or wants a commission, that’s fantastic. My business focus is on writing and the craft of writing.
This year, a year of pursuing, and a year of pursuit, means finding the ‘thing’ – whether that is a story, art, reading, that fills me up and allows me to develop. I am hoping time spent with the projects that give me a sense of fullness will replenish me. There is always something to write, an idea to let compost, a paragraph to edit, a character to let loose in the lolly aisle at the supermarket with $100 to spend and see what they return with.
Long pieces of work have long gestation periods and long blocks of time for writing and editing. This may mean a less visible year, yet I will still be pursuing my writing goals and aims.
I have a couple of new desk buddies/guardians/motivators courtesy of Christmas to help me along the way.
Success is fleeting and unpredictable. Last year’s wins and publications were succour in a time of distress and stress. Success this year will look very different, and I am willing to change the criteria of ‘success’ to allow me to pursue my writing goals.
Think I need to invest a good pair of running shoes to make it through this year.