First step to Clarity: Decide What you WANT


The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want. Ben Stein

If you ‘ve been following my blog at all since Dec 31, you know that 2010 is The Year of Clarity. What does that mean? For me, it means to get back to my roots of writing and submitting fiction, narrowing my niche to better  build my platform and before deciding to take on any more, put heavy decisions through a “filter” to discern if  new writing or teaching gigs  fit my “ecosystem” for my ultimate writing goal. What I want is to finish and publish my novel and inspire young writers in my community, with the long-term goal of continuing in these areas to eventually replace my full-time job.

Clarity also means to simplify: my goals, my lifestyle, my space and my relationships. Focus on the things that bring me most joy. This weekend, that meant hanging with my sons: window shopping and walking through parks and an old 16th century graveyard, visiting the library, and reflecting on the school year about to come to an end.

I bring “clarity” up again, because Christina Katz is talking about it in this week’s issue of The Prosperous Writer. What clarity means to us as writers. What does it mean to you? Perhaps after journaling about it, you’ll hit an epiphany. As I did on April 28 of this year:

{journal excerpt}

4-28-10

I am so happy today! Excited with the idea that I WILL be writing a book. A novel I scribed in November 2008. It’s been fermenting in my hard drive. Hate the title. I’ll have to think of something catchy, deep and relative to the mood of the book.

Yes. Today I took the next step in finishing my first novel. I printed each of the 15 chapters, along with unconnected scenes, story map, plot outline, setting and each main characters’ description – from the forms I completed on storyright.com.

I was so afraid to look the mss. over after November 30 2008 struck midnight and I uploaded the whole messy beast into NaNo’s official word count thingamajig. I never looked back. Until today. And I like what I see. I like it a lot! : )

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4 Comments

Filed under Advice, Believe, Deadlines, Novels

4 responses to “First step to Clarity: Decide What you WANT

  1. Jan Udlock

    MJ, I love the idea that clarity means to simplify. Sometimes that word causes conflict inside of me because I have to work at it to define it. But if I look at it as “simplify” then I’m cutting out the work and resting.

  2. Your post really resonated with me. I am writing my second novel, substitute teaching during the day, and dreaming of quitting the day job and working from home. There are only 24 hours in a day. I have found that it is important to set priorities, and right now finishing the rough draft of the novel is the priority. I see myself as a novelist, and trust that things will fall into place to bring this about.

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