Well–it’s the end of 2020 which means 2021 is upon us. I bet many of you are reflecting on the past year — rife with political acrimony, the pandemic, the pandemic, and the pandemic. My take away for the year is: it’s all about “not giving up.”
I quit a 10 year training career with the state (pre-pandemic) to start a career as a writer. I’ve been frustrated because I haven’t generated any income yet, I haven’t dominated social media marketing yet and I haven’t become the extraordinary, world famous writer I wanted to become, yet. The key word is yet, because I’ve been working in all three areas to become all of those.
As I said, when I quit my job I had a goal to become the best writer I could and inspire the world. However, that meant running a business, which I didn’t know much about. So I started by diving into social media marketing because I needed a way to get noticed. I also needed to hone my creative and non-fiction creative writing skills.
As I reviewed my first year in business…
As I reviewed my first year in business, I chastised myself for spending too much time learning social media (I’ve taken at least a dozen courses) and not enough on writing, because at the end of the day, that’s what I really want and love to do. But I learned so much from those classes and they gave me a lot of unexpected writing inspiration. I’d also been writing weekly blogs so duh? I was writing and it seemed to be improving.
And I took a five week creative writing course, two writing workshops and read some of the many writing books I bought (not all of them–yet). Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to become a Malcom Gladwell, (Talking to Other People) Katherine Boo (Beyond the Beautiful Forevers) or Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking). I need a lot more training and experience, but I’ll follow their example and inspiration and maybe take a writing class from them. In 2021 I’ll continue to focus on becoming that great writer I’ve always wanted to be. Gratefully, I’ve learned many of the tricks of the social media trade, so I can spend less time on that.
You can accomplish a lot more than you realize
You can accomplish a lot more than you realize–at least that’s what happened to me. This year was like going to college but I got to select all the courses I wanted to take! I had a Tony Robbins coach for two years and this last year it felt like her advice, although valuable, threw me off-track. I got tired of hearing how wonderful Tony was and how he does this and that, because really, how many people can be like him? Fortunately the contract ended in November and I’m clearer and more focused on my goals than ever. My point is, you don’t give yourself enough credit for all the knowledge and talent you have within. So at times, you pay astronomical amounts of money (that is, yours truly did) for someone to tell you.
It’s all about “not giving up”
Have you ever fallen into despair and just felt like giving up? I sure did and these are some of my thoughts (aka whininess) when I’m in that state. What’s the point, no one’s reading my blog. I don’t have near enough followers. I’ll never get enough. I’ll never make money. This is really hard work. I didn’t know it was going to take this much time. Maybe I shouldn’t have quit my job. Everybody knows I’m going to fail...Whatever you’re working on whatever your passions are, do you feel like throwing in the towel? Wait! There’s too many dirty towels in the world already!
Never give up no matter how hard the situation is
But I’m committed and so, when I get down I remind myself to never give up no matter how hard the situation is! Here’s my pep talk (feel free to use it or alter it to fit your needs) Okay, this is hard. It’s hard to write and even great writers will tell you that. Or, you know, you’re tired. Rest and stop turning your weekends into running around and exhausting yourself. Take time to relax (okay — I learned that from my Tony Robbins coach. I’m so used to pushing myself I forgot to take time to nurture myself). Or, sleep on it, you’ll feel better tomorrow. And underneath the discouragement, the pain, the fear of failure and the fear that everyone thinks I’m a loser is that desire, that commitment and it’s all about “not giving up.”
Here’s a poem to give you some inspiration and remember to never give up no matter how hard the situation is.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
And the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are –
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
– by John Greenleaf Whittier
What will your New Year look like?
I don’t like to make lofty New Year’s resolutions so I’m going to work on evolving — in my writing, running my blog and being the most authentic, joyful person I can. Those are things I can aspire to–how about you? What will you aspire to be this next year?
That’s all for this week. I’ll be skipping next week’s blog, but I’ll be back the week after Christmas. I hope you’ll join me then. I wish you the best for the holidays. Leave a comment below or click the button to email me.
From my pen ✍️ to your heart ❤️–Kathy