Earlier this month I tweeted about wanting December to only be filled with good things. As a result, I made a commitment to only talk and share ideas and thoughts on social media that I felt were positive.
Why did I decide to do this? Because I increasingly feel like social media has turned into a VERY negative place. When I first started posting on Twitter two years ago it felt like such a positive space. Now half the time when I log on, my feed is filled with angry rants on a variety of topics. Rants about things that quite frankly a lot of the time are way out of our control.
With this commitment in December I wanted to talk today about what brings me hope…
Yes, as I mentioned, social media has become increasingly volatile but there are still gems to be found amongst the angry tweets.
First, there is the AMAZING Brenda Drake who spends tons of time offering incredible opportunities to the writing community through her contests. Go on Twitter and check the PITCHWARS hashtag and you’ll see many writers showing love and support for one another. Recently, Brenda and her team also hosted #PITMAD. And once again, writers came out in large numbers to support one another.
Need more examples of positivity on the web? Look at the incredible auction Jessa Russo and Tamara Mataya put together for writer, Summer Heacock. In merely days, these two women rallied the writing community and organized an event to benefit a struggling writer friend. Agents, editors, authors all pitched in to make the auction a success for a family in need. To see the writing community pull together so quickly was nothing short of amazing and made me proud to be a small cog in that wheel.
Finding hope this holiday season can also be a very personal thing. It’s no secret that I’ve had my struggles this year with writing. I’ve done a MAJOR rewrite on a story I love, as well as worked on two other books that have had their ups and downs. Frequently, I’ve found myself questioning my direction and my goals. I’ve been really hard on myself in 2015, but I’ve made up my mind to ease up by doing a few things.
– Go at my own pace. Writing a book is not a sprint for me. The words may come slow on certain days and I can’t beat myself up for that. I need to embrace the process no matter how long it takes.
– Be grateful for the ability to write. Sometimes it takes people years to find their passion, but I discovered mine early. I’m blessed because each and every day I get to sit at my computer and create new characters, settings, and stories. That’s a gift I need to remember on difficult days.
– Embrace the small victories. A finished page. A completed outline. A first draft. These aren’t simply things to be checked off a list but incredible accomplishments that need to be celebrated.
For me the holidays is not only a time to celebrate with family and friends but to reflect on the year that’s passed. In finding hope in the small accomplishments, I buoy myself for the new year and hope it carries me through on days when I question my work. It’s that hope that has me believing in the goodness of others and the power of the written word.
In this holiday season I hope you’ll find your own hope and joy. Whether it comes from a major accomplishment, or something small, my wish for you is that it fills your heart and inspires you for the year to come!