Saturday, December 31, 2011

Attitude is Altitude: Write Higher in 2012

As the remaining hours of 2011 tick by and I look forward to a bright and shiny new year, I can’t help but remember that I didn’t reach my goal for 2011. 

Did I set my sights too high?

Or is it just the name of the game?

My one teensy-tiny goal…was to find an agent. Not just any agent either, but a rock star agent that LOVES me. With all my flaws, with all my blunders and bloopers, that’s all – nothing major right?

Well, I didn’t…but that’s okay! I had so many other positive achievements in 2011, I know I’m still reaching upward and I am nowhere near throwing in the towel. 

I say it’s time to celebrate the baby-steps! If you’re like me and didn’t quite reach your goals, but you tried like hell and gave it your best shot…then give yourself a big “WOO HOO!” from me and make yourself a list of accomplishments to reflect and remember just how far you’ve come baby!

Here are mine:

1.      One year ago I was afraid to let anyone read my work, I cowered away from criticism. Today, I can’t get my stuff into enough hands and I can’t wait to hear if they have any advice. What changed? Me. Once I was open to it and willing to rip my heart open, my writing took off and now I’ve heard so many wonderful compliments I can’t wait for the criticism, knowing the results are improvement.

2.      One year ago I was scared I’d fail if I tried. Scared I’d be laughed out of a writers group if I joined. Today, I’m brave and confident. What changed? Me. I sucked it up – sweaty palms and all – and marched into a public place, sat in front of perfect strangers and read my words, my babies out loud…and waited. Waited for laughter, waited for rejection, but it never came. Those fears were all in my head, an excuse to fail I’d invented to keep from succeeding. 

3.      One year ago I couldn’t set aside my first novel and work on anything else, I’d rewritten it a dozen times – third person narration to first person – and it still wasn’t working – not really (I still stubbornly think it has potential though) – I had refused to give up. Today, I have more than a dozen projects in the works. What changed? Me. I learned that it’s okay to move on when stuck. I learned it didn’t mean I was giving up or that I’d somehow failed. I learned it was just smart to take a break when the muse wasn’t hanging around that project anymore and go where the inspiration was leading, not cling to a deflated manuscript trying to breathe life back into it when clearly it no longer had a pulse.

4.      One year ago I didn’t have a blog, I didn’t have a twitter, and I didn’t have more than a handful of writer-type friends. Today, I have hundreds. What changed? Me. I came out of my cocoon-of-fear and spread my wings. Now I have amazing authors and writers who inspire me and encourage me every day. I couldn’t do it without you Fab-Five, Augusta Region Writers Group, SCBWI Augusta, Georgia Writer’s Association and of course… YOU! My wonderfully uplifting followers, you keep me going!

So, I did not fail in 2011, I just didn’t know enough to set the “write” goal.

This year, my aim for 2012 is still to find an awesome agent, but it’s not the only thing I’m reaching for. This year I’m going to strive to keep improving and give back the courage, the inspiration and the momentum all of you have given me.

I wish for all of you, growth, courage, strength, and the freedom to let go.

Once you’ve decided you’re perfect, there’s nowhere to go but down. If you’re dented or lumpy, scarred or stained but trying to improve…then you’re always in an upward motion, even when you feel stuck. Keep reaching for better altitude.    ~ Share the Vibe ~

Did you make your goal last year and what are you reaching for in 2012?


  1. Your attitute is contagious! I love it!
    David Storm

  2. Candie - The agent will come. Celebrate those other successes! It sounds as if you really had a great year! Congrats!

    I didn't reach all of my goals, but I had a few successes, and I'm happy with them.

    I'm looking forward to 2012.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Candie-I love all your stuff that I have read so far, you are very good at it. I enjoy writing but I don't get to do it much. I don't actually know HOW to write, I just do the best I can and if it sounds right, I go with it.....I probably break every rule in the book for punctuations and paragraphs and whatnot! I will send you some of my stuff. Love, e'Lisa

  4. Thanks for all the kind words, I definitely have the nicest blog followers. Happy New Year!

  5. That is so awesome. It's cool to celebrate the baby-steps. I will start doing the same thing. This post was very encouraging. Thank you

  6. Well, I think you did some amazing things in your year! YAY!
    One of my goals is to do a better job keeping up with old friends- so hello! And Happy New Year.

    ps- DFWcon 5 mos away!

  7. Hi Candie!
    I just wanted to tell you that this post lit a new fire under me. It's inspiring and uplifting and I feel very blessed to call you my friend!

    Have a wonderful year!

  8. What an amazing feeling to hear that I've encourage others. You guys are the best! Really.

    I have some more "baby-step" related news, but it will have to wait until I have the strength to write a new blog...

    ...You see, I've hired a personal trainer and can no longer lift my arms for an extended period of time without whimpering. :-)

    Keep counting all those little steps, they all add up!

    Jan, Thanks! That's a huge compliment and I am blessed as well to have you in my life. :-)