We’re on the cusp of another summer. In parts of our country, that means the grills are being uncovered after a long winter’s hiatus. In other parts, the grills are being pulled back under the pergola for a little welcome shade from the blazing sun and even higher temps than normal.
School–in its various forms–is on summer break. The nationwide reappearance of flip-flops means they’ve officially replaced boots and wool socks. By now it’s obvious my point of view (POV, for you fiction writers) is a perspective where 72 degrees is considered a heat wave.
What did you promise yourself last summer?
Did you tell yourself you would work on that book project that’s been an open file on your laptop for a year and a half? Was your goal to use the extended daylight of summer to work through your to-be-read pile? Did you make plans to sit poolside or lakeside with a book in hand, but life got in the way?
Were your plans last summer to walk off the previous year’s evidence that you spent a lot of the time in a chair? Did you tell your family you would be spending one afternoon a week at the coffee shop to make progress on the research you started the summer before?
Did you promise yourself that before September 1 of 2019, you would get your completed proposal off to that prospective agent, or to the agent who has an editor waiting for it? What you promised yourself last summer matters.
What will you promise yourself this summer?
Same things? Cut-and-paste last summer’s promises unfulfilled?
A cusp is a good place. It’s a transition or turning point. Will it be a turning point for you?
What you promised yourself last summer can be true of this summer in regard to your writing, your career, and the atmosphere around you. Turning points don’t need ideal conditions. They’re all the more satisfying when they’re accomplished in less-than-ideal conditions.
- Zero in on your sweet spot in writing. Land on your unique voice and where your writing skills shine.
- Ramp up your platform numbers.
- Ramp up your engagement with readers and potential readers.
- Brainstorm new book ideas.
- Flesh out at least one of those ideas into a proposal.
- Read a book on the craft of writing.
- FINISH YOUR MANUSCRIPT! (Not shouting. Strongly encouraging.)
- Dig in to the hardest parts of your proposal. You know, the ones you’ve been avoiding, the ones that have kept you from submitting said proposal.
- Focus on listening this summer–to your family, your friends, the world beyond your doors.
- Transition from talking about writing to actual writing.
- Start one new writing related habit that will propel you forward in your career or your health.
- Pay attention to your mental and relational health.
- Determine not to wait for everything else to be in order before you allow yourself to write.
- Break up with perfection. It’s about time. Court excellence instead.
All of the above are possible. I’ll ask again in three months. How many promises to yourself will you have kept?