Maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe because I’ve been journaling a lot, but my thoughts represent a pendulum. I look forward to 2024 and think about what projects I want to publish, what goals I want to make, and how I might handle the uncertainty that looms ahead. Then I review 2023, consider why certain projects didn’t get published, what goals weren’t met, and how I handled situations. A touch of anxiety (or excitement if I’m being optimistic) when I imagine what I want 2024 to look like. And a dash of disappointment (or acceptance if I’m thinking positively) when I think about how 2023 turned out. Back and forth, like a pendulum.
I’ve added pretty much all I’m going to right now to the 2024 calendar. And I haven’t planned beyond January. Part of the reason I don’t complete all I plan is because I over plan. I think I can write X number of words a day, and by doing the math, have a completed manuscript in Y days. After the last few years of doing this, I’m taking it slow in 2024. That pendulum at work again, showing me the past in order to better inform the future.
Since I’ve been doing so much journaling over the past couple of weeks, I’ve caught flickers of things I might be able to do to support my fiction writing. As I look at the remaining days of 2023, I consider what I could do to lighten some of the disappointment by finishing one more project. And just like the pendulum of my thoughts swinging from the future to the past, the observations coming up in the journals have me looking at my process (internal) and how it’s affected by circumstances (external).
I haven’t given myself whiplash from watching the back and forth. With a few weeks remaining, I hope to have the journaling done and more clarity about the future. Part of that clarity will be giving myself more space to trust the creative process. Have you planned anything for 2024? How much of 2023 informed those plans?