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Week 51 helped me figure out the don’ts

So I hold my hands up and like the white rabbit say ‘I’m late. I’m very late’. Between having brain freeze/word coma and a lot of family stuff going on, this post got put back and then put back again. Needless to say week 51 was busy and full of good things, not writing, but heart and soul nourishing things probably neglected throughout the year because I was writing or thinking about it!

Unlike other years where I have made New Year resolutions and failed to keep them, this year I am going to focus on what not to do instead. Not in a negative way, but more to be aware of bad habits and work to change them, rather than set ridiculous goals that fade by June and gather dust only to rear their ugly guilt-ridden heads in November. So for 2014 here are my don’ts:

* Don’t be too hard on yourself. If writing was that easy everyone would be doing it.

* Don’t indulge so much that your brain is mashed potato the next day. You do not write well hungover!

* Don’t compare yourself to other people. We all evolve at our own rates.

* Don’t let doubt, guilt, laziness, tiredness get in the way of getting some words down on paper. There’s always a gem in the dirt.

* Don’t succumb to missing out on opportunities or supporting fellow writers. Say yes to events, festivals, book launches, open mics etc. (within reason of course!)

* Don’t stop experimenting. An insane idea may lead to something wonderful.

* Don’t watch TV instead of reading (or the mashed potato head will reign).

* Don’t forget to listen. There’s a world of stories out there to be discovered.

* Don’t feel bad about feeling bad. Live in it and then let it go.

* Don’t dwell on rejections. Just get better.

* Most of all don’t forget it’s meant to be fun. Enjoy creating characters, plotting twists, writing a phrase, paragraph, sentence in a way nobody else has, creating something.

It’s a new year with challenges and opportunities along with the pitfalls of the list above. But it’s new and fresh and in my bones feels like something good is waiting to emerge. Happy 2014 all!