PE 12 — New Year, New Beginning

Personal Essay Button I’ll be writing and posting Personal Essays on the last Tuesday of every month. They will be honest, sometimes vivid explorations of my life.

I’m writing them for two reasons: to help put my experiences in perspective and to purge myself of any residual compost.

Since it is good therapy, you are invited to join me, post your link in comments and I’ll be sure to drop by.

Let it begin:

Every year I start out an optimist when it comes to writing. For example, I have great plans to finish a novel that I actually like, flaws and all. I make the mistake of comparing my work to the great stories I’ve read and before you know it I’m tucking it away to work on later. I can do shorts; I love doing shorts so many challenges and so little room to do it in. The challenges are so abundant I can’t help but love the process.

Today is more than appropriate to bring up new beginnings. They seem to appear when the new year is around the corner. Just like the heavy snow fall that happened yesterday makes the world all bright and shiny outside. Clean slate, virgin snow, new year encourages me to try again. New beginnings and new goals for the new year.

Rumor has it we aren’t supposed to compare ourselves with others. Great in theory but almost impossible to do in the real world. I’m inspired by all the great stories I read, and I read all the time. My benchmark is very high, because I look at what they can do. And you know what I’m thinking, if one person can do it, so can I.

Back to pondering new beginnings, I wondered how I could bring together my love of shorts and my novel writing goal. What if I could intertwine three or four shorts and build a one novel. I would have my storylines with the pop and twists, and meet the goal of writing a novel I’d actually like, maybe love in the end. I’m using the project I started in Nano, knowing there are three strong storylines. I’ve almost completed the main plot, but it leaves me short by several thousand words, and that’s okay because I’ve still have my other plot lines to use to meet the word count I need.

Where will this lead? I don’t know. But for the first time in a while I’m enjoying writing a longer work. I’m a true Sagittarius, following one arrow at a time to meet a goal. I don’t know what the end product will be and to me that’s the adventure in a nutshell.

28 responses to “PE 12 — New Year, New Beginning

  1. I think one of the worst things we can ever do it compare ourselves to someone else. We are all unique and should be individuals. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and there is nothing wrong with that.

    I really hope you do well this year with your writing and get everything accomplished you want too. 😉

  2. I too believe it’s impossible not to compare your work with one of the greats. It’s human nature to want to “measure up”. Personally, I think it drives me harder. Unlike you, I prefer longer works like novels. But I admire writers who can cram all the elements of a novel into a short. Perhaps that your niche. Perhaps that will make you a household name one day. Something to think about, right? I think your idea of combining your shorts, creating a novel out of them, is a good one. If anyone can do it, you can, Anna. Good luck!

  3. I’m a true Sagittarius as well, and live by the rule we follow of, ‘I see the goal. I reach the goal and see another.’ 🙂 Your idea for your new book sounds great, Anna, a perfect goal to set your sights on at this auspicious time of the year. Best wishes with it!

  4. HI, Anna,
    I think combining shorts are a great way of coming up with a novel or novella. I like that idea since many reader these days seem to favour shorter works. All the best for the new year!

  5. New fresh years are great for washing away failed resolutions. Time to begin again!

  6. I can see where you can write a short story for four different characters and have them be brought together – connected in some way. It’s really hard not to compare myself to other people but that hasn’t never made me feel good. It’s good to be inspired by writers but you are you. Own your work and yourself. Better said than done, I know.

  7. New Years depresses me because I never reach my goals!

  8. While it’s difficult not to compare ourselves to others, it’s important to never lose sight that no one else, regardless of how talented, can write the stories we have inside us. Use your words to affect the world in a way that only you can, and comparisons become meaningless.

    My process for writing short stories is completely opposite from the way I write novels. Shorts, I write to an ending. Novels I write following the character arcs and never know how the story will end until I get there. I could never meld shorts into a novel, but it sounds ideal for your process and your love of short stories. Follow your writer’s instincts always.

    Best of luck in the new year, Anna!

    VR Barkowski

  9. Sounds like you are starting out on the right track and enjoying it. That is fantastic! I look forward to reading more of your posts and your novel? 🙂 Happy New Year, Anna.

  10. Hi Anna!
    “What if I could intertwine three or four shorts and build a one novel.” This really resonated with me.
    I love my shorts. I always say that I’m ‘wired’ for writing flash fiction.
    Happy New Year to you and your family! 🙂

  11. I know that we’re not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but it’s so, so hard to resist that temptation! I like your idea of tying together several short stories into one main story! I really think that would work, as some stories are a tale involving several adventures. Good luck! And I can’t wait to read the final result! 🙂

  12. I agree with you 100% that is is hard to try and not compare yourself to authors you admire. Even though we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, because we are all unique and should really embrace that, it does give us a goal of sorts to work towards 🙂 I love that you can write short stories. I’ve been dabbling with the idea of writing a few of those myself and I hope to successfully finish one this year. Best of luck to you in this new year!

    • Thanks for dropping by. If you need a beta reader, just let me know. Trust me once you do shorts they are hard to give up.

      Best of luck in the New Year. 😀

  13. Best of luck! Every year starts out with good intentions, like you said, it’s sticking to them that’s the trick!

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