Friday, December 28, 2012

Writing with Intention as a New Year's Resolution

I like making resolutions at New Year. It doesn't feel right somehow to end the year without deciding on something different to do in the coming 365 days. It can be to do more of something or less of something. To focus on a particular phrase or way of thinking about things. It can be a chance to give yourself permission to do something utterly crazy or fun. Just because you want to. It doesn't even have to be anything big. Just a little something to mark that moment of crossing the boundary between one year and the next.

Thinking about resolutions has reminded me of something I have known to be true of myself for a very long time. I am much better with setting intentions than I am with setting goals. While some people find deliberate specific goals inspire them,  I tend to find they have the opposite dampening effect for me, smacking too much of requirement and restriction and the dreaded words should and must. They also often have a tendency to be slightly left of center of what I actually want to accomplish with the goal. Intentions, on the other hand, tend to offer me a creative playground colored with the feeling of "I will" and "I want". Someplace I want to be. Something I want to do.  An open door through which I walk instead of clinging to the door frame a la Jodie Foster in Nim's Island.

Sometimes I forget that.

This post, as you can see, is not the first or even the second or even the sixth that I have made on Zinc Journey. In fact, if you were here really early on the ground, zincjourney was not even the original name for this blog.  It is classic evidence of my tendency to forget that goals (minus Nano and its 50,000 words, when I have a large writing community cheering me on to hit the goal with them and lots of wonderful pep talks popping into my mailbox) are not my forte.

Back at the resolution drawing board, I recognize what drove me to leap off that Goal Bridge back at the end of October. At its heart was my desire to feel a greater sense of improvement and forward motion in my writing and, quite frankly, to find myself in possession of a finished first draft of at least one of my works in progress.  It was also a wish to find my way into a more regular (and daily) writing practice.  All things that are still very important to me.  How to make that door wide enough, I might just find my way there?

Taking a cue from my past experiences with goal and intention setting, my new intention for 2013 is simply  1) to write more and 2) to spend more time thinking about writing and creative process. No limits on the what or the when or the how.  Looking forward to seeing what kind of writing comes out of that intention.

Wishing you the best of luck in your own resolutions, whether you choose an intention or a goal.  May 2013 be a great year for all of us.

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