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The Reckoning by Rochelle Melander

Dear Writers,

Over the next weeks, we’re going to dream, plan and prepare for next year. We’ll consider what we’ve been up to in 2013, imagine what might be fun to create in 2014, and then make plans for the year. We’ll also review and update our social media profiles so that we can be ready to rock when the calendar moves from this year to the next.

Today’s tip gives you a tool to begin reviewing your creative work in 2013. Enjoy!

Happy writing, Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach


401The Reckoning by Rochelle Melander

Truth walks toward us on the paths of our questions…as soon as you think you have the answer, you have closed the path and may miss vital new information. Wait awhile in the stillness, and do not rush to conclusions, no matter how uncomfortable the unknowing. —Jacqueline Winspear, Maisie Dobbs

I’m a huge fan of Jacqueline Winspear’s mystery series featuring Maisie Dobbs, a private investigator working just after the end of World War I. At the end of every case, detective Maisie Dobbs sits with her case map and does a reckoning. She reviews her notes, makes decisions about how to deal with any loose ends, and thinks about how she’ll use what she’s learned in her life and with future cases.

Before we dream up a brand new exciting year of writing, we need to take a look at 2013 and do our own reckoning of sorts. Yeah, I know you’re still living it. But you have enough of the year under your belt to reflect on what rocked and what didn’t. Here’s a brief process to help you start your reckoning:

1. Make a list of the creative work you’ve done in the past year. Include everything in your list, even the stuff you do because you have to (like hanging out on Twitter, doing research, or sending out invoices.)

2. List what you value most about your work as a writer. Again, include everything from the philosophical (exploring new ideas) to the practical (earning money, working at home).

3. Evaluate how this past year’s creative endeavors (list #1) matched up with your values (list #2). In other words:

+Did you get to do enough of the stuff that brings you joy?

+Did you meet your practical needs through writing?

4. Finally, as you review the two lists, ask:

+What kinds of creative work do I want to do less of?

+What kinds of creative work do I want to do more of?

That’s it for now: make your lists, check them twice. Then hold onto them: there’s more reckoning to be done. And some dreaming, too.

[Tweet “#Writers, how do you evaluate the year past?”]



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