Review Your (Writing) Life by Rochelle Melander
If you change nothing, nothing will change.
It still feels like summer, the hot and humid air leaves me breathless, desiring only to sit on the porch, drink lemonade, and read books. But the calendar reminds me that Labor Day weekend is coming up and with it, the start of school.
We might not attend school or have children to send off, but this season still calls us all to make changes, to let go of old habits and take on new projects. I can tell I’m ready for something new because over the weekend I began rearranging my office—a sure sign that I need a change.
Before I make any major change, I like to pause and consider what is. If you’re in the mood for a shift and aren’t sure what it might be, here’s a tool to help you review your life:
1. Score your life. Examine your date book for the last few months (or whatever else you use to keep track of your working life) and evaluate each item. Keeping in mind what you value and love to do, give each item a plus or minus. If something was amazingly wonderful, go ahead and give it more than one plus mark. If an activity was fun to do but didn’t pay well (or paid well but was a pain to complete), give it a plus and a minus.
2. Consider the missing. Review your goals for 2014. What had you hoped to work on this year? Perhaps you wanted to journal more or write a novel. Maybe you’d planned to start a blog or take up an exercise routine. As you look at what you’ve actually done, make a list of the activities or goals you’ve forgotten to work on.
3. Evaluate it all. Assess the results of steps one and two. Given what worked and what didn’t work, what you did and what you wished you’d done, ask yourself:
*What kind of work would I like to do less of?
*What kind of work would I like to do more of?
A note: You will have some immediate answers to these questions. Write them down and honor them. But you may also want to sit with the questions for a bit until the right answer shows up.
Your turn: If you have additional life review tools, please suggest them in the comments section below! Happy reviewing!
Resource: Last November, we did a similar exercise called The Reckoning. Check it out for more resources.