How do you measure a year in the life?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
– Jonathan Larson

I have to admit it – 2011 is one of those years that I am extremely glad is over. I am quite happy to see the back of it. So long, fare thee well, auf Wiedersehen, sayonara, sod off, and all that jazz.

Without going into all the gory details, some of my issues this past year include problems at work, personal problems, and health issues. Even little Mog had health issues and if you have pets or babies you know how heartbreaking it is when they’re poorly because they can’t tell you where it hurts.

But 2011 wasn’t all bad, I suppose. I sustained my passion for writing – it’s as strong now as it was this time last year. Actually, no, it’s stronger. I love my writing. It is hard work and it doesn’t come easily to me (I’m very easily distracted and a dreadful procrastinator) but I love it all the same. When the ideas are flowing and I can feel the creative juices bubbling in my veins, there is no other feeling like it. I don’t know if I will ever be very good at it or if I will ever finish a book that is worthy of publishing but by golly I will have had fun doing it.

My love of writing has introduced me to some amazing people. Some of them I have never met but they share my love of writing and what aspiring writer does not need like-minded people to inspire and support them on this challenging and amazing journey? My love of writing also took me to Bali where I was able to spend an amazing week with a group of gifted and beautiful women, writing under the tutelage of a talented and published writer (see here for a post about that trip).

I also fell in love with reading again this year. It’s been awhile since I’ve really enjoyed reading. I’ve become one of those people who has to be ‘in the mood’ to do things. So, instead of watching a TV show when it’s scheduled, I tape shows and watch them when I’m in the mood to watch them and usually in marathon form. I would also go through ‘moods’ with reading, watching TV vs movies, playing games on the computer, crafty things, and so on. It had been awhile since I had been in the mood to read a book but since I started writing I have craved books. It’s taking me a bit of time to learn to read regularly again and I do go for weeks without reading (especially if I’m reading a book that’s a bit dull) but I’m back in that headspace of not being able to walk past a bookstore without wandering in and perusing the shelves to find new books I might want to read. I even bought a Moleskine Book Journal for myself to keep track of the books I read from now on.

Combining these two passions, I wrote a review of one book I read which I particularly enjoyed and submitted it for inclusion on Sydney Writers’ Centre’s blog. It was accepted and I was over the moon with joy at being ‘published’. I emailed everyone who mattered to tell them and send them the link. I still have the page printed out and stuck up on my desk at work, along with a quote by Ella Fitzgerald (Just don’t give up on trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.), to remind myself not only of what I can achieve but what I want to achieve.

Those are the things that stick out most for me about 2011 as I look forward to 2012 and wonder what it will bring. I am not doing resolutions this time round because I never keep them but my hopes for 2012 are these:

  1. That this time next year I will be reflecting that my love for writing is still as strong as it is now.
  2. I will have finished (at least) the first draft of my first story by the year’s end.
  3. That both Mog and I will enjoy better health than we did this year.

But how do you measure, measure a year?

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