So in keeping with the festive and reflective practices of this season, I am making this post about celebrating blessings and reflecting on lessons. Although I am still far from my writing goals, I am taking a moment to smell the roses because in the last few months i made quite a bit of progress! This month alone I had two of my articles published on Y!naija (ynaija.com/your-turn-my-own-lagos and ynaija.com/omonaikee-scouting-for-the-girls) and another was published in Imbue Magazine. YAY!
Part of making progress has meant having editors give me feedback about my work, which is great because you learn or re-learn a ton like what happened when I sent off my article to an editor. In secondary school, I once wrote an essay littered with “I” in lower case and my English teacher circled every offending letter in red ink before proceeding to give me an uncomplimentary score for not writing them in capital letters. Like my teacher, my editor showed her disapproval when I made the same mistake.
I have also learnt a lot from sending out requests for columnist opportunities to top papers and magazines, like:
1. Follow request through no matter how long it takes. Persist until you get a logical YES or NO. Most of the time people are willing to say YES than they want to say NO and if you don’t get a YES, listen for the NOT NOW and keep pushing until the time is right.
2. There are a ton of ideas in your head about what to do to move yourself closer to your heart desires- try all of them out. They are your mind telling you how to get what you want.
3. Start as soon as RIGHT now, because there will be challenges anyway. You might have to retry several times before you get it right, so the earlier you put yourself to the test the better.
You can hardly make progress without seeing areas to improve. That’s the evidence that you are not standing still. There is always a way to do things better and sometimes we only find it when we tell ourselves the truth. For instance, I have writer’s diseases that plague more frequently than I should let them. One of them is, I wait for inspiration to write and for some articles it flows like a never ending stream while for others, inspiration only teases to get your interest then denies you when it has your full attention. When this happens, work sputters to a stop and remains unfinished. But a little discipline goes a long way to help inspiration too so maybe that should be a point for my New Year resolution.
Speaking of the New Year, this year is in its twelfth month of pregnancy and the year 2012 will soon be born. This is perfect timing to retreat and review how we have spent this year, what goals we have achieved, what progress we have made, what kind of people we have become, what shortcomings we can improve on and what we can still do before this year ends. The great thing about reflecting is that it shows you where to plant your next steps. Here’s something else I will be doing and you should try it too: Write down a list of things that you can do to move yourself into the place where you want to be and think about how you will execute them in the New Year. It should be fun!