1. Always set goals for yourself
I’m a very goal orientated person. Part of it is to keep myself organized and the other part of it is that I like having things to look forward to, and I like the idea of possibilities. In 2013, my 1st full length – collection of poetry (Domestic Uncertainties) was published, and my Mad Men inspired chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream, got accepted for publication for 2014.
I wrote both books for me, and that’s important. I always write for myself. One to get through hard times, and another because I fell in love with a TV show I resisted for many years. (So that’s another lesson, #1.5 – watch an episode or two of a show before naysaying it.) The Mad Men poems just came. First I had one, then three, then fifteen. It’s funny the way things happen like that. Don changed me.
2. Sometimes you have to do it on your own.
In 2013 I threw myself a book tour for Domestic Uncertainties. I saved money and I spent hours researching reading series and bookstores out west. I found places to stay; I convinced my best friend to go with me and together, we flew across the country to promote my book. No one did that for me. I went for it. It was awesome.
Did I sell a lot of books?
No, not really, but I read at a lot of great places, both small and large.
I received a ton of compliments from people who knew my work and from strangers.
I overcame a fear of putting a trip like that together on my own.
And, most importantly, I made a ton of friends.
3. You can’t ask for everything.
I’ve been very blessed this year, especially with my publications. I’m especially excited for my three poems that are coming out in the January 2014 issue of POETRY. I’m grateful for that, and for my books and for teaching with students I adore. Students that make me laugh, for students that make me think, and for students who just adore me. But of course, there’s always more I want.
(And here, I’m talking about outside of my career as a writer and a teacher)
Life is about timing. I realize that, but it’s still a hard truth to accept.
4. Don’t believe the hype.
Sometimes, hype is just hype. There have been a few books this year that came out and I ran to get because EVERYONE was raving about them and I just couldn’t get into them.
I kept thinking, “What’s wrong with me?”
and then I realized, “absolutely nothing!”
5. Know what you want.
I’m turning 34 next week. Everyone says 33 is a special year in your life, and 2013 has definitely been special. Wonderful things have happened, but more importantly I’ have learned a lot about myself, about the person I want to be, and about the person I want to be with, in the future. I’m eager to see what 2014 will bring my way.
Knowing what you want is hard, and it’s taken me a long time through both painful and joyful times of reasoning. Now, I know what I want out of life and I’m happy to say that I’m pleased with the person I have become.
Happy New Year Luna Luna Readers !!