Your year in review: an inventory of everything good

Sage CohenProductive writing4 Comments

There is no better launching pad into the great, blank page of 2011 than a thorough inventory of all that went right in 2010. With this in mind, I’m going to ask a series questions in a countdown to the New Year! I encourage you to take your time and answer one per day. Be as thorough as you can in listing every, single thing you appreciate about yourself and what you’ve accomplished in each dimension of your writing life–even if the best you can do is admire that you stopped burning your rejection letters. Deal?

December 13: What was most fun, exhilarating or rewarding in your writing life this year?

December 14: What obstacles did you face and overcome?

December 15: What relationships did you build or repair, and how has this contributed to your writing life?

December 16: What did you let go of (habits, relationships, attitudes, clutter) that was no longer serving you?

December 17: What did you read that taught you something about your craft, your platform or how to take your writing and publishing forward?

December 18: What did you earn or what opportunity did you land that felt prosperous?

December 19: How has your confidence and/or craft improved?

December 20: What have you learned about social media that is serving your writing life?

December 21: What strategies worked best for being effective with your time?

December 22: How did you nurture and sustain your well being–in mind, body, spirit?

December 23: Who has praised your writing or teaching or facilitating? What did they say and how did it give you a new sense of appreciation for yourself and your work?

December 24: What did you learn about your writing rhythms: time of day to write, managing procrastination, how and when to revise, making use of slim margins of time, etc.?

December 25: Who did you help, and who helped you?

December 26:What did you learn about yourself from rejection, and how has it helped your writing, your confidence or your submissions approach develop?

December 27: What did you do that terrified you–but you did it any way? And how did that benefit your life and your writing?

December 28:How were you patient?

December 29: When and how were you successful at juggling the competing demands of family, writing, work, and everything else in your full life?

December 30: Who did you forgive? Who forgave you?

Because it’s so easy to keep our minds trained to the loop of an unsolvable problem or two, you may be surprised at how many triumphs are revealed as you answer these questions. Every risk you took, skill you fortified and skin you shed in the service of your writing life is a foothold in the future you are aspiring to create. Nice work!

I’d like to know: what most intrigued or surprised you on your self-inventory list?

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