It’s a phrase I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. In fact, in a lot of ways, I’ve decided that 2015 is a year of professional development for me. It’s the year where I hone in on key things and focus.
Most of you know that I love to write novels. I love it. Telling stories has been, and always will be, part of my soul. For years I put creative writing off, always making excuses. I wrote stories in elementary school, kept a journal all through high school, and even wrote a full-length novel on my own (for fun) as a full-time student in college, but I never focused on it once I started my work as a professional journalist. I’d start something, then stop it, over think things, and lost my will to press onward.
In 2012, though, I got serious. Creative writing went from being a hobby to being a job.
Three years have passed, and a lot has happened. I’ve seen some success as a writer and gained some loyal fans. I am so grateful for that. Thank you to everyone who has ever bothered to give me even a moment of their time on this journey so far. It’s been fantastic.
But I can get better, though. My stories need work. A lot of work. They need more than just raw talent (if that’s what you think I have, some might argue differently). They need polish.
So I’m back at the place where it counts. This entire month of January, I’ve been doing my research and putting in the time to work on fundamentals. I’m cleaning up my characters and making them stronger. I’m working on plots and pressing myself to get better at dialogue. And I’m going over every word to make sure they count.
It’s hard work. It’s lonely work.
But I still love it.