Remember how I made this list of things I wanted to do during my thirties? I really have been working toward these goals, and it’s been neat to see some progress.
For example, see that first goal up there on the top left of the graphic? The one where I purposed to write a book? Get this! I wrote one! I finished the draft of my first novel over the weekend and sent it off to a writer friend for her edits. After I get her critique and make changes I plan to do two more rounds of edits and then, who knows? Maybe I’ll get an agent and try to get the thing published!
Of course, my novelist friend might tell me that my book is horrible, worse than anything she’s ever read, and only fit for toilet paper if you’re in the woods and can’t find a pinecone, but even then I’ll feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The novel is over 83,000 words long, and is longer than my thesis, which was previously my longest piece of writing. Moreover, I loved writing it. Absolutely, completely loved it. You know when you’re doing something you really love and you get into a zone of happiness and can hardly believe how quickly time flies? Writing is like that for me.
I learned a lot about writing over the course of working on this book – a lot about the craft of writing, about fiction writing, about how many odd bits of anecdotes and memories I have stored up in my head that were useful in creating characters out of nothing – but most of all I learned a lot about myself. I remembered that I am someone beyond Wife and Mom. Not that there is anything wrong with being a wife and mom – both are excellent jobs and callings, but they are not necessarily a person’s only calling. I loved getting back in touch with the writer side of myself, and I loved that I didn’t have to sacrifice being a good wife and mom to do it. It meant putting other pursuits on the backburner maybe so I could focus on one thing, but it feels great to have accomplished something I always wanted to do.
I won’t lie to you; I would love to be published. I would love to walk in a bookstore and see something I wrote on display. But the true accomplishment for me was letting myself try and letting myself reach for a goal that seemed at first a little absurd for a busy mom of several small children.
If you have a list of long term goals, what are you working on right now? What big dream are you reaching for?