That’s the Intention

I have a plaque with a quote from Mark Twain that reads:

“Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.”

At some point, I should have crossed out “today,” and wrote “in 2019” above it.

Sorry, but 2019 was full of so much suckiness, not just for me, but for a number of people I know. I heard “I can’t wait for this year to be over!” exclaimed a lot more this December, which means a lot of us must have been ready to toss that old calendar to the curb. Goodbye, good riddance, don’t let the door hit ya in the rear on your way out, 2019!

If I remember correctly, 1999 and 2009 were equal in suckage. I mean, if we’re going rate years by level of suckage. Now, I don’t have any background in numerology, but I’m going to propose that this is due to them all ending in the number 9. Obviously.

And I’m making a mental note to prepare for 2029 by hoarding bottles of vodka and buying a helmet to shield my head from falling crap.

Because I’m a planner.

Unfortunately, 2019 has not left me in my usual place for goal setting. At the end of the year I’m normally buying a new planner, making new word lists, and greeting the new year with hopefulness and lots of fresh office supplies. Since that’s not the current situation, I decided to try the “setting intentions” approach for this year. It feels like a kinder, gentler version of goal setting. Goals feel more pass/fail to me at the moment, and the bad taste in my mouth from 2019 makes me assume I’ll fail. There’s no sense in setting myself up for that.

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Embrace 2020: Plan for success in your writing

Holy crapamoley – it’s the year 2020! Is anyone else having Jetson-like fantasies about this year? I feel like it’s officially future-land, and yet, not a single flying car has soared past my window. Maybe they’re just slow to make it to New York’s Hudson Valley?

What has for sure happened, though, is that a new year has begun, and with it the chatter about intention-setting versus resolution-forming. I still love Julie’s guidance from last year about setting a word, or words, around which to structure the next 360 days. I have done, however, exactly none of any of this goodness, though the year is already escaping through my fingers. 

So, putting myself on the spot here to come up with a word for 2020, I think mine is going to be “vision.” Because what could be clearer than 20/20, right? (dull cymbal roll).  But if life has hammered any lesson home to me, it’s that in order to see into the future, we have to first look at our past. 

Putting that into writerly terms, before we can envision (I’m full of ‘em today, watch out!) what we’re going to rock this year, we need to look at what we rolled last year. This, by the way, is an exercise best done without champagne goggles (or the subsequent hangover).  For me, in order for this to be meaningful, I need to do it a couple of times, and each time needs to be a little quieter, for a little longer. 

(This exercise is vastly easier if you actually set goals last year. If you didn’t, keep reading, since I’m going to show you how setting goals is helpful on both the micro and macro levels.) 

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash
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