I first started journaling years ago because Julia Cameron told me to.
Not literally; I’ve never met or communicated with the renowned author and screenwriter personally.
However in her bestselling creative self-help book/program The Artist’s Way, which I completed in 2011, she advocates a practice of “morning pages”—three handwritten, stream-of-consciousness pages of journaling first thing every morning.
Last week I posted my 300th blog post. And true to form, missed out on commemorating the occasion.
This is something of a trend for me when it comes to my writing. I’m constantly overlooking my memorable achievements.
(What few memorable achievements I have as an unpublished, unconnected writer.)
Every writer has two* birthdays.
The anniversary of the day of your arrival into this world.
And that of the day you actually became a writer.
My chapter revision tracking system for draft 2, with special emphasis given to chapters 7, 15, 21, and 30 (formerly 31)
The ultimate reward of writing, obviously, is publishing a book and having it read to widespread appeal.
But long before reaching that point, should a writer reward the intermediate stages of his/her writing journey?
In the past, I’ve written not only about both the importance of goal-setting, but also of ensuring your goals have corresponding plans to power their fulfillment.
As far as months go, I can’t say I care much for February.
This isn’t for the reason most might expect. It’s not the weather. For most of Canada, February is dark, cheerless, and frigid – the furthest thing from the festive winter wonderland of a couple months prior.
I experienced 30 straight years of that. But now, living on the west coast in Vancouver, February days are noticeably longer, the temperatures rest well above zero (some winters, it never even goes below freezing), and although it rains for days and weeks on end, at least you don’t have to shovel.
It all began with the random thought that occurred to me while at work on the final chapter of my WIP:
I should paint my fingernails so that when I finally type “The End”, I’ll do so in vivid colour to help me remember the moment forever.
It being the first attempted novel I’d have ever completed making the event something of a big deal to me.
Still, this notion to adorn myself was quite a departure for me. I’m hardly a deft hand when it comes to personal ornamentation:
The morning began as most as winter workdays do, which is to say dark, and because of that, what felt far too early to me.
This year, I made a conscious effort to remember my writing birthday – to commemorate it on the actual day, or if nothing else, to at least make note of it. February 12: in truth, an arbitrarily-chosen day meant to mark the start of my first (incomplete, shelved) novel as approximated through a forensic accounting some emails I sent to a friend around that time.
I’m an Aquarius writer.