Ahhhhh vacation! One of the perks of being at the same job for 5 years is having an extra week of vacation, which is why I am blessed to have off for the next 3 days…pair it with the weekend and I’ve got myself six glorious days of not having to report anywhere. I also have no specific plans over the next several days which means no commitments. Now that Christmas has come and gone we are in the lull period leading up to New Years which of course leads to introspection. I’m still not where I thought I would be professionally at the close of 2011, but as I reflect upon this year I realize I actually have achieved some pretty awesome things:
· Instead of allowing fear of rejection to dampen my spirits and waterlog my motivation, I followed up on a lead from a friend and actually submitted an article to the HelloGiggles website.
· After that 1st article was posted I was asked if I had a blog or some kind of social platform forum so readers could follow my work and I’m sad to say I did not so I squandered an opportunity. Instead of chastising myself, I got over my own preconceived notions about bloggers and blogging and began my own. If you look at my very first entry (http://cijasquips.tumblr.com/post/8798888414/so-today) you can see how insecure I was about the whole blogging thing which now I feel comes from a place of fear and uncertainty and worry that no one wants to hear what I have to say. I wonder if more people are plagued with this same thought pattern…
· So I got my blog going and then submitted a 2nd piece to HelloGiggles and was happy to see it got posted, further boosting my confidence and allowing my work to be seen outside of my immediate community.
· Having my work published on a fun, witty, website surrounded by the work of other likeminded women without creativity-killing editorial rules was a boost of confidence, making me feel that my voice is legit and confirming that this is what I want to do for a living…write witty, funny social commentary based off of my real experiences. I also want to enhance my descriptive writing abilities so I can get paid to write short copy for fashion or beauty-based products, things that I already love and use! I also really enjoy interviewing people for positive stories (I used to be a journalist, hate negative spin). I watch documentaries often and am currently into reading autobiographies because I need to see that I’m not alone in crazy world when it comes to self-doubt and that I can surmount that obstacle.
· To tie into ‘enhancing my descriptive writing abilities’ I applied to an MFA program for Creative Writing & Publishing. I won’t know if I was accepted until sometime in March or April, either way, had I not done all of the above I would not have had a recent body of work to pull from for my portfolio.
· I also have submitted blog pitches to two different websites and am still waiting to hear back in regard to whether or not it’s a go. No matter the outcome, this is something that I wasn’t even thinking about doing at the beginning of last year.
Now that I’ve written all of this I have gained a better perspective about myself. As I rang in the New Year last year I vowed to myself that I would be in a position that allowed me to utilize all of my gifts rather than just my ability to multi-task. I even stashed a bottle of champagne to be opened when that moment came…I think I’ll hold out just a little bit longer and change the rules up a bit…now popping that cork doesn’t have to be about having a 9-5 that allows me to write, rather I’m thinking having a steady side-gig (like blogging for a website) that allows me to be creative is just as good a reason to celebrate. I also plan on really utilizing my network of friends and acquaintances for advice, gleaning from their experiences. I’m one of those people who ‘doesn’t want to be a bother’, so I don’t ask my friends for the benefit of their experience or connections, I’m so not good at ‘playing the game’, but something else I realized this year, your friends want to see you succeed and will do what they can to help you if they trust you and what you bring to the table.
I want to dedicate this to the following:
· My mother, who while listening to one of my stories about another lost writing opportunity (magazine article that was solicited but never published) said the most encouraging statement: “Cija think of these moments as light posts, showing you you’re on the right path.”
· My younger brother Asa who named my blog
· My sister Aqua whose enthusiasm has garnered me more readers through her friends and office mates.
· My younger brother Lanse who likes to discuss my postings and who is always ready to have intelligent discussion about artistic expression
· My younger brother Seth who made me feel so special when I realized he created a kind of app or desktop image of my blog so he can easily access it.
· My older brother Mezei for being an artist himself and whose non-stop witty quips provides me with fresh ideas
· My girl Blaire for being the catalyst for all this, not only did she tell me about an opportunity, she was like, ‘Cija-you can do this’…I guess I needed that extra reassurance
· My girl Revelie for constantly being my sounding board for all of my writing endeavors, frequently she is my first editor.
· My girl Jessea for being what the author Malcolm Gladwell would call a ‘connector’, that person that brings others together. She so generously emailed her network of folks ‘bigging up’ my blog without my asking, just because.
· To all of my faithful readers whether you comment or not, I know you guys are out there and I appreciate your support
Happy New Year!