Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: I Did It!

listIf you’ve already seen the January issue of The Practicing Writer, you know that it features a superb guest article by Lisa Romeo. The article begins:

It’s time for The I Did It List — my small act of defiance against all the emotionally upsetting lists we humans tend to mentally make as the year draws to a close: the one that ticks off the things we failed to do all year. We didn’t lose weight, clear out the basement, organize the photos, cook better meals, take that trip, call that old friend.

As writers we do our own version of the miss list — we take ourselves to task about the books or chapters or essays not completed, the conference not attended, the acceptances not received, the work not submitted, the agent not contacted, the class not taken, the revision left undone. We tend to see our writing year as a finite lot of things not yet achieved instead of a valuable step along an infinitely curvy road.

Give yourself a break. Please.

Write your own writer’s version of The I Did It List.

Lisa suggests that we consider all kinds of writerly accomplishments for the year just ended. She notes that this includes helping others with their writing goals.

As I worked through my own I Did It List over the holiday weekend, I remained overwhelmed by this message I recently received. Many of you are kind enough to let me know when a particular opportunity that I’ve pointed you to has yielded something wonderful for your writing practice. But I’m not sure that I’ve ever been presented with a message that cites quite as many connections and results as this one does:

Hi Erika,

I just wanted to write and thank you for your blogs. I follow both of them, and have found them to be unbelievable resources.Through your website, I found a publisher for my book, won the Work Stew essay contest, and won a Hadassah-Brandeis Institute grant.

You are awesome!

Looking forward to reading your book of stories as well.

All best,
Eleanor Stanford

The icing on the cake is that now I get to read, enjoy, and learn from Eleanor’s work. Check out that Work Stew essay, for instance. It’s amazing.

I hope that this time next year, I’ll have plenty of personal items to note in my “I Did It List” for the year just completed. And I hope that, through the blogs and the newsletter, I may have contributed to some of what appears on your lists, too.

6 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: I Did It!

  1. Ellie says:

    Thanks for including my email here! I’m sure you have a long list. You do so much for the writing community–and clearly your individual writing accomplishments are impressive, too.
    Happy 2013!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ellie. And truly, that Work Stew essay is remarkable. I can see why it won!

  2. Marlena Maduro Baraf says:

    Eleanor’s Work Stew essay is captivating. Enjoyed reading it. Loose and delightful.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Yes, that was a great one!

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