Last New Year I shared my resolutions with everyone. I listed five things I wished to accomplish in 2019. I’ll break each down and share how I did.
Resolution 1: Read my poetry in front of an audience.
When I wrote this I had already practiced reading poetry on Instagram Live. It was my practice ground for the real event – a live audience. People in a crowd staring back at me – a scary thought for most people. Me included.
Luckily, I live in Portland, which proves to be a GREAT location to live for a writer. Portland has amazing resources and groups dedicated to supporting writers and the art form of writing – whether it be poetry, short stories, novels – it’s all covered in PDX.
In downtown Portland, Literary Arts hosts workshops, runs the Portland Book Festival, and they also host Slamlandia once a month. The first event I attended at Literary Arts was a Slamlandia Open Mic.
I attended the Poetry Slam intending only to get a feel for it. Figured I would watch and it would warm me up to getting up one day when I felt ready. I sat down, then something inside urged me to get up and add my name to the list to read something.
I’m so glad I did! That small tug to get up came from knowing myself. That if I only attended this first time, I may never get up and read. I envisioned myself settling into a habit of staying in my comfort zone as an audience member and knew I needed to rip off the blanket right out of the gate.
Reading and breaking through the fear I had to read my work in front of a live audience was empowering in all the best ways. I highly recommend it. The validation by fellow peers, the relief from the fact that you don’t spontaneously combust when you speak in front of a crowd of strangers, all of it leaves you feeling a sense of satisfaction you can only understand when you get up and read for yourself.
If you’re reading this and haven’t attended an open mic yet – and you’re a poet – I challenge you to add it to your 2020 New Year Resolution list! If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area and wish to attend an open mic- let me know when you go and I’ll try to attend with you!
Because of limitations on time – that there just isn’t enough hours in the day – I focused much of my effort on the Instagram group. The Facebook group exists and continues to grow, but has yet to receive the attention it deserves.
My goal for 2020 is to delegate the workload to the writing group members and empower them to create challenges, contests and other fun activities for the Facebook group. The group format on Facebook provides easier ways for people to interact and work together.
So if you’re reading this and have an interest in helping with Writers and Poets’ Cafe, please let me know!
Resolution 3: Finish my first book.
Done and done. I wrote my first novel and completed the publication of the first poetry anthology for Eve Poetry Magazine! Woot!
Publishing the poetry anthology was a huge learning experience. I made some mistakes though, like accidentally excluding a writer who I meant to include in the book! Ack! I appreciate your continued patience with me as I learn and grow.
That said, I’m pleased with the finished product. My hope for the next one is to include short stories and more writers, making it a bigger book. I’ll release Volume Two’s theme in February 2020.
Resolution 4: Make plans with close friends & family more often.
Wish I could say I achieved success on this one. However, resolutions onethrough three consumed my free time, so this resolution remains on my list for 2020.
Resolution 5: Leave room in each day to breathe.
Well, at least I’m 3 for 5! Three successful New Year Resolutions. Two that move to the top of the list for 2020.
My 2020 New Year Resolutions
I’m keeping my list concise. It consists only of two items: Make plans with close friends & family more often and leave room in each day to breathe.
Not to say I won’t have professional goals. There are many things I wish to accomplish in 2020 with writing, etc. They just need to move down in priority.
My principal goal in 2020 must be for self-care and reminding myself to breathe. Allowing myself downtime to clear my head, to rest more, and give myself permission to recharge and be still. I failed miserably at this in 2019. Took on too much. Wore myself down. Felt guilty when I became overwhelmed.
That’s just not healthy. Our health is foundational to everything else. It must come first. Duh, Deanna! **smacks forehead**
Hand-in-hand with self-care are the close relationship we [should] cherish. When we rush around, too busy to nurture relationships that matter, we lose touch with ourselves. In 2020, I aim to prioritize my time for my children, husband, and making plans with family – my sisters, brother, cousins, and close friends.
Last night, at my Grandfather’s celebration of life, I saw family members for the first time in YEARS. Many of them live only five or ten minutes away. It’s a shame to waste time this way.
What are your 2020 New Year Resolutions?
Please comment and share! I’d love to hear yours!
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