Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.


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Looking Back / Looking Forward

When I think of everything that happened in 2014, I’m a little speechless. It was huge for me. In the tradition of my posts Looking Back and Looking Forward in 2012, here’s a list of this past year’s accomplishments, and a few goals for 2015.

In 2014, I…

– Bought a motorcycle.

– Got Ruby registered as a Canine Good Citizen.

– Attended a writing workshop and met folks who have since become my most trusted colleagues and friends.

– Started freelance writing, a new career.

– Published a couple of personal essays, including Saying I Do, Saying Farewell.

– Got a book agent in New York City to represent me as an author.

– Quit my day job as a legal assistant.

– Became a contributing editor at Modern Loss.

– Left my apartment and Los Angeles, and drove 4500 miles in three weeks by myself.

– Moved to a rural area in upstate New York, a completely new environment and lifestyle.

– Wrote a first draft of book proposal for my memoir (working on second draft now).

– Adopted a new schedule, including getting up before sunrise to write (aka the Plath Hours).

– Developed my personal website www.nivadorellsmith.com (still working out the kinks, but it’s a start).

– Sent holiday cards to almost 75 people (more work than it sounds!).

– Signed up for a dating website (no dates yet).

– Started cooking again.

I don’t do resolutions, but I do write down a few big goals for the new year. I’ve accomplished many of my past goals, including starting a blog, adopting a dog, learning how to ride, getting paid to write, getting published, and living somewhere with more space.

In 2015, I want to…

– Sell my book.

– Get published in a major print magazine or newspaper.

– Start a video blog.

– Sell and/or produce a movie script or television series.

– Travel abroad.

I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on my writing career lately, but not as much on my film career. I see the next year or two as a period where the two will become one. My goal is to be a filmmaker who also writes books and articles.

Still up in the air is whether or not I will meet someone in the near future. In May, it will be four years since Kaz died. I haven’t been quite ready to let go yet, but I can picture it happening more now than I used to. Time will tell.

What did you accomplish in 2014? What are your goals for 2015?

Happy New Year, folks!

– Niva

 


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Looking Forward

Like I said in previous post, I don’t do “resolutions” anymore. Resolutions are promises I used to make, usually to better myself in some way. This was a common one: “I’m going to go on a diet and lose 20lbs this year.” Twelve months later, I was the same weight or heavier and would make the same resolution, “but this time I really mean it!”

Other resolutions I would make: “I’m going to read more books.” “I’m going to volunteer.” “I’m going to be a nicer, more thoughtful person.” “I’m going to respond to emails in a more timely fashion.” All fine sentiments but c’mon. We are who we are and we rarely change our personalities and habits due to our own volition. It’s not impossible, but I think more often, we change because of life events that cause us to change, or sometimes because we are inspired/affected by someone else’s life event.

One of my favorite quotes from Paulo Coelho’s THE ALCHEMIST: “When something evolves, everything around that thing evolves as well.”

I am a different woman now than I was when my husband was alive, less because I set out to be this way, more because the experience of loving, caregiving, losing and grieving him has caused me to learn, grow and mature.

Do I want to lose weight, read more, be a nicer, more thoughtful person and faster on email? Hell yes! But those are lifelong issues, in the background to everything else, not the focus.

All that to say… I do think of the year as a clean slate of sorts in terms of goals, and I do believe there is power in writing them down.

Last year I wrote down (among other things):
“Learn how to ride a motorcycle”
“Baby and/or dog”
“Blog”

I did those things, opting for dog instead of baby (for now).

This year I’m writing down the following:
“Get paid to write”
“Get published”
“More space” (meaning more physical space to live and work in)

And that’s it.

I hope to report back next year and say, “I did those things too.”

What’s on your list?