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How I Hope To Screw Up in 2014

2013 was a dry year for me. A year of silence.

I could say I focused, or poured into real life, or something that makes me sound all impressive. But the truth is, life just got to be a little much. Living a dream come true is harder than I anticipated. Creativity takes energy. Learning a craft takes energy. Saying “yes” to things takes energy. Failing to meet commitments takes energy.

We find our limits by reaching beyond them; I certainly found mine. We learn by trying things that don’t work out the way we planned. And the lesson is not complete until we — until I  —  commit to behaving differently.

2013 was a year of learning.

Lesson: I learned when I don’t sleep, all bets are off.
Action Step: I have to let go of controlling things (and people) and take better care of myself.

Lesson: I learned I go a little crazy when I don’t write.
Action Step: I’m happiest (and most sane) when I’m writing fiction. So I have to make time every day (usually at 5AM) for fiction.

Lesson: I learned I still let fear and doubt stop me from doing what I’m meant to do.
Action Step: I have to stop being my own worst hater, and trust the encouragers in my life.

I accomplished some stuff in 2013:

  • I travelled to Guatemala and my heart broke all over again for the people the world simply dismisses.
  • I led a youth mission trip to DC and saw the hearts of 42 kids soften to the poverty and need right here in the US.
  • I managed a team of amazing writers as they told awesome stories and equipped thousands of missionaries to be the love of Jesus on every continent (except Antarctica. I think the penguins already know how they got there. They’re smart like that.)
  • I helped several people triumph over technology and grammar to share their writing with the world.

But I screwed some things up, too.  I watched a lot of TV. I yelled at my kids. I overcommitted. I worried.

I failed at a lot of stuff.

And I’ll screw plenty up in 2014, too.

My hope is just to screw up different things. New things.

To learn from experiments, and to try things big enough that even if I fall short, I still manage to make a difference to someone, somewhere.  (Tweet that!)

  • I’m going to listen more and talk less.
  • I’m going to watch Masha graduate from high school and launch into college.
  • I’m going to watch Lena start her last year of high school (can you believe it??).
  • I’m going to finish and self–publish a novel (and it might not be the one you expect).
  • I’m going to encourage Mark as he goes on a mission trip to India at the end of January.

When 2015 rolls around, I’ll be a better wife and mom, a better writer and reader, and a better boss and employee. And I’ll have plenty of mistakes to learn from.

What are you planning to tackle in 2014? Leave a comment…

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About Christine

I’m a writer, a recovering project manager, and a corporate refugee with a passion to share the lessons I've learned. I've worked with bestselling authors to launch nearly a million dollars' worth of books and online courses. I've seen what works (and what doesn't), and I know what it takes for a growing writer to get your work out and grow as you go.

14 Replies

  1. Linda

    You forgot you talked me off the ledge quite a few times and helped keep me from going cray-cray. Thank you! I plan to figure out my dream this year. I think it has something to do with dogs. That’s about all I know right now. Happy New Year, Niles!

    1. Christine

      You’re too important to be allowed to go crazy! 🙂

  2. I’m tackling the world in 2014!
    And I do hope I get an ARC of your novel. 😉

    1. Christine

      Pfft. I’ll make you buy it from some shady internet cafe in Peru where a guy will steal your credit card number and buy a herd of Alpacas. Then when you’re not able to successfully prosecute him, you’ll become an investor in an Alpaca farm and fall in love and marry the thieving Alpaca farmer and live happily ever after, and I’ll come visit you in the mountains. All because I’m stingy with my book. 😛

      1. As long as you’ll come visit me.
        (And you’ve been watching too many Directv commercials).

        1. Christine

          Yeah…note the “I watched a lot of TV” confession above… 🙂

  3. Ooh, does the novel by any chance involve a certain young zombie who I’ve been missing?

    Whether it is or not, I look forward to hearing and reading more. Hope you’re not beating yourself up, but looking forward with hope. Xx

    1. Christine

      Your certain young zombie has made a return appearance, but then he took off on another adventure. That’s how he rolls.

      And not beating myself up anymore. Moving forward with great hope and focus…This is the year of productivity!

  4. “Living a dream come true is harder than I anticipated.” Love your authenticity, friend.

    1. Christine

      Thanks! You’re a great role model. Your honesty and encouragement and support keep me going. Seriously.

  5. Skottydog

    This year I plan to focus on the countless blessings, and the small victories. As opposed to the past 42 years of fixating on the negativity and failures.

    Life begins outside your comfort zone.

    My plan for 2014:
    *Less TV, more reading. (Walter White’s death helps)
    * getting my ankle back to a place without pain, and one that can sustain running once again
    *running once again
    *being the best father and husband I can be WITHOUT thinking about what to do differently than my parents, which is to say, STOP COMPARING MYSELF TO OTHERS!!!
    *read more
    *talk less
    *embrace spellcheck
    * leave shorter comments!

    Keep rockin’ it Christine! You are one of the best people I know. Glad our paths crossed! Happy New Year!

    1. Christine

      Great plan (except the last point), and perfect for you. You’re awesome, especially when you’re just being you. 🙂

  6. I love your way of formatting the lesson/action step. It’s pointless to look back on our mistakes if we don’t learn from them and you find a concise way to present exactly what you learned. Great idea!

    1. Christine

      Thanks, Stacy! That’s a lesson I learned from my project management days. Hope it helps you!!

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