Camp Mighty is next week and I can't wait! I'm ahead of the game this time and I have already picked the five goals from my Life List that I want to complete this year. If you have a look at my list, they are the ones that are in bold. I'm going to do one post about each of them over the next week and through Camp Mighty. Typically, I don't post about goals until they've been completed, but because of Go Mighty, a related community website where you can share your life list goals, I've been thinking a lot about these five goals and why I am choosing them.
My first goal, and one that I am just beginning to work on, is to write a book. Initally I had on my list "Publish a Book", but I realized that can come later. Right now I just want to focus on writing it and not worry or think too much about the publishing part, or even the part about other people reading it. If I worry about other people reading it, I might not write the hard stuff that I really want to write.
I love to write, and I think I have gotten better at it because of blogging, but blogging is a very different kind of writing. It's more conversational, often bullet pointed and can be more train of thought ramblings. I've dipped my toe in memoir writing, and even published a few things here on the blog for an online writing group that is now called Write on Edge. It was a great experience and the people who participated were so supportive, but publishing everything online once a week brought some anxiety for me and limited me in terms of what I felt comfortable sharing. I think I just need to do my writing in private until it's bigger than just a few pages.
Last year I purchase a book from Jen Lee called Writing Your Story. It's a fantastic workbook that comes with an audio CD, but it was hard to motivate myself to get in there and do the exercises. As if she knew I needed it, last month Jen started an online workshop called the Story Academy, to work through the book with other people and to delve deeper into personal story telling. Jen is so inspiring and amazing and with this direct involvement from her, I have finally cracked the book open and begun working. I've been learning so much and I have also really enjoyed watching people tell their stories at The Moth. I'd love to go to a Story Slam event in NYC and I'm even considering putting my name in the hat to get up on stage and tell a story! It freaks me out a bit, but it seems there is something (crazy) inside me that wants to do this.
The final thing I have been doing to work towards this goal of writing a book has been Alice Bradley's online class, The Practice of Writing. Alice is incredible, funny, warm and smart and her daily emails, affectionate admonishments and writing prompts have got me finally filling up a writing journal that I have had sitting in my drawer for, oh, twelve years. I think I am really starting to get it. And while I am just at the very beginning of this process, I have hope that I can make this goal happen.
My first book is probably going to be crap, but I am going to write it anyway and see what happens. I have so many stories to tell, from my own personal experience, but also important messages that I want to share. I'm still not sure what kind of book I want to write, but I feel like I have ideas brewing that fall into the memoir and YA fiction categories. I'm excited at least, to see what I can spin together.