We're past the half-way mark for 2013 and maybe you're wondering, What's all this Carpe Annum stuff? What does it mean for me and what should I be doing to Carpe Annum --Seize the Year!
The six of us made a choice at the end of 2012: that 2013 would be the year that each one of us took control of our careers in new, important ways. We wanted to share that gusto with you this year and we hope each time you've visited the blog or our Facebook page you've come away encouraged, challenged, and ready to face your next blank page.
So, here you are writing your heart out, Carpe Annum-ing all over the place but no one seems to notice. Publishers aren't clamouring to sign you to a six book deal. Agents yawn in your general direction. Even your critique group seems a little cool when you read your work aloud. What's the point of all this Carpe if no one is rewarding you for all your efforts?
The point is that publishing, being agented, or being the darling of your critique group was never the point of Carpe Annum. Confused? Here's a checklist to keep you on the Carpe Annum track:
1) I've stared down my fear of telling the truth. Biggest obstacle for every writer of fiction is, perhaps not surprisingly, the fear of utter truth telling. The whole human experience white gloves to red knuckles, sunset kisses to warts on your knees. If you've kicked the habit of hiding behind pretty words and faced raw humanity head on, you've Carped your Annum, baby.
2) I've stared down my fear of agents, publishers, editors, etc. They are just human beings with a job to do, same as you and me. No one publisher holds the keys to your writing career. No single boo-boo on your proposal is going to cause an agent to laugh hysterically and toss your hard work in the trash. It's nonsense to waste time and energy fearing a system that is in place to assist talented writers. If you've been patient, professional, and kept your cool in the face of the query/proposal/one-page two-step, you've Carped your Annum, baby.
3) I've stopped comparing my writing to other writers. Comparing only brings bad things: jealousy or pride, despair or false security, writer's block or pages of purple prose. You're not a better writer than he/she is, you're not a worse one. You're you. Forging your own path. There is no time to waste wondering what another writer is working on. There is only your path. If you've stopped comparing your work to another writer's work, you've Carped your Annum, baby.
4) I've stopped comparing my success as a writer with another writer's success. See above.
5) When people ask me what I do I tell them, "I'm a writer." When they laugh, I laugh with them and then say, "It is funny. But I'm still a writer." If you've started thinking of yourself as a writer, you've Carped your Annum, baby.
How many can you check off? Which ones are you still working on? In what other ways have you Carped your Annum, baby?