A day after making long term goals, and wow! I really kicked into gear today.
I started getting a bit negative yesterday, especially with the disappointment of the river walk group outing, and I was still fretting over it this morning, but the constructive work of being mindful of where I am, what I want and how to get it put me back on track. In fact, it's all systems go!
Today is the eve of Lunar New Year (Sollal) in Korea, another chance to assess, count one's blessings and make plans. It is interesting that I fell into this goal making at this particular time, but then I know that my personal annual cycle leads to this kind of reflection through the winter months, and that it can be very productive if I get enough peace and quiet, which is why I am usually able to get a lot of writing done in the winter.
To give you the context before I tell you what I experienced today, let me insert a brief summary of the goals that I established yesterday, according to Dottie Billington's instructions.
The items on my list of things to accomplish in 10 years were long term housing, love, an expanded financial base, more challenging and suitable but flexible work, and a firmer and stronger body. As to how I will accomplish these goals, I decided to do the following:
- increase my income by developing alternate or sideline work right away
-get out more, reach out more and talk to more people
-plan my travel experiences more strategically
-keep researching for work, hobbies, property and finances
The five-year plan is this:
-steady challenging work that I love with extended income
-more published writing
-better relationships: close reliable friends and a lover who is a good companion
-keep up fitness routines
-build social and personal networking
Taking into consideration the shorter and longer term plan, and considering that I might die any time, I singled out my most important life goals. They are satisfying gainful work, a life companion and a peaceful end.
Today, I got going on the fitness and writing fronts. Thank you, Dottie Billington! She advocates a proactive stance, which requires being more mindful and taking action. Taking this stance makes me feel more alive.
After feeling some stabs of pain from muscle strain and misuse, I got into my home yoga routine. It's a simple routine that I dove into two winters ago when I was feeling out of shape. I found three sets of movements on videos on the internet back then, one for morning stretching and one for fat-burning during the day, and one for relaxation before bedtime, and they really helped me. I followed the routine for three months until the warm weather beckoned me to get my exercise outside. I regret that I cannot cite the instructors who made their demonstrations available on Youtube because I never wrote down their names.
Furthermore, I made more progress on the writing front. I do not recall exactly how it happened because I rushed into a fury of action, but some time in the late morning, an inclination bubbled up from the unconsciousness, I guess. I found myself reviewing some poems. Then a light-bulb went on and I suddenly decided to check for funding opportunities online. Funders in the US abound, though many have geographical restrictions, so I am sticking to Canadian sources for the time being.
I actually ended up submitting an application for a creative writing grant to the Canada Council for the Arts. It would have seemed really daring and even inappropriate to me a couple of years ago, but I have more completed writing and more self-confidence today. I also would have thought it too complex a process for me as an individual, but I found that the individual writer's grant application is easy to understand and fill out. It seems they are not taking applications, though I was able to complete and save one on their website, for their deadline is not until April.
Why not give it a go? I am ready with a history of writing behind me. I am ready to take myself seriously as a writer. I applied for half a year's income to sustain me as a full-time writer for six months.
This initial research revealed that this is a good time to apply for funding and make submissions to publishers. There are many calls with deadlines of March or April first, for example. Maybe a bit of luck is with me.
I found a few other ways to get some payback for completing projects. However, it is clear that having a properly published first book is the calling card that gets you in most doors. All the same, there are funds slated for "emerging" writers and that can include those with only published non-fiction or fiction in literary journal articles, so I qualify if the academic and political articles count. (If they mean articles discussing literature as the published content in literary journals, I do not qualify.)
I even went ahead to search for invitations to submit poems and prose, and found plenty. Of course, many of these opportunities are short-lived online publications of marginal standing.
I fired off samples of my poetry to four publications. It was easy!
In addition, I discovered a writing contest put on by the Writer's Union of Canada. I have until March 1 to mail them a short story. I'll give it a whirl!
There is funding for attending workshops and the like, too. I need to research specific events, then apply to Access Copyright in Saskatchewan.
There is even funding for writers who have books in libraries. I sent the short stories to a few libraries, though copied and bound in an ordinary print shop, the collection does bear an ISBN and it is published online. On February 15, the Public Lending Right Commission's registration system will be open to new registrants.
It's exciting. I'm getting tired as the evening wears on, but overall I feel affirmed, more focused and confident.