Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG: Birthdays

Today is IWSG day, a monthly event Alex Cavanaugh started to get writers sharing about their insecurities and other stuff going on in their lives.

What makes this particular IWSG post special is that today is my birthday. Birthdays, for me, tend to be a time of self-assessment. For the last few years, these reflections often veer into something like “I’m X years old, and I’m still an unpublished author. Bah.”

While 2015 had its ups, it also came with downs. Fall was especially tough and emotionally challenging. Through these challenges, I found myself better appreciating the beauty of what was around me. A few incidents, unfortunately, also opened my eyes to the ugliness in some people around me. Maybe I had to experience the ugly in order to better cherish what's beautiful.

During my student days, getting through a tough test made me better enjoy the clean crisp air outside, regardless of how I think I scored. It was just a relief to be out.

Likewise, today, rather than lamenting that I’m still an unpublished author, I just feel grateful for my family and friends (especially my true writer friends who have been so supportive over the years), that I have a 90% completed first draft of a YA manuscript, a PB manuscript in progress, a metaphorical garden of ideas, and that even though I'm not a published fiction author yet, I am blessed to work as a professional journalist.

What do you think about on your birthdays?

24 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

I just think it is another day and go on my way. Was always nice to get done with tests though. And yeah, some people are just blah and best avoided.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Happy Birthday! :)

While I do look at the new year as a clean slate, I tend to use my birthday as more of a time to re-evaluate and plan.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Happy Birthday! Sorry for some of your challenges, but it sounds like you have a good attitude toward them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Happy birthday!
An attitude of gratitude is far better.
And I confess, I know PB means picture book, but I still read it as peanut butter every single time...

Crystal Collier said...

Yeah, birthdays are depressing after a certain point. But I hope you have the best one with epic cheese!

Chrys Fey said...

Happy Birthday!!! And you know, age doesn't matter. We all reach our dreams when it's the right time. Maybe this year will be your year. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Happy Birthday!
I am sorry that 2015 was a difficult year for you. I hope that 2016 balances it out with lots and lots of good experiences.

Birthdays? I have quit acknowledging them. Just another day (although there might be presents). :)

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Happy birthday!
I still celebrate my birthdays. For me they're a chance to gather friends and have fun.

M.K. Louie said...

Happy Birthday, Cynthia - hope you're having an awesome day... I'm so excited for us for 2016!

As for those low points, maybe you can use those vivid experiences for an upcoming novel? You can always "kill" those characters too and get away with it ;) But yes, I'm planning to write a blog post with Kahlil Gibran's famous poetic words: "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain." I totally believe it and I know you can appreciate that.

As for what I think about on my birthdays - that reminds me, I need to write a "Bucket List before I Turn Age X" - that keeps me hopeful.

T. Drecker said...

Happy Birthday! Luckily, writing knows no age limits and doesn't have to. Good luck with your MS!

S.P. Bowers said...

I have that same thought on each birthday. I'm glad you are able to be grateful instead of just depressed. I need to follow your example.

Trisha F said...

It can be discouraging sometimes, when we haven't met our ultimate goals yet. But you're working towards it and doing well - you can be proud of that!

Happy birthday!

Diana Wilder said...

Happy birthday! The thing about experiencing ugliness in people is that it gives you such fabulous material for your writing. I have a villain or two who owed their makeup to people I knew. I haven't yet given any of them messy deaths (I write histfic) but the temptation is there...

Cherie Colyer said...

Happy Birthday! It sounds to me like you accomplished a lot in 2015. I hope the ugly stays out of your 2016. And congrats on being 90% done with your YA novel. That's great progress, I think.

Bish Denham said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Cynthia! When ever ugliness in people rears it's ugly head, I think of how unhappy they must be and how much pain they must be in. It can be hard at times, but ultimately, being compassionate towards them makes your own heart lighter. Peace to you throughout 2016.

Stephsco said...

I think it's great to take stock of where you are and appreciate what you've done. I always am reminded of how many people say they want to write a book but never try. I used to be one of those people! Think how far you've come. Much luck and good vibes to you on finishing your YA novel. Maybe you can be ready to do some online pitch contests like Pitch Wars (August 2016!) No pressure :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Yes, I think you're right. If all we ever experience is good, we don't appreciate it nearly as much. Think how we take our good health for granted. Until we get really sick. :D Happy New Year!

Tamara Narayan said...

At my age, I don't get too excited about birthdays anymore, but I don't dread them either. My family goes out for a nice dinner and that's it. As for thinking about what I've accomplished and what I still want to do--that happens at any and all times of the year.

Sherry Ellis said...

I think that just the fact that you're writing is great! If you want to see your work in print, you can always self-publish.

Have a great 2016!

Claire Annette said...

Hi Cynthia,
I could be writing this post (except that it isn't my birthday).
I wish for you a year of dreams coming true.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Cynthia! I'm impressed that you're a professional journalist and becoming a published author is right around the corner for you. Wishing you all the best in 2016!

Julie

Mina Burrows said...

Oh Happy Belated Birthday! 2015 was a challenging year for me as well. All we can do is to keep moving forward and keep writing. The rest will fall into place! :)

Shannon Lawrence said...

I probably don't think about enough on my birthdays. They tend to be just another day for me. I don't remember the last time I actually celebrated it, other than an obligatory dinner. I'm sorry you had to deal with negativity from others this year. 2016 will be the year you get published!

Cherie Reich said...

I hope you had a lovely birthday! Best of luck this year!

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