Firsts can be a scary thing. A baby's first steps. A teenager's first time behind the wheel all by themselves. A homeowner's first time signing that paper that links them to a mortgage for the next 30 years.
Writers have many firsts. I had one of my "firsts" when I wrote my first poem at age 10. A Man Like Dan was what you would imagine a fledgling attempt at being a writer would be. Corny. Sappy. The type of verse that would cause any seasoned writer to cringe at how immature and unpolished one piece of work could be.
But at the time I didn't care. I had gone from looking at a scary blank piece of paper to actually creating something that had never existed before, and I was pretty darn proud of the fact that I was the one who had done such a thing! A first for me. I actually kept that first poem, tucked away with other writings gathered over the years. If I laid them all out in chronological order, one could look at them and see my maturity as a writer develop from then until now.
This year I began another "first". I have made a conscious effort to become more serious about my writing. To learn from those amazing people who came before me in the hopes that I will one day feel worthy to follow in their footsteps. PiBoIdMo helped me in ways I never imagined and gave me such a wonderful resource of "mentors" to go to for advice. A wealth of tips and tricks that I will continue to use in the future to become a better writer.
Next year I will begin yet another "first". I will walk into the new year with a plan to tackle the 12 X 12 in 2012 challenge. I will review my 45 PB ideas created in November and select the 12 ideas I feel most strongly about. I will continue to work on my weaknesses as a writer...like grammar and those dreaded verb tenses...and polish each piece until it shines as brightly as I can make it. Then I will send my pieces to various critique groups and let them be first at challenging me to rewrite, revise, and redo whatever is necessary to make that piece shine even more.
Eventually there will be no more to be done with that PB story and I will focus on yet another first...my first query letter to an agent or my first submission to a publishing house. As I mentioned before, we writers experience many "firsts" in our lifetimes. Maybe this is how we can remain fresh in how we approach our talent...with fresh eyes and an eagerness to meet that next "first" head on!
I wonder what "first" will you create today?