Measure a Year
Almost a year ago, I started these musings and stories about my life as a writer and editor. I’ve added to these posts more than 320 times. The end of the year is always a great time to take a few minutes to reflect on what happened and dream about what you have in the year ahead. As I mentioned a year ago, I’ve given up on specific resolutions since often they are easily changed or broken or forgotten. Instead I want to keep growing and changing to become better at my craft and better as a person.
As I look over the words I wrote a year ago, I’m going to provide a bit of accounting—which will hopefully help you in your own plans for 2006. I set out seven areas as a part of my ongoing growth. In terms of reading, this past year I read many books and manuscripts. It’s reflected in the occasional reviews that I pointed out in these entries. Today I completed the One Year Bible. It always feels good to read those final pages and reflect on my spiritual growth. Also I plan my Bible reading program for the year ahead. Over the years, I’ve collected a number of these types of products and change from year to year for the variety and to add interest. In 2006, I’m going to return to The Daily Bible which takes the entire Bible and puts it into chronological order. If you haven’t seen this Bible I highly recommend it as something different. Recently Guideposts Books offered The Daily Bible to their direct mail market and sold over 200,000 copies.
In the areas of craft and trends, I continue to learn a great deal about the nitty gritty of publishing and some of those lessons have been reflected in these entries. For example, I’d encourage you to take a few minutes and listen to this NPR interview with Mike Wallace. I found his comment about no indiscreet question interesting and maybe you will as well. I always try and learn from these seasoned journalists and usually I pick up something valuable for my own interviewing techniques.
In regards to books about writing, I’ve written about a number of these books that I’ve read throughout the year and the valuable lessons. I continue to read these books—in fact a new how-to writing books arrived yesterday. It’s something to anticipate for 2006. I continue to let people know about Book Proposals That Sell and I continue to receive good feedback about the contents. For example, this week I mailed over 600 postcards to various people within publishing to remind them about the availability of this book. I will continue to learn and practice the principles of PyroMarketing in the days ahead.
When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, I’ll admit that I don’t totally have that licked—but I’ve made great strides during 2005. I continue to consistently get on my treadmill and simply work at working out. All of these diet books and weight loss plans boil down to a simple concept: “Eat less and exercise more.” It’s easy to say but hard to practice.
One key in this area of measuring a year is to keep moving ahead and attempting to have your priorities in order. Am I perfect in these areas? Not even close but I continue to work at it and not give up. To me, it’s what counts. While I haven’t made it to the musical, Rent and the movie version disappeared in the theaters before I could get to it, I appreciate one of the main songs called “Seasons of Love.” As you close out 2005, reflect on these lyrics from the company of Rent:
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure,
measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In
inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you
measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.