Now that the year 2015 has officially arrived, I’m declaring the next 365 days to be my year of living fearlessly when it comes to my creativity. I’m excited and looking forward to taking risks and being uncertain about the future rather than being intimidated of the thought of writing, sharing, and publishing my work. This will be the year where I step aside to allow my imagination to explore and discover new ideas; to encourage and motivate myself to be my best artistic self so I can assist others to do the same; to accept and approve my spirit’s brilliance; and to surround myself with kindred, positive spirits who unconditionally love and uplift me in my literary endeavors as I reciprocate the same sentiments.
– Bill Holmes, “My Year of Living Fearlessly”
The above excerpt was the last paragraph to my first blog post I wrote and published back on 2 January 2015. It doesn’t feel like I wrote that blog less than six months ago given the unpleasant cold days of winter now that it’s a warm and sunny summer. The first half of 2015 has almost expired, but that doesn’t mean the entire year is coming to an end. No, this is the perfect opportunity for me to currently assess my progress with pursuing my passion since I’m a firm believer in accountability.
I created the following list of things I did in pursuing and/or accomplishing my creative endeavors in the last six months:
- Wrote and published 14 inspirational WordPress blogs since 2 January.
- Started creating outlines for new chapters for One Love’s sequel, Love Like This.
- Recorded three YouTube videos, reciting poetry in two and demonstrating the show versus tell technique of fiction writing.
- Read some inspirational books about positive growth and development like John C. Maxwell’s The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth and Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto.
- Started a second affirmations journal to consistently search for and record positive quotes to empower my creativity and increase my self-confidence.
- Facilitated two one hour amazing sessions of my creative writing workshop, Write Here! Write Now!, for my brother and dear friend Lamont “NAPALM” Dixon at the 2015 Louder Than a Bomb poetry pep rally at Gloucester City High School in February.
- Read books that challenged my creativity like Anne Lamott’s bird by bird and Jeff Goins’s You Are a Writer
- Stepped outside of my comfort zone in March and attended voice-over classes taught by actress Michele Morgan in Bloomfield, NJ and recorded a voice-over demo with Samori Coles, my dear friend and co-producer of my spoken word CD, The Air I Breathe.
- Attended a book signing featuring my dear friend, mentor and former creative writing instructor Bernice McFadden for the re-release of her novel Loving Donovan in Brooklyn that also featured author Terry McMillan, which re-ignited my passion to write.
- Coordinated with my dear friend and publisher Jessica Tilles the re-release date of my ESSENCE ® Best Selling Novel One Love for 9 September.
- Dedicated myself to write on a daily basis on 10 April 2015 for a minimum of 500 words, having missed only four days (16 April, 23 April, 22 May and 13 June).
- Facilitated another successful Write Here! Write Now! workshop on 23 May 2015 at the 31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing in Philadelphia, PA.
- Stepped outside of my comfort zone again in June and joined Toastmasters International to improve my public speaking skills.
Wow, I didn’t think I accomplished that much until I actually sat down and wrote that list. Of course, there were some things I didn’t accomplish as I hoped to during the first six months in 2015 like I intended, which included the following items:
- Finish revising the manuscript for my memoir In the End.
- Start collaborating with my friend Angela Kinamore to work on our joint literary project like we originally planned over dinner last year in March 2014.
- Making progress to bring back Write Here! Write Now! in the second half of 2015.
- Updating my website to give it a complete makeover.
In the past, the old me would’ve been discouraged that I didn’t complete these four items above, dismissing the 13 accomplished items. The power of positive thinking has definitely reshaped and changed my mindset. I do have some unfinished business for my literary aspirations, and there’s no better time to get things started. I’ve also learned that it’s unnecessary to beat myself up if things aren’t moving fast as my expectations. Rome wasn’t built in a day (pardon the cliché) and neither will be the career of a passionate writer who wants to achieve his absolute best. I don’t know what the second half of 2015 will bring, but I’m anticipating a wonderful and prosperous season for new experiences and discoveries. All I can do is stay focused, keep learning, take consistent action, and continue writing every chance I get.
“I am a writer, a poet, a creative writing instructor, and an ESSENCE ® Best Selling author. I am proud of my literary accomplishments to date, but I have yet to discover and the world has yet to experience my best work.”
– Bill Holmes