Sunday, December 11, 2011

Reverb11: What I would Have liked More Of in 2011.

What do you wish you had done more of in 2011?

I think in order to answer this question, I first have to rely a bit on types. For just about every answer I could give could be countered with proof that I did engage in the activity to some degree, and in some cases to a large degree. But not in the right way. The best way to explain it is to just give the reader some of my most obvious answers, with the appropriate qualifiers.

I wish I had met more of the "right" sort of people in 2011.

Don't get me wrong, I have met quite a few decent and even wonderful people online this year. For that I am grateful. And I have met a handful of nondescript people in person this year. My regret is that I was not able to encounter more local people that are of the sort I most need. Whether professionally or personally, it seems those that are the most supportive, useful, or comforting are far away. And those new people that are local are not in general the sorts of people with whom I feel I share much in common. So I wish I had met more people that match me well who are also accessible in person.

I wish I had seen more of the local people I value in 2011.

Many of them are busy, or say they are. Many of them just do not invite me to things, frankly. I myself am not in a position to do a lot of hosting given my crazy living situation. And even the local people are about 45 minutes away in most cases. Again I have seen some of them. I just wish I would have seen them, and had that social "out" a bit more often. I am home 99% of Friday and Saturday nights, but full disclosure? The introvert in me did turn down one or two invitations that sounded overwhelming this year.

I wish I had done more of my ideal type of theatre in 2011.

I co-directed one show this year, and appeared in two others. Most of it was fun, with some set-backs. Yet none were quite the ideal experience in theatre for me. I wish I had had some more challenging roles. I would have preferred to be in at least one drama. I wish I had been able to direct something on my own. I hope to remedy all of these things next year to an extent, but that will have to be elaborated upon at another time. In relation to this prompt, I wish I had done more theatre that spoke to me on a deeper, personal level, despite being grateful for the theatre I did get to do.

I wish I had written more in 2011.

To some of you that may seem strange. I have after all done quite a bit of writing in 2011 both for myself, and for publications for which I get paid. I have blogged at least weekly all year in two separate blogs, and completed a first and second draft of a novel. Not to mention a handful of guest posts here and there, some Facebook notes of fine quality, and other miscellaneous wordsmithing. I would be lying if I said I did no writing this year.

Yet my own inner standards tell me that I could and should have been working a little faster, and a little more on a few projects. My second novel, for instance. Pitches to websites and magazines. My short story ideas, (always the hardest for me to complete for some reason.) I suppose a writer can always wish to have written more. But in my case there are specific instances of writing that remained undone in 2011 for various reasons. Some valid, and some less so.

I wish I had gone more places in 2011.

And I don't just mean the perennial wish to go to Europe that many people have. I mean things within my own country, or perhaps my own state. Money and reliable transportation are often a problem with me getting to different places, events, and sights. (Though I have spent a weekend in New Jersey this year, as well as been to Annapolis with family a few times.) Yet I don't like driving in certain conditions, nor do I like to go do certain things alone. Even as an introvert, having nobody with whom to share certain experiences does wear thin on one's psyche. So even if I could have managed a few trips here and there, being unable to convince anyone to go with me, (I have tried in some cases for five damn years) took the air out of the balloon a bit.

Then we have the things I wish I had done more, that are not a matter of type at all. Just a matter of not doing them enough, looking back. With the following things, I probably could have done more, had I put just a bit of extra effort into them. Yes, circumstances beyond my control kept me out of them somewhat. However just as often it boiled down to me not choosing to do these things as much as I would have liked. Things such as:

-Study in my basic Latin book
-Walk/Hike/light exercise in general
-Take pictures of new places. (Or different pictures of familiar ones.)
-Read more novels


Written down like this it makes it appear as though I did little to nothing in 2011, which is not at all true. Like I said in the first half of this post, in many cases I did do these things, just not quite in the way I would have found most fulfilling or useful. Some of the reasons were beyond my control, and some were not. Some were important to my spiritual health, and some were just silly things I wanted. Yet in each case above, it was something of which I wanted more in the last year than I had. Hopefully, 2012 will allow me to increase my experiences with at least some of these deficits.


J. Lea Lopez said...

Well damn... you put my writing this year to shame! haha

I feel you on the people/local/social type stuff, too. The first half of the year I lived in one place, where I did have a few friends, but I wasn't driving at that time, so it was difficult to go do things. Now that I'm driving, I'm living in a new place where I don't know anyone, and am instead clinging to my online social networks (boy, does that sound sad lol). I have some amazing online friends, but even this introvert needs some face time now and then.

I'm excited to see what you have up your sleeve creative-wise for next year.

Amanda said...

Right there with you on the writing thing. I have been lazy about it - not cool. Plan to amend that in 2012. Hopefully I'll stick to it.