FOCUSING ON OUR STRENGTHS...

My writing group has a different member hosting each month, which is a great way of running a group. There is variety, different perspectives etc. I was the host for our January meeting.

January and November/ December meetings are different to our usual monthly meetings. The end of year one is a celebration of all that has been achieved. We look back on the year, reminisce over goals met and unmet, celebrate the successes and the near misses. Our January meeting is the one where we try to focus on what we would like to achieve for the upcoming year.

Some members already have their goals planned and waiting to be achieved. Others, like myself, have no bloody idea...

 
The year is a blank page and I have to think on what I would like to do for the year. What I want to work on, continue with, experiment with etc...

Often in January we do a goal setting exercise or three. This year I wanted to begin the year on a positive and (hopefully) beneficial vibe. I wanted us to focus on our strengths. With this in mind, I gave us all homework.

The group had to give me a list of what we thought each other's strengths were.

Writing strengths.


If left to our own devices we can, I don't think, really appreciate some of our strengths. 
I'm not a bad baker....


I enjoy the garden and have built up quite a font of knowledge...


I am crafty (not very arty)...


and I'm good with kids.

These are all strengths that I possess...but they are not writing related. I wanted the group to focus on what we are best at. Not that so-and-so is so generous, or so-and-so has the best stationery. Both valid positives but not helpful.

It was very interesting when the results came in. There was definitely a theme for each person.  Whether it was determination and work ethic, poetic voice and myth builder, fantastic storyteller or astute observer....

Each of us took home a laminated sheet with our strengths listed. Something to either pin up near our desk or laptop...something to look back on when we begin to doubt ourselves. Frankly I left with not only a good case of the warm and fuzzies, but with an appreciation of what I am good at. Even if I don't agree 100 per cent with every thing noted.


I have this by my desk. A form of encouragement I'm sure I will need several times (if not more) this year. 

Have I sorted out my goals for the year, the focus I want to work on? Not at all, but at least I know (by reading my list of strengths) that I am 'always looking, listening (or overhearing) potential seeds for ideas for character and place. 

Let's see where it leads...



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