Cashmere S. Jackson: Growing is Hard (And Not Necessarily the Fun Way)

Cashmere S. Jackson: Growing is Hard (And Not Necessarily the Fun Way)

First, thank you Delilah and Delilah readers for receiving me on this blog.

I am not one to make resolutions.  Like so many, in the past, I firmly declared my goals in the first month of the year and promptly forgot them by the third month.  But this year a Facebook friend posed the question: How will you grow this year?  This question goes beyond resolutions, although I realize that part of the reasons people make resolutions is to inspire some personal growth.  But this question challenged me to think about how I will fundamentally change who I am so that I can be a better me.

I have been wrestling with this question because growth requires you to change, to leave things behind and let stuff go.  I don’t like change or letting things go (not old emails, old receipts, old manuscripts, old grudges).  It also requires you to be brave enough to accept your new strengths as well as the challenges and responsibilities those new strengths inspire, like a superhero whose presence invites villains.  You just know that if you become more patient, a slew of people are going to stand in line to try your nerves.  So, growth isn’t easy and trying to grow demands that you work at it consistently.

How will I grow in 2017?

As a writer, I have not always shown up to the page.  Being a mother, a teacher and a writer has been a balancing act that has not always resulted in every aspect of me getting a fair amount of time.  More often than not, the writer in me has gotten the shaft.  In this new year, I am going to commit to showing up to the page, writing something every day.  Ok, let’s be more realistic—five days out of seven.  (This is a good start as there were some weeks when I didn’t write at all.)  I feel best when at the end of the day, I have created so I will work to produce and create.  I will show up to the page!

I will also commit to stretching my reading and writing genres.  I love to read, but I tend to select the same types of stories to enjoy. (I am in love with the paranormal!) I will expand my reading to include new, varied genres.  Maybe a historical romance and definitely a thriller.  I am open to any suggestions people might have for good books to try.

As my reading expands, I am sure my writing will, too.  I commit to trying new genres of writing.  Actually, my short story “Vivify” in Delilah Devlin’s Sex Objects was the result of an earlier attempt to try a new genre.  I had never written erotica before, but I found in exploring my character Cecelia’s sexual re-awakening, that this is a genre that is fun and fulfilling to write within.

I’m sure I will have to let go of something although I don’t know what yet.  I know that it is true that you can’t do the same things and not get the same results.  Maybe I will have to learn to say “no” when people ask me to be on this committee or do that project for them.  Saying “no” will be hard. Maybe I will have to give up my slightly obsessive need to watch everything that comes on television.  Letting TV go will definitely be hard.  We will see what this effort toward growth will bring.  While I am not sure of the challenges that will come, one thing I am sure of is that by implementing these new practices into my life, I will grow as a writer.

What will you do to grow this year?  Let me know.

Cashmere S. Jackson

Check out Cashmere S. Jackson’s “Vivify” in Sex Objects!

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