(A version of this was posted yesterday on the AuthorsNow website, but I wanted to post this here since I think resolutions are important and also because I wanted to put up another picture of my dog in her New Year's hat. )
This year, I’m trying something different. Instead of setting goals that will be forgotten by March, I’m making ones I’m certain I’ll keep.
Here’s my list of can’t fail resolutions:
I will eat more chocolate.
And potato chips. And cinnamon candies. And tons of other foods I use for celebrations. I hope there are a lot of them. On days when nothing special happens, I will make up my own reasons for merriment. Meeting a writing goal. Getting a decent haircut. Not hitting that terminally long red light on my way to work. I will celebrate ordinary events, and I will eat accordingly (for those of you think I’ve gone off the nutritional deep end, I’m looking into a juicer. There has to be a special event that calls for a kale/spinach/parsley cocktail.)
I will get lost.
I live in New Jersey, a land of meandering roads with street signs that will point you toward your destination…eventually. I have ventured off the Garden State Parkway and found myself unable to get back. My GPS is equally perplexed by the NJ road system. When it fails, I am left to wander. With writing too, my plot will turn in unexpected ways. My characters will do something new, and I will lose my sense of direction.
Sometimes I intentionally take the wrong turn. If I’m lucky I’ll find a beach or a place to get a bucket of blueberries. I enjoy getting lost. It’s what happens when you leave the familiar behind and venture into something new. And new places mean new possibilities.
I will take on too much.
In 2010, I’m going to finish my work-in-progress, work full-time as a librarian, go on class/library visits for my debut book, spend time with family and friends, possibly buy a house and probably deal with an occasional crisis or two. Like everyone else, I’m juggling a lot. Oh sure. I’ll drop a few balls this year. Something will come crashing down. It’s one of the consequences of having a busy (and full) life. But except for that occasional crisis, there’s not a thing here I’d give up.
I will feel guilty.
There will be times when those unanswered emails, unfinished projects, and all the things I should have/could have/would have done better if only I had more time will keep me awake at night. But I know my guilt comes from doing too much (my choice) or perhaps from eating too much chocolate (my choice again) so I will try to let myself off the hook.
I will find some quiet time.Somewhere in the chaos, I’ll find a moment to take a few deep breaths, glance up at the moon or stare out at the bay (and also go late night channel surfing and play way too many games of Spider Solitaire).
I will read a book that takes my breath away.
It’s happened every year since I started reading so it’s pretty much guaranteed. I never know which book it will be or why. A single sentence. An idea. The book as a whole. Perhaps it will make me see the world in a whole new way or maybe something familiar will be so well articulated that it will make me wonder why I never noticed it before. Everything I know about writing and storytelling will be challenged. I will hold that book in my hands, and I will feel grateful.
Happy New Year!