I love New Year’s Resolutions. I usually make dumb ones and then fall off whatever particular wagon it involved somewhere after Valentine’s Day (especially if it involved chocolate consumption), but that’s OK. I mean, the last time I resolved to scrub my bathroom religiously every Saturday, it didn’t last even that long. But man, my chrome was sparkling like a teen vampire for those two weeks.
But I’m not talking about those little things. I’m talking about the big things. You know, the life-changers.
On December 31, 1999, I made a New Year’s resolution to start taking my writing seriously. I’d been sidetracked by career and motherhood and then single motherhood and then starting my own business, but I was all done with excuses. I was going to start fresh on January 1, 2000, and write every day before work, and that was that. Period. As long as my toaster didn’t detonate a nuke in my kitchen on midnight of the new millennium and zap us all back to the dark ages as predicted. Surprisingly enough, I awoke on New Year’s Day, 2000 with all my parts and my kitchen intact, went down and made toast in my toaster that still worked, coffee in the old Mr. Coffee that I resolved to scrub religiously every Saturday, booted up the computer, and started searching for writing sites.
I found the old Del Rey online writing workshop. It was like fate (mostly becuase it was free). I promptly spilled my coffee all over my desk and joined, read a few workshop entries, left comments and ratings for the authors, and uploaded the first chapter of the unfinished novel I’d been revising the first thirty pages of for ten years.
And people actually liked it.
But that’s not the point. The point is that I did start writing every day. And I found some great crit partners. And four months later, I met an awesome writer on the opposite coast who became my best crit partner of all, and two years and 3000 miles after that, I married him (which reminds me, I still own him a crit of his new book… Where’s my to do list…). Twelve years later we have two kids and about ten published books between us, and I launched Etopia Press, which just celebrated its first birthday.
Oh yeah, and in between, on January 1, 2001, I quit smoking (for the 25,017th time) and it finally stuck. Today makes eleven years smoke-free (Cold turkey. Lots of gum).
What’s your “big thing”? There’s a certain magic that happens today that makes those big things seem easier, the impossible dream attainable. A magic that’ll be gone tomorrow and won’t be back for a whole year. Grab it now and run with it and make your big things happen!
Happy New Year to all, and may all your big dreams come true.
* In the spirit of full disclosure, I only scrubbed the Mr. Coffee religiously every Saturday for that one week. I got sidetracked by writing.