December is doing its usual “Where did the year go?” acceleration and for once, I’m happy to see the calendar page turn and close out the month and year.
Let me race back to January for a moment.
Ah January, where everything is fresh and sparkly and full of great resolutions.
Every January, a fantastic group of authors lets me hang out with them for our MLK weekend writing retreat. We get tons written, plot, and do yoga to counteract all that hunching over keyboards—and state our goals for the upcoming year. Buoyed by the thousands of words hitting the page that weekend—or maybe it was the residual effects of Rachel’s chocolate martinis—I optimistically vowed to finish the book and do a couple of other random acts of intrepid marketing.
Thankfully I can’t find the actual list of goals, but I suspect in January, my retreat-mates will laugh with me over the abysmal results for the year. I did stumble over the following list sent to my online goals group:
1) survive day job transition, which has mutated into an overwhelming 10-12 hour/day beast
2) survive the snowy snowy cold winter by reminding herself it’s next summer’s water
3) survive building the house without killing the builder or doing something equally stupid and dramatic
4) you’ll notice so far writing has not appeared on this list.
5) grow a pair and do all the marketing to put Tree Farm out there
6) write the sequel to So About the Money
7) rediscover the joy of writing
I shared this list with my retreat group (as a more realistic assessment of how the year shaped up). Kris, the philosopher in our midst, said, “That’s part of what we retreat for—to pull back, regroup, and start anew. If it was a good year, it can be a look-back & a reminder to keep on the same trajectory. If it was a spectacular failure in some way, it’s a reset button.”
Maybe we need those failure and frustrations to refocus. 2016 was tough for many people. But ya know, stepping back from last spring’s frustration, I still have a job (that pays me twice a month!) and we finally (finally!) finished the house and moved in a couple of weeks ago. And if I didn’t get as much written as I planned, the creative urge is still lurking inside, just waiting for a chance to bust out.
What about you? 2016 – boost or bust?