It’s the old New Year’s adage, “Out with the old, in with the new.” It’s the old over-done cliché that seems ageless and inescapable; along with the requirement to have a new year’s resolution.
I resolve to not resolve. There, is my resolution for the new year. It’s the same one from last year, and, I found, quite successful.
There will be changes. The first month after the new year will mean leaving early where possible and dropping the kids to run in to their activities at the YMCA alone, while I spend a good half hour waiting for a parking spot to open and racing the other pacing vehicles for it. After that, the new year’s resolutioners will have mostly abandoned their new exercise resolve.
We, as in me, also decided to go on a non-junk binge. An anti-binge, if you will. This isn’t a New Year thing, but more of a reluctantly waiting a few months after the great Halloween Binge of 2016 until everyone has finished scarfing down their Christmas goodies. A healthy eating reset is long overdue.
The closest to an actual resolution was perhaps the choice of early December. After utterly failing at all my writing goals, including miserably failing at NaNoWriMo, I made a decision.
Happy birthday to me, I made the decision on my birthday and it weighed heavily on me.
Between the need to earn a living, kids’ activities, keeping house and home in one piece, dog time, and family time, writing is unfortunately pushed to the edges of what everyone else needs from me.
And, once you are published (and even before that), you need to promote. No one will ever read your work if they don’t know it exists. You must promote yourself and your writing. Writing is also a community. So there is time spent promoting and helping your fellow author friends too. That leaves gaps of minutes to stop and breathe, or write or edit.
It is a decision I struggled with over the past few years, tried to ignore in the hope it would go away, and found myself repeatedly visiting unhappily.
I’ve hit a roadblock where, once again, I feel I have no choice but to let writing hit the sideline for the next few years or so. Writing, you have been indefinitely benched.
How do you let go? That’s the next big question I faced.
When I can’t write, I feel more stressed.
Am I the only writer who drifts into something resembling depression when denied the ability to write? Am I the only writer who is miserable when I feel like by taking time to write, I am taking time from commitments more important to everyone else?
Writing is the one passion I have ever allowed myself. When you take away your only passion, that leaves you empty and hollow.
It is more than an outlet for stress relief. It is a way of expressing myself. It is a way of being – me. It is the one and only thing that is me and me alone, not mother to-, wife to-, sister/daughter to-. It is uniquely me and the one thing I do only for me. No one else owns that. Every other part of me belongs to everyone else.
It is a decision that, like so many others’ New Year resolutions, has failed. I’m weak.
I cannot not write.
So, while the new year will bring little real changes for my life, except maybe trying to force my family to eat a little healthier until summer, I will continue stealing those few loose minutes to write … a word, a sentence, whatever time allows.
And, who knows, maybe I’ll manage to edit one of my finished or nearly finished books into something publishable. I have a virtual stack of them sitting on a hard drive.
Resolutions, life choices, self-betterment, decisions, whatever tag you want to put on it. What are your big or little decisions? Decisions you felt coerced into (like sidelining writing), yearned for, or life simply put in your path? How did it go and what are you looking forward to in the new year?
L.V. Gaudet is the author of Where the Bodies Are and The McAllister Farm
What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?
The McAllister Farm: book 2 in the McAllister series. The secret behind the bodies is revealed.
Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary
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