“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
January has always been one of my favorite months. Is it cold? Yes. Is it icy? Yes. Is it snowy? Yes. But it’s also something else. It’s a fresh start, a time when we can look forward to the future with nothing but pure, unabashed hope. We can allow ourselves to dream, to wish, to entertain our heart’s deepest desires and most fervent promises. The past is important, yes. It’s a patchwork of all the lessons we’ve learned and all the memories we hold most dear. We should celebrate that, treasure it. We should also use it to propel us forward. After all, how can we reach new heights if we just stand still? January seems to symbolize all of this and more. It’s an opportunity to write our own stories – or, in some cases, add the next chapters. We’re given 365 blank pages at the start of every year. How we choose to fill them, what words and pictures we choose to use, is filled with possibility.
So, even though I’m not a fan of those broad, sweeping resolutions, even though my motto is to take things day-by-day and make each one the best it can be, I do have some goals that I’d like to act as bookends for 2011. In terms of writing:
-Sign with an agent and take this passion for being a published author to its next point on the journey (and yes, I realize this is not exactly within my control, but the individual steps to actively make it happen are, so I’m including it)
-Write the sequel to Reflections of Me (SO. RIDICULOUSLY. EXCITED. FOR. THIS.)
-Write another manuscript based on my newest idea (inspiration gleaned from an experience at the mall – it really is everywhere!)
To that end, I’m back on the querying trail as of yesterday. It felt strange to take a two-week break over the holidays, but with so many agencies closed, I figured it was for the best. And, you know, as much as it drove me up a wall not to be working on those queries, it was actually refreshing not to have my heart leap to my throat every time I checked my email. Getting to jump back into it, full force, now … it’s reinvigorating. It’s rejuvenating. It’s reminded me all over again how passionate I am about Reflections of Me. I believe in this story. I believe in it so much that it hurts. And I won’t stop until somehow, someway, it’s out there in the world.
2011 stretches before us, a wide road that leads … well, who knows? Maybe that’s the beauty of it. Maybe the twists and turns will lead to something beautiful just around the bend. After all, sometimes the unexpected is what ends up changing our lives the most. Falling back in love with this kind of creative writing was unexpected for me. Both my novels were, in that the ideas for them popped into my head randomly and then wouldn’t – maybe couldn’t – leave. They were meant to find me, and I was meant to find them. I don’t know where the road will lead or what will fill the pages of this year’s book. I don’t know what the conclusion will be. What I do know? We can turn our can’ts into cans. We can turn our dreams into plans. We can turn our hopes into goals. And along the way? We can fill those pages with bright words and bold pictures that last a lifetime.
What about you? If you could turn one wish into reality, take one goal to its finish line this year, what would it be?