Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 • 3 Comments on Writing For My Life
I still haven’t started my resolutions for 2009 and there is only one more day left of the year. I’m resisting, for some reason. Maybe because I failed so miserably on my resolutions for 2008? If anything, this year has shown me just how little control we sometimes have over the circumstances of our lives. Fate, nature, other people—they all impact our hopes, our dreams, our goals.
This is not to say I blame anyone or anything else for my failures. I don’t.
Looking at the bigger picture and stepping outside my own existence, I realize how lucky I am. While I may feel as if it’s been a year of personal losses, I know I’m not the only one who has had a rough year. Why do I feel entitled to a better year in 2009 when this year could have been so much worse? I feel guilty for wanting more—as if I’m tempting fate. Be careful what you wish for…
But I’m wishing anyway.
Writing is at the forefront of my mind right now. It is my salvation through loss and hurt. I want to write in 2009 like I’ve never written. I want to write until my eyes blur and my fingers go numb—and then I want to write some more. I want to write it all out. Not in that icky, self-indulgent, woe-is-me, exhibitionistic way that annoys the crap out of me—God, please don’t let me be one of those writers—but in the way that captures my emotions truthfully while spinning something beautiful and meaningful out of the loss and hurt.
I want to write the way I know I can. Without the self-doubt and the laziness and the distractions that plague me so much of the time. Without the voices in my head telling me I can’t; without the voices of my critics insulting what they don’t like or can’t understand.
I want to write it all—novels, short stories, poetry, screenplays, essays. I want to explore the breadth of this gift I have been given and know that I’m challenging myself with each new project I start. Too often I write without thinking—phrases I’ve used a hundred times before fall onto the page, paragraphs are sloppily written and never edited, I stick with what I know rather than reaching for the top shelf just beyond my grasp. I want to scare myself with how damned good I am. I hope that I can.
I want to say “No” to all the crap and dreck that gets in the way of me being a better writer. The time consuming, soul-sucking distractions that keep me from my writing. The external influences that create negativity in my life and drag me down.
Is this a resolution? I don’t know—it doesn’t feel concrete enough to be a true resolution. I want to resolve to write every day, but I failed at that goal this year (though I have some good excuses). I want to resolve to write a certain number of projects, but I know serendipitous events might prevent me from reaching that goal and it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. I want to resolve to sell this or that (or this and that), but selling is out of my control and 2009 is not shaping up to be a good year in publishing. I want to assign numbers to my goals—words, pages, projects—and I probably will. But right now I just want to promise myself to write. Write as if my life depends on it—because sometimes I believe it does.