Saturday, January 5, 2008

I Hereby Resolve

I hate new years resolutions. Usually, they're like fruitcake at Christmastime--people make them, and display them for folks to see and admire, but never really do with them what they're supposed to. Because they don't taste good.

Resolutions are typically left by the wayside by mid-January--forgotten until the next time New Year's Day comes around. Because they usually aren't easy. They generally involve us committing to something that we have a hard time with.

So I don't usually make them. Not because I don't want to do things that I have a hard time with; on the contrary, I'm intent on conquering each obstacle in my life, no matter how difficult. It's just that obstacles should be, in my opinion, faced when they arise, not ignored until the first of a new year, and THEN tackled.

But this year, I've broken my own rule, and made a few resolutions--not really because it's a new year, but because they pertain to decisions that I'm faced with now; situations and circumstances that exist in my life today.

I'll keep them to myself, with one exception-and I only tell you this one because I want your help with it.

If you've read MyndFood for any length of time, you know that I have aspirations of someday publishing (with a major publisher) fiction. In fact, my goal is that writing, someday, be my livelihood (as opposed to merely a hobby).

But last week I had one of those moments that we all face from time to time. You know, those times when you see, just ahead, a bend in the road, and everything in you tells you that, just around that bend, the going gets easy; the road smooths out, and instead of a constant uphill battle, you have a little time to coast? I came to that corner, and as I made the turn, came to a screeching stop, because the road didn't smooth out or widen; it didn't level off. It's a continuation of that same, difficult uphill grade.

And as I turned that corner, I realized that roads don't generally level out. I realized (again) that throughout life, I'm going to face uphill grinds and rough roads; but I'm also going to experience some nice easy riding from time to time. That's life, I think; an undulating, curvy path that never stops; until it does.

But the epiphany was this: I've had this dream of writing for my entire adult life, and I've just been waiting for that "right moment." I just realized that the right moment isn't going to come. It's not likely that the stars will all align, or that all the right cards will pop up. The right moment is simply when I take that first step.

But then, I'm not being completely honest with you; that's no epiphany. I've known it all along; I've experienced just enough success in my life to know that it rarely comes on the wings of good fortune. It's almost always the result of someone taking that first, fateful step into the dark unknown.

I've never taken that step because I'm afraid. I'm afraid that I'm not good enough, and that when the writing's done, we'll look back and see that I'm not a storyteller; I'm not a good writer. And that might be the case. But I can't know that until I've tried.

And so, I think I'm going to try. What's it take to publish? I guess first you have to write something that's publishable--something that I've never done. So I'm giving it a shot.

I resolve to write one page per day for all of 2008. I have a goal of producing 300 solid, well-written pages of fiction by the end of this year (that is, 300 pages of publishable--given some decent editing--material).

In fact, I've put a little thingy down at the bottom of the page to track my progress (it's a "Pages Written" tracker). Do me a favor: check it often, and keep me honest. Ask me how I'm doing, and if the fear of failure causes me to slack off (as it's done so often in the past), encourage me, criticize me or berate me-whatever it takes to get me going again.

Just help me keep this, my New Year's Resolution!

Oh, and Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Nan said...

So, how many pages are written thus far? Lets see should be at least 8 or 9. ??? I can't wait to walk into Barnes & Noble to buy your book and I can tell the person checking me out "My brother wrote this" =)
Love ya!
Good Luck!