Quote of the Week: “You decide to make a flower. You don’t have any seeds, bees, bat guano, engravings, pitchforks, sunshine, scarecrows. You have a feeling though. Presto.” Dean Young
Writing Exercise of the Week: Write about the last time you did something new.
The day after. Have you recovered?
For some people, the day after Christmas is a let down. All the build up, all the expectation, and then you’re in the moment, living it. But what about after? You’ve got to clean up, return to work, not to mention the slow dietary recovery … whew. It makes you want to crawl back into bed.
For me, the holiday season is just the beginning. It’s the countdown to a new year, to new beginnings. I know we sometimes complain about how clustered everything is towards the end of the year, but in a way that’s a good thing—the spirit of the season (and whatever it means to you) primes you for what’s to come. When you think about what you want in 2014, your mind (and heart) are still focused on what feels good—family, friends, joy, generosity, community. It’s fertile ground for creating something wonderful in the new year.
When I write a novel, I have an idea of how I want it to end, but I don’t always know exactly how I’m going to get there. I think I do, but I don’t know for sure. I don’t know who’s going to show up, what kind of twists may ensue, and even when I know I want a certain thing to happen, I sometimes find that it doesn’t always work out the way I think. As long as I know I’m generally heading in the right direction, I don’t freak out (too much) and keep on going. It sometimes feels like a small miracle by the time I write THE END, because I’m almost always surprised by how I got there, but still, I got there.
So what do you want to create next year? I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again. Starting a business, expanding a business, trying something new, looking for a relationship, enhancing a relationship, writing a book, finishing a screenplay—these are all acts of creation. Even if you don’t know what you want to create in 2014, but know you want to create something, that’s as good a place as any to start. Keep your wish for the new year simple: I want to create a life that I love, doing that which brings me great joy. Keeping it general means you’re leaving room for possibilities you haven’t considered.
I know it sounds simplistic. But do you really want something more complicated? We’ve been trained to be specific, but I’ve found that specificity doesn’t always serve us. It makes anxious, hyper aware that we’ve fallen short of our goal, disappointed that something hasn’t come to pass. Don’t fuel yourself this way—there is a better path. Have an idea of what you want or better yet, how you want to feel, and then be easy about it. Approach each day in the new year with anticipation, just like you would the days leading up to Christmas. Work toward what you want, but keep your eyes open for little surprises along the way.
See you in the new year!
Want help writing in 2014? Visit Waimea Community Education at waimeaeducation.com to register for Darien’s upcoming writing and publication workshops, or to schedule a one-on-one session. Darien Gee is a national bestselling author based in Waimea. She also writes under the name Mia King. Learn more at dariengee.com and miaking.com.