Happy New Year, writers! I’ve been so enjoying the potential of the great, blank page of 2012 that I haven’t been able to bring myself to mar it with a single word. At least, that’s what I was telling myself until my dear friend gave me this mug today:
When I held it in my hands and had a good, hard laugh about the perfection of its message for this particular writer, I had to face the truth of why I wasn’t writing here about setting goals for 2012: I was bored. Bored with my own ideas, bored with the process, and unconvinced that my own, 22-page PowerPoint is the golden key that will unlock the queendom of a fabulous year of writing. So, I haven’t been able to suggest that you do the same.
Instead, I find myself with a new divining rod: a mug that takes a stand for my writing life.
I typically choose a word for the year, and I have mine on the bulletin board. It’s a fine word, but it doesn’t make me laugh, and doesn’t make me run to my computer to follow the thread of an idea–with four bags of melting groceries sitting on the kitchen counter–in the way that this mug did.
As it happens, I was chosen by this intention. Gifted with it by someone who knows well how I live, how I write, and what the phrase “mother fucker” has meant in the vernacular of this household in the years since I became a mother. What have you been given that powerfully reflects back to you who you are and where you are headed? If you scan around your home, your workspace, and don’t see anything, no problem. I invite you to come up with your own big-picture statement/intention that challenges you to up the ante in 2012–one that you commit to live and write by. Make sure it’s something you can measure everything you do against. Make sure it’s hilarious, scary, outrageously ambitious, offensive, or in some way pressing on you in a way that is going to get your attention.
Let’s plan to be a little uncomfortable together in 2012, shall we? Try things we haven’t tried, set the bar so high, we have no idea how we’ll ever make it over. Let’s surprise ourselves with the truths we are willing to commit to writing, with the writing hours we are able to keep, with the risks we take in submitting, reading publicly, asking for what we want.
You’re not alone as you make the crossing. We’re all in this together.
You have all day. You have all week. You have all month. You have all year. What, dear writer, do you intend to make of them?