Happy New Year to those of you who use the Gregorian calendar. I hope you will forgive me, dear friends, for using this post for a bit of self-assessment. I share this both to keep myself accountable and in the hopes it will help others going through a similar line of questioning as one year turns to the next.
Confession: This is the third time I’ve tried to write this post. The start of the New Year feels momentous. I wanted to start it right. I considered reflecting on what I accomplished in 2019. I consider publishing my writing goals for 2020. None of it felt correct.
Upon reflection, I realized none of my drafts felt authentic to my mission. I’m type A. I want a checklist and a sense of accomplishment and a freaking sticker if-you-would-be-so-kind. This served me well in school, and it serves me well when I’m trying to hit a word count, but it doesn’t always serve me well as a person in the world. Sometimes I get so focused on the sticker I lose sight of what’s most important–the people in my life. My first drafts felt wrong because they too lost sight of the people.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m still dedicated to developing my writing career. I still have a clear list of what I want to accomplish, and a sense of excitement for what 2020 may hold. But my internal motivation has always been strong, and thus I don’t need to publicize my process to hold myself accountable. What I do need is to remember how closely linked my mental health is to my ability to write, and how much I need the people in my life to maintain my mental health. I need to remember how my interactions with people fuel the fire which powers my writing, my soul, and my desire to get out of bed. I need to remember the people around me matter more than my writing.
And thus, as 2020 begins, I go forth not with a set of resolutions but rather with a sense of the fullness of life. Happy New Year to all.