I'm sort of a sentimental nerd when it comes to New Year's Eve. Whereas for some it's a cause to celebrate, to toast, to party with friends, to eat Chinese food and curl up with a stack of movies - for me, it's a time of reflection and often sadness. Weird, but true. It's as if we are tethered somehow to all that happens to us in that particular year and when that clock strikes midnight, that tether is broken and it all becomes a part of our past in a different way. There is a marker of distance between us and these events. For some reason, this makes me an emotional mess.
What is it about the past that makes us hold on so tight? Do we somehow believe that as long as we cling to it, a piece of it is still with us somehow in the present? And I'm certainly not alone in feeling this way. How many of you are thrown head-first into a memory, painful or positive, just by hearing a song, or seeing a scene from a movie, or even driving down a certain street? I honestly believe there is no place more powerful or raw to dig in for deep, emotional, real writing than in the treasure troves of our pasts. Those events, people and places that have left a lasting imprint on our hearts and lives. Why? What's the story there?
This year, dig deep. Look at what's inside you, what hurts to let go of, what feels GOOD to let go of, and let it come out to play. Mold it like clay and let it be your muse, guiding your words honestly and ferociously on to the page and see where it takes you.
I send New Years blessings to my writer friends, and hope you have a healthy, happy New Year filled with much laughter and happiness and that the words flow. Don't stress the whole I-have-to-get-an-agent-I-must-be-published-I-have-to-sell-a-ton-of-books-or-I'm-nothing thing. It's meaningless in the scope of the universe, really. Write for you. Write because you must. Write because you need it like you need oxygen in your lungs. Everything else is just a bonus, and you should never look to others to validate yourself in that way. Writing a book, or a blog, or whatever you write, is a huge endeavor and accomplishment of its own - one that many say they'd like to do but never actually accomplish. What's important is the journey - the dream, the persistence, the discipline, the dedication, the passion. The rest will come in it's own time.
Happy New Year!