A new year offers the promise of opportunity, possibility and new beginnings.
I am particularly eager to bid farewell to 2015 – a year full of changes and challenges. Some of those changes and challenges were of my own making, others the Universe thrust upon me, much to my dismay.
As 2014 ended, I felt on top of the world. I celebrated Christmas on the beach and my stars seemed aligned for writing success. I had a good handle on the non-fiction book I was under contract to write, had a solid plan for revising a fiction manuscript (based on the advice of an interested agent) and was all set to move to Austin in the summer.
My perfect plan of writing every day, finishing the non-fiction project by June and the novel a few months later, completely collapsed. I returned from vacation to find my father in the hospital. He’d had a bad reaction to his latest round of chemotherapy. As he battled infections, I sat in his hospital room, working on the contracted book while he rested. I was thrilled when Dad got to leave the hospital for a nursing center at the end of January.
Unfortunately, I was way behind schedule on the nonfiction book and the novel was completely pushed aside. February and March became a blur of driving Dad to doctor’s appointments, research in the archives and late nights writing. My writing time became even less frequent after my Dad went on hospice and it became clear his time on this earth was running out.
After his funeral, I was able to return whole-heartedly to finishing the non-fiction book, which ironically celebrated the marvels of modern medicine. I turned the manuscript in a couple months late, but I finished.
And I moved to Austin. And then I did a complete revision on that fiction manuscript – which ended up being more about a daughter’s relationship with her father than the adventure story it started out to be. Then in December, I started sending it out to agents.
In many ways 2015 was not fabulous for me, but I do have a great sense of accomplishment. Life threw me some tremendous challenges, but I survived and ended up stronger for it. I also learned a lot about saying goodbye, about treasuring the days we’ve been given and not putting things off.
I have a long list of specific goals and resolutions for 2016, and I’ll be doing a post on those soon. For today, though, I wish you a new year filled with peace, happiness and creativity!