This year was an external year. I was more public than ever before. I did so many things in front of people. I talked about my book in front of strangers more times than I can count. I spoke on stages, from podiums, in front of classrooms and bookstores and libraries, in circles of chairs. I met many readers, many librarians, many teachers, many bloggers, many people who were kind and welcoming to me. I met many fellow writers. I worked with dozens of writers on their novels. I taught three writing workshops and two writing classes at universities. I mentored multiple talented novelists. I spent most of my time reading other people’s books, to the detriment of my own. I kept thinking about my career as a whole, my path, my plan and how to be a teacher and a writer, but teaching took precedence. I worked on ways to build my c.v. and gain experience and I learned so much and I’m surprised, even still, at all I was able to do. Most of all, I published a book I’m immensely proud of, a book wholly and deeply me, and I survived it.
Now I’m hoping for something different for next year, for 2016.
This year was all about the external. I want 2016 to be more internal.
My schedule may be packed the first few months of this year, but I also don’t want to forget that other significant part of my life, the whole point of all of this, the reason I am here at all:
Tomorrow I’ll be coming up with my goals and writing wishes for 2016 and I’m thinking about the novel I’m writing now, and the novel I put aside, and the novels I haven’t yet written, and all the short stories I wish I could just write…
…and I want to find a no-pressure, positive way of shining a light on those things, too.
What if it’s a simple, small thing?
In 2016, I want to write something that feels true.
In 2016, I want to write a short story again.
In 2016, I want to try writing in third-person.
In 2016, I want to take on something surprising.
In 2016, I want to write about the deep past.
In 2016, I want to start something new.
I’m trying to think of what mine might be—perhaps one of those possibilities above.
All we can control for the year ahead is what we can do with our own two hands, and it doesn’t have to be outlandish, it doesn’t have to be everything. It can be one small thing… for you.
What might you write in 2016?