I’ve heard that what you do on the first day of the year is what you will do all year. Today was the 1st of January, 2013. I woke up late, ate breakfast with my husband and our closest friends (two of whom now live with us!), started painting my bookshelves, which I’ve been meaning to do for months, and then we all went to the beach, where we just happened to run into my entire family. When we got home we had dinner together, I had a nice cool beer, and then we realized a nail had worked its way into a hot water pipe and our house was slowly flooding. Now I’m watching Jaws, one of my favorite movies.
I’m not sure what that means about my 2013, but I’m hoping it means it will be full of good times with friends and family, a year of realizing long-held dreams and goals, a year of house renovations (hopefully more successful than that nail), and a year of the sea.
That last one is very important to me, and it’s related to ‘realizing long-held hopes and dreams’. I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember, but even before that I loved the ocean. I love it. I love it’s wild, mysterious waters. I love the secrets it holds. I love swimming, I love getting dumped by wild waves, I love diving into a breaking wave and bursting out the other side, fresh and new. I love the ocean and I fear the ocean and those two things together are the perfect mulch for a story.
I’ve been trying to write a story about the sea for years. Since I was a teenager. But here’s the thing: when you’re writing about something you love you need the story to be good. You need it to be a good representation of the subject matter. You need to really love the story as much as you love the thing it’s about. I’ve tried and I’ve tried but it’s never been good enough.
In part it’s been about letting the story percolate. I needed to find the right angle. The other part, the bigger part perhaps, was about waiting until my skill level reached the level of my aspirations. It needed to be the right story, and I needed to do it well. And now, I think I’m ready.
In many ways, 2012 was the year I learned about hard work. I’d written a book before, and the first draft of another. I knew how to write a book from start to finish, but I had yet to learn how to write a really good book. In 2012, I revised. I revised and I revised and I revised. I’m still going, in fact. I learned that I don’t always get it right the first time. Or the second, third, forth, fifth or sixth time. I learned how to trust my instincts about whether something was good or not, about if something was ready, about if I had given my best possible effort. And I learned how to fix things.
I have the right story. I have my sea story. And I’m hoping I have the skill to pull it off.
Here are my 2013 resolutions:
– Read more
– Make a model ship
– Write Sea book
– Start running/yoga again
– Help my husband as he starts university
I’m really hoping 2013 will be the year of the sea.