It begins again… this cycle of seasons bundled into the whirlwind called Time. We’re perched on the cusp of 2013, wondering how the past year – for me it’s more like the past decade – could have swirled away so quickly.
The last page of the 2012 calendar will fall away tonight. There’s a new calendar underneath, ready to take its place. Other than that, what’s likely to change around here? Probably not much.
The New Year is considered an ideal time for new beginnings but I’ve mentioned before that I don’t do Resolutions. I can’t see the point of setting myself up for failure by promising to do things I haven’t been able to accomplish during the past twelve months. But not making resolutions doesn’t mean I can’t make fresh starts.
Last week my DD Shari Green posted a Saturday Snapshot on her blog, sharing a photo of crocuses and suggesting the year’s end “is a time of metaphorical crocuses and fresh green growth and signs of life. It is a time of hope.” I like the metaphor. While my crocuses won’t be visible for a while, the Hellebores buds are showing already and I expect the snowdrops will be close behind. They’re always an early reminder that despite blustery winter weather, a new season is on its way. As Shari says, there are signs of hope out there.
Last spring’s Helleborus orientalis blooms
I need that hope in my writing life. It’s been as cyclic as the seasons. All year I’ve waffled between determination and doubt, enjoying my storytelling efforts while wondering if I’m wasting my time… one week believing the words have potential and the next convinced they’re total drivel. Then I came upon a comment by Nathan Bransford:
“Terror and joy. Confidence and self-doubt.
The best artists live right in that uncomfortable middle.”
He was referring to a talk by Ben Silbermann, co-founder and CEO of Pinterest, who mentioned that “even after all the success he has had with Pinterest he lives at the intersection of terror and joy.” Nathan went on to explain how that also applies to writing: you have to be brave and confident, willing to risk putting your words out into the world because you believe in them. “But you also have to be self-critical enough to edit your work and fear failure and be worried that your best might not be good enough, which pushes you just that much further. You have to be scared of what will happen if you don’t do your best. You can’t ever get comfortable. Terror and joy. Confidence and self-doubt. The best artists live right in that uncomfortable middle.”
I gleaned encouragement and hope from those words. In the New Year I’m going to remember it’s okay to waffle… to teeter occasionally on the edge of uncertainty… as long as I don’t let it discourage me, but rather, make it feed my determination to produce better writing.
How about you? How do you feel as you get ready to launch into a New Year of writing? Hopeful? Fearful? Or…?
“Rejoice in your hope,
be patient in tribulation,
be constant in prayer.”
Romans 12:12 [RSV]
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