Outside my writing office the landscape is dark, lit only by trees supporting blue, green, purple, and red Christmas lights. I love the lights. Didn’t get much chance to go out and see them this year, but there were a few houses on my going-to-work route that had some really nice lights.
I hear the quiet snick of the office door closing behind me, then a muted scratch of glass against wood as something is set on my desk.
“You didn’t put it up, love.”
I know my Muse is looking at the whiteboard covering one wall of the office. “It’s not for sure quite yet. I haven’t signed.”
“But you will. So put it up. It’s a great way to end this year and start 2017.”
“I’m waiting to hear what my writing teacher thinks. She’s taking time out of her holiday weekend for me. I’ll have to send her some jelly. Maybe some of those mint chocolate cookies, too. My son wants to make another batch for when his girlfriend comes over tomorrow.”
“You should have lights in here. And a disco ball to reflect them. Or just lots of those twinkling fairy lights. Something festive.” He takes up a position beside me, thumbs hooked into the back pockets of his jeans. “You’re almost there, love.”
Yep. Sooo close. “I’ve got a few more revisions to work on. I need you here.”
My Muse rests an arm around my shoulders. “Of course. You know things are going to get more intense after you finish these revisions, right? Are you ready for that?”
“Not sure, but this is where I want to go. I think.” The reality is starting to sink in. I know this whole writing thing is work. Lots of work. Not just writing work, either. There’s an element of anxiety and fear that goes along with the anticipation. “Yes, this is where I want to go.”
“Keep telling yourself that, love. And I’ll tell you if you forget.” He nudges me away from the window. A bottle of champagne with a big shiny bow on it stands proudly on my desk along with a couple glasses. “Ready to celebrate?”
“Later.” I want to get my writing teacher’s feedback. It’s all still sinking in, even though I kind of expected this after the past few months. “And I’m spending part of the day with my son, so no celebrating until closer to midnight.”
“New year, next step forward. Sounds good to me.”
Every year we like to remember all those things that worked and that maybe didn’t over the past 12 months. We like to lay out our goals and aspirations for the coming year. The problem we often run into is the forward motion toward those goals. Sometimes real life closes the road, or at least sets up those orange barrels. Sometimes the side road looks like the easier path. Sometimes we run out of gas.
It’s those times we need a kick in the arse, as my Muse would say. I won’t mention writing a list of your goals for the new year, because everyone says that. I will say if you don’t have a group of one or more other writers you can work with, that should be your first mission in the new year. Even though we like to work alone, other writers can help keep us motivated, help us become better at our craft, and share knowledge that goes beyond grammar and point-of-view.
Keep moving forward. Keep writing. And if you start to stall out, I’ll have my Muse send someone over to help your muse do a little arse-kicking 😀
Have a safe New Year’s Day weekend everyone! And don’t stop writing!