I am not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions. I usually make my big yearly changes back in October when the nights are getting longer and endings are in the air. But this year I think I’ll make one.
I resolve to further embrace the life of a writer.
I realize that it sounds pretentious to don this label and pronounce it to the world, but it is real, from the heart, and a resolution that I intend to keep. But what, exactly, does that even mean? What is “the life of a writer” exactly?
To me, being a writer means. . .
. . . being at peace with the fact that I will never make the kind of money others around me do.
It means turning down jobs and opportunities that don’t feed my soul.
It means letting snide comments about liberal arts degrees and people’s jokes about maids and housekeepers slide right off my back.
It means writing every day.
It means coloring mandalas at two in the afternoon on a Tuesday.
It means having a house that is always slightly messy and is perfumed with incense.
It means that I probably won’t travel as much as my wealthier peers.
It means that it is ok to grieve over that but not to let that grief stop me from writing and push me towards work I don’t love just so that I have more cash in my hands and plane tickets in my pocket.
It means creating a safe, special, and loving place to live right here in my own small town.
It means filling my space with objects that may seem like clutter but are really inspiration—candles, and glitter, and children’s crafts, and postcards, and magazine clippings, and feathers, and herbs, and crystals, and photos, and plants, and art. . .
It means surrounding myself with people who support my craft and actually read my work and show up when it counts.
It means letting go of people who have belittled me or been unkind.
It means failing. A lot. Some of what I write will be crap. That will have to be ok.
It means accepting that some of what I write will also be absolutely amazing. It means knowing that without apology.
It means that I will sometimes get rejected when I submit my work.
It means that sometimes I will get accepted.
It means seeing the world with my heart and crying too much and dreaming quite a bit and never feeling bad about any of it.
It means being free.