A smidgen of wisdom from the good folks at WordPress:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. Hopefully they’d put on something good.
The end of the year is that time when, bloated by festive treats and wearied by revels and revelers, we turn our collective gazes navel-ward to look back on what we managed to get done despite odds and what we hope to accomplish in the coming months (usually a laundry list of everything that wasn’t finished this past year, with “losing weight” at the top of the list.) I could launch into a tremendously dull recapitulation of everything I wrote this year and which posts connected well and which didn’t, but I suspect there’s little interest out there in such a thing. Really, you write something, you publish it, and either people like it or they don’t, and you move on to the next, with little time available for reflecting on past glories or hardships. And just because something hits hard once is not a guarantee that anyone sticks around. The beast must be fed, continuously, or it wanders on like a herd across the Serengeti in search of a more consistent food source. That’s one of the hardest lessons we have to learn. A fan of one good piece of writing is seldom a fan for life, unless we’re discussing enthusiasts of J.D. Salinger. Even Stephen King never rests on his laurels.
2013 will be a year recalled fondly not in terms of anything specific I did with my writing, but who it enabled me to meet. Ksenia Anske, Rachael Spellman, Drew Chial, Jennifer Howard, Nillu Stelter, Rachel Thompson, Amy Good, Rachel Ott, Louise Gornall, Alicia Anderson, Amira Makansi, Jessica West, Colleen Albert and J. Edward Paul (and a bunch of other amazing folks I’m sure I’m forgetting, so sorry) were complete strangers a year ago and now they, their work and most importantly, their senses of humor, have become inextricable components of my journey across the pages. They set the bar with their words, they motivate with their dedication, they inspire with their passion and they make me laugh whenever I need it. If you have not heard of any of these incredible people, that will be remedied very soon, you can count on it. And I’ll be right there cheering them on – from behind the 500 feet mandated by the restraining order, undoubtedly.
For myself, the keyword for 2014 will be discipline. Ksenia’s blogged extensively about the need for focus and routine as a writer, and it isn’t enough to say that I’ll do it when I get the time. It truly is about making time; no small challenge when you have a regular job, a spouse, a son turning thirteen and a brand spanking new gym membership. But as I am fond of telling my boy, he will not look back on his life and wish he’d spent more time lying on the couch. There is simply too much to do; too much world to experience, too many words to write, and precious few minutes to do it all in. Our lives aren’t getting longer; they’re ending, as the man says, one day at a time.
So I won’t make a bunch of goals or resolutions that I can sit around on December 31st, 2014 ruing that I didn’t finish. I’ll begin with changing my attitude about what’s possible through enough effort. That agent didn’t like your novel? Send it to 30 more. Nobody cared the post about what’s wrong with Star Wars and Star Trek? Reach deeper. Make it more personal. Readership drying up? Introduce yourself to more strangers. The great thing about Twitter is that it can give you the balls to speak to people you wouldn’t dare approach in real life. Use that wonderful tool to make more and more lasting connections. And read more. Lots more. Embarrass your Goodreads friends with the raw tonnage of literature you consume. Talk, listen, discover, share, open up, advocate, take in, give back. And damn the motherf@#$ing torpedoes.
See you next year, my friends. Limitless promise is only a few hours away. And let’s see where the road takes us together.