I have never made a New Years resolution, but I am planning on making one tomorrow morning. I will not, however, share with you what that resolution will be. I believe a resolution should be handled like a birthday wish – kept secret until it is fulfilled. Though announcing your resolutions can make you accountable to the world, it can also create the illusion of success, for the dream that lived within you is now outside of you in the form of grand plans and architecture and vivid tales of what will be. Every writer should know this. Our unwritten stories are best kept to ourselves as well. All the energy I have spent telling friends about the stories I’m still writing is energy I must regain to actually finish writing that story. It seems odd, I know. These two separate events, the telling and the writing, should have nothing to do with one another. But they do. Try as I may not to, telling someone about a story always contains the unspoken question, “Do you think it’s worth finishing?”

So too with dreams and resolutions. I cannot ask the world if my dreams are worth pursuing, or if my resolutions are worth fulfilling. The world will always answer, “I don’t know,” which, depending on my mood, can easily be mistaken for, “I doubt it.” The privacy necessary for creation is non-negotiable. Every story and dream grows in a garden beyond the world’s perception. All that that garden requires to flower is my complete attention.

So I will keep this resolution to myself. Even mentioning I have one feels risky, but no matter. Everyone’s dreaming up something, whether we know what that something is or not – whether they know what that something is or not. Sometimes you have to fall asleep to find those dreams, until the fireworks thunder outside your window, and you are pulled awake into the fullness of a new year.


Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion.

"A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.

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