It’s the end of December and along with the rest of you, I’ve begun to reflect on 2014. The good, bad, forgettable, memorable, sad, and joyful moments experienced. Much like on the news, I’m busy recounting what I’ve accomplished, what fell by the wayside, and what 2015 will bring. I’ve already come to one, easy conclusion. I will not make a large pronouncement (here, or otherwise) involving the dreaded, sure to fail, or at least sputter for a while, then fail, New Year’s Resolution. Doing so seems so yesterday.
No matter what’s happened or not, as another year comes to a close, it’s always a bit melancholy because we’ll never have it back again. Each day, hour, minute, and second is one of a kind, here once, and never again. Without dipping too far into what could start to sound like a drippy lament of time gone by, ala Auld Lang Syne, maybe we can just say, consummatum est. And with THE END in mind, what I’d really like is for this new year to be a year of discovery.
What I mean is that I want go into 2015 without any preconceived notions or mandates about what it will be, can be, or should be. I’d rather be wide eyed with wonder, and uncertainty about what it might bring. For instance, I’m excited to see what might happen with the new project which has been on a low simmer as I’ve thought about possible plot lines. I think I have one particular piece of it solidified, but I won’t really know until I start writing. The rest of it is, as of now, an unknown. We could call that something of a discovery. Also, I’m still on the hunt for deeper thematic relevance, the character’s voices, and development. Even more than that, I’m searching for the something buried I don’t yet know, a part of the story still tucked away.
Personally, I think it’s more interesting to enter a new year this way instead of declaring what we will or won’t do, which always seems to lead to disappointments and a feeling of failure. Like uncovering some part of ourselves unexpectedly. Recently, Writer’s Digest published an article about the three ways of introducing your main character. It was written by Les Edgerton, and he used a paragraph from the novel by Nick Hornby, HOW TO BE GOOD, where the main character uncovers something about her persona, a trait she’d never considered a part of her mental psyche. You can read the overall article about character intro’s as well as the example paragraph from the book here.
This is not to say I hope to discover I suddenly want a divorce this year, as the example paragraph shows. Nor does it mean I hope to land on some negative family trait that only manifests itself after an eggnog overload. Obviously I’m only hoping for positive discoveries, something pleasantly surprising, like walking outside, looking up and suddenly witnessing the unique formation of a cloud.
Whether these discoveries are related to writing, or otherwise, l think it would be great to know that we still have something new to learn. Don’t you?
What do you hope to discover this year?