A Year Of Discovery


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? 

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12 Comments

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This year, I want to continue to discover my dog and cat; they fascinate me endlessly, and bless me every stinkin’ day.

I also want to touch a certain someone’s hand. It’s been too long. That would be a discovery now, all over again.

And I want to discover which of the Best Literary Agents in the World is going to sign me up and love me and name me George. It’s time.

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    Ha! I think I’m with you on the canine/feline drift. My little guy has developed some very odd behaviors and I don’t even want to consider that I’ve caused them, or helped them manifest in some way. (i.e. for one, nervous about his water bowl.)

    Reaching out to someone you’ve not been near for a while… a reconnection sounds perfect.

    And yes…, it’s time for you to have an agent, isn’t it? But seriously, Diane, I don’t know about being named George. What’s wrong with Diane? I mean I like Diane. My favorite cousin is named Diane. Then again, George. George sounds regal – but maybe that’s just b/c I associate it to that chubby cheeked cherub across the pond – you know the one. With the silver spoon?

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I hope I can finally finish this book I’ve been writing for a thousand years; I hope I spend less time on-line and more time in real life; I hope to go quiet for long blocks of time.

But today, this instant, I just wish some magical elves would show up and take down the tree and put away all of decorations. * le sigh *

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    Amen to the less on line, more in real life. Hey, with some of the fave blogs fading into the distance, that might be easier than we think, right?

    Magical elves – drink more wine and they will appear. *le wink, wink*

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“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. ”

I can totally go with this. I’m tired of making plans and reaching for things. There are always things that I will do/plan naturally, but this year I want to enjoy the day to day and what it brings as much as any big plans. I want to look back at 2015 come this time next year and say I made the most of the little moments.

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    I thought about the standard New Year’s resolutions, Jennine, and I thought, “why?” Why say this will happen, or that. Or that I will do this, or I will do that. It’s usually the same old things and most of it, as you say, are what we’d work towards anyway. Eat better. Continue a solid exercise program. Write/or read/review books. Spend time with family. Etc. Etc. Those are already a part of my internal awareness and what I ought to do. I don’t need to state them out loud. It’s almost a psychological negative. As soon as you say, “I’m going to add at least five miles to my total weekly runs by x month,” it becomes the weight on one’s shoulder.

    If I had one wish for 2015, it’s that the year won’t go so fast! 🙂

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“What do you hope to discover this year? ”
Not sure if you know, but I’ve been writing some genre stories as an experiment to see if money could be made quickly and simply from doing so.
The stories are around 30K words each in a slightly under-served niche genre, and sell for 2.99 as ebooks. They each take a week to write, then the editor/publisher fixes them a little and out they go. They consistently sell 100 copies a day or more between them, and four months in have made well over 20K dollars.

So, what do I hope to discover this year? Well, I also have “real” books I’m writing. Books that take many, many months to write, not a week, books that matter to me.
What I hope to discover this year is that these books too might find an audience, that the extra care that goes into them will be rewarded with money, and not just the satisfaction of a job well done. I hope to discover that readers will appreciate quality, and that I don’t have to write the quickie genre stuff unless I want to.
Well, I still would write it, it’s fun — but I’m greedy, I want it all.

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    I do recall you mentioning these novella’s – at least I think that’s what they sound like. But, honestly Mr. ipants, $20K??? Holy f’ing moly! That’s a nice haul. I hope taxes don’t suck 30% of it away, like it would here. Still, even after taxes…, that’s more than a LOT of writer’s get in a contract stretched out over x years/payments.

    That’s wonderful, really it is. I too, hope your more serious work gets attention, and here’s what I see as even more good news in regards to that happening. With these ebooks – which evidently ARE quite popular, your name (psuedonym) is now out there. I would think that will help boost sales of the longer stories, that is, if you’re writing them using the same name.

    Here’s to 2015 and the discovery of your other work.

    XO

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