New Year’s Wishes

I won’t say that the end of the year snuck up on me, more that I’ve been preoccupied with projects and crafts and lots of internal dialogue about what I want to see happen now.

2020 will be one heck of a milestone for me – I’ll be 50, the big FIVE-OH!, a half-century of existence is already under my belt. Fifty years ago, I was quickening inside of my mother, turning and twisting in an ever-dwindling space.

It makes me think a lot of death, but not in the morbid “oh my God, I’m going to die” sense, more of a “damn girl, you are more than halfway to your expiration date” kind of thing.

I’ve always expected to live into my late 80s, although, who knows, it could be longer than that.

Still, the big number fifty makes me think, a lot, about what I want for my years on the other side of the middle. I know that I want to continue to do the things that make me happy. Those are, in no particular order…

  • Being a mom to two incredibly special girls – ages 13 and 4. I’ve been a mom my entire adult life and these two kiddos keep my world interesting and full of love. Whenever I start dwelling on the hardships I have had, these two make it worth hanging in there and continuing to try to do my best.
  • Read more. I have recently increased my reading which had dwindled to only a few books a year. Now I’m reading at least one per week, often more, and it is quite enjoyable. I love diving into a world of words, losing myself in an adventure or thriller, and visiting a world not of my making.
  • Feather my little nest until it works seamlessly for me. I’ve been painting the kitchen cabinets, organizing drawers and cabinets, and doing my best to streamline keeping our home functioning and as clutter free as possible. We are also upgrading to 200 amp and have charted out our wish list for outlet upgrades and new installs for the year. My husband is working on replacing the attic stair risers so we don’t have to step lightly or worry about splinters, and we plan on enlarging and improving our entry level closet/server room this winter.
  • Travel! I am so excited to be going to London this year! That’s in March, and then I am hoping to attend 20Booksto50k again in November, sandwiching a family trip to Seattle and San Francisco in late July before (fingers crossed) the girls both start at Crossroads Academy in the fall.
  • Create. This is a big one, folks. It is also more than just writing. It’s…gardening and building up our yard and home and creating art and so much more. I recently began writing a story exclusively by hand in a lovely leather journal with handmade paper with deckle edges. I’m pantsing it, the story comes out as the story comes out. You can read it by going to General Malcontent’s Grumbles and Scribbles Facebook group. Join the group, see the posted updates, and a lot more!

On Christmas Eve we went to a party. It was a lovely couple of hours and I enjoyed myself very much. Good food, great company, and a fast game of Cards Against Humanity before we had to go home and prepare for the next day’s present unwrapping.

There I met an interesting young man who was also interested in writing. He said something that has stuck with me, something I haven’t been able to forget. I asked him if he was a writer and he said, “Maybe.”

“Tell me what ‘maybe’ means.” I pressed.

“I’ll call myself a writer when I’m making money.”

And I found that fascinating. Mostly because, for most of my life, I have heard the exact opposite. Hell, I’ve said the exact opposite. “I’m a writer, which means I run a cleaning business.”

So this was a new development for me, to hear instead of “writing will never make you rich” to hear “I’m not a writer until I’ve made money.”

Huh.

I’m not sure how I feel about that!

I think I just grinned and said, “Great! I’ve made $34 so far this month on my writing. So I guess I’m a writer!” But I think I will be thinking about those words and over-analyzing them for a while.

I go back and forth a lot. About my plans, about my dreams, and in the end, I find myself backing away from jumping off the edge and just writing like a demon possessed to try and follow this high-production model I see in so many others. I think about Joanna Penn’s advice to have multiple streams of income and realize again and again that those multiple streams of income have less to do with writing and more to do with real estate.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed these past three months of running an Airbnb. It was a lot of work to get here, and we have a list of non-emergency “to do’s” a mile long that we need to slowly address, but overall the hard work is over and now it’s just maintenance and cleanings and collect the money. My dreams of making a ton of money as a writer ebb and flow. Which is not to say I’m giving up. More that, I want to continue to enjoy writing, as I enjoy the act of creation as a whole. I don’t want it to feel like work, I want instead for it to be filled with a fierce joy and even a little madness.

I’ll figure it all out eventually. For now, however, I will concentrate on writing every day – in journals, in The Book of Z, and my two main focus writing projects: Steel and Smoke and G581: Mars. Other than that, no promises of two, three or four books this year. Certainly one book, possibly more, but we will see.

Happy New Year, everyone. May this year, 2020, be outstanding for each and every one of you!

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