In late December, 2011, I decided I wanted to spend 2012 writing. I’d been itching to write and I found a platform, set-up a site, and I committed to try to blog each day. The theme was The Year of What If. I explored things like “what if what you thought you wanted isn’t what you need?” And “what if inspiration shows up when least expected and when I let my guard down?”
It wasn’t all profound, and frankly, now when I read some of my old posts they feel self-indulgent and I wince a little. But that year of nearly constant writing changed my path. From there, I kept writing my blog regularly for another year, and by year three I was enrolled in a masters program in creative writing. I finished my masters program in 2017, and in February of this year, I self-published my first book.
I am not over exaggerating when I say that “The Year of What If,” my year of near daily writing, changed my life.
After I released my book in February, I kind of stopped writing. I didn’t stop writing in my head, I am always thinking about writing projects. There are projects that have been percolating in my head for years, and there are new ones that pop up all the time, but I’m always turning them over. Mentally. That, however, is where it stops. Taking the time to sit down and write them down or type them out never seems to be a top priority.
To be fair, it’s been a challenging year on many fronts. It’s not like I have tons of extra time or energy on my hands. But, I also can’t deny that I’ve spent many many nights binging Netflix/AmazonPrime/HBO/Showtime. I could have been writing instead of inhaling Fleabag, Working Moms, Handmaid’s Tale, Big Little Lies, every British crime show, etc. But alas. This year started with a flurry of writing/editing activity as I prepared my book for publication, and then, a hard stop.
Lately my need to write has felt almost suffocating. Primarily because it’s there all the time, in my brain and in my soul, but I’m not doing anything with it. There is a disconnect between my brain, my soul, and the physical action of sitting down in my office and writing.
Then a couple of weeks ago I started hearing people talking about the end of this decade. It had never occurred to me that the end of this year is the end of a freaking decade. Suddenly, all of the percolating ideas, and my need to write, started bubbling up like boiling water.
This past decade has felt like an entire lifetime. In many ways, it has been, the 11s between my brows can confirm this. But this next decade? The one in which I turn 45, and then 50? The one in which our kids go to college, hopefully grad school, and start their careers? I expect so many big things in this decade – things that won’t happen if I continue to sit around and let my brain whirl without any action.
Just like writing daily for a year changed my life in 2012, I think that writing for the first year of this next decade might very well do the same. I truly believe that when I write, the Universe takes note, and things fall into place in completely unexpected ways. Life altering, path changing, ways.
I could wait until January 1st, 2020, to get this project under way, but I don’t think I can. I think I need to start now – for my sanity, for the life changes that will undoubtedly follow, and because I think – for some reason – I’m supposed to. I’m calling it The December Project because if I can ease my way back into writing daily in December, there is a good chance I can keep it up in January, and February, and so on.
I have no idea where this will take me – and I’ll likely write about all sorts of things – but writing has never led me astray and it’s never yielded poor results. To be clear – that doesn’t mean I’ve never written poorly or looked at my writing and thought ‘well this is sh-t.’ Because, obviously. But the act of writing, and specifically writing every day, has only ever resulted in, well, magic.
It’s time to wave the wand, write things down, and see where it leads me.