We’re about four months into 2016 where New Year’s Resolution deaths tend to spike, so I wanted to encourage you with a story:
Some time ago, I made a New Year’s Resolution to start smoking. Don’t ask. I was in college and at the time, it made sense. I executed this resolution within 3 hours of midnight and held on to it for many years.
I haven’t made a real resolution since.
Until 2016. This year, I resolved to write a poem every day for the entire year. I studied creative writing in college and I have been published in multiple journals and periodicals.
Have you ever heard stories about people who see music? I see poetry. I stare from the passenger window at the group of high school kids crossing the street and see swirling colors, smoke and dust wrapping them like translucent blankets. And, I want to write about it.
I started strong. Daily, I put words down. They were, by and large, not good, but they were there. Like exercising, I knew practice would build muscle and sharpen the saw. I focused on my feelings and my response to the world around me. I embraced discomfort and excitement alike. I opened myself up to moments of vulnerability and it felt wonderful.
Then, I missed a day.
And just like that, all that I relished about my resolution hung like an albatross stinking up the room. No one smelled it but me.
Too many real-life responsibilities took center stage and writing was written off. Here I am, too many days into the year, and giving up. Or am I?
No. Instead, I am giving up on the idea that writing daily is an all-or-nothing gig. I am giving up on the self-imposed rigor that amounted to more regret than success. To write is to write. I won’t wait for fickle inspiration. I will not succumb to the fallacy that writing every day is the only answer. I will, however, write. Maybe it will only amount to 298 poems, but that’s still a helluva lot.
In my day to day role at FoxFuel, I don’t spend all day working on a singular client. I have to let go, switch focus, and jump right into the stream of a different job. A rush of cold water and mild panic embodies the pace of work, but I can’t afford to fret about the work left undone. I come back to it later after giving all my work proper attention. Nothing is written off or left undone.
Whatever your work stream, whatever your resolution, whatever your current status—pick it back up. Maybe it hurts in the beginning, but imagine how it will feel to run through the tape at the end. Resolve this year to finish what you started.