Happy New Year!!! It’s finally January, or rather 2013, or should I just say… THE YEAR MY BOOK COMES OUT!!!

(That statement is both exciting and terrifying all at once.)

Last year, rather than making a traditional resolution I picked a single word to focus on throughout the year: balance.

I wanted to better juggle my work and personal life, to find time to step away from the computer/my writing and not feel guilty about it. I think, overall, I succeed in this. Leaving my day job certainly helped. Organizing a big trip to Europe and a few smaller getaway weekends with the Engineer were much needed (and wonderful) reprieves.

Above all, I started video chatting with writer friends Sarah Maas and Susan Dennard on a semi-regular basis. Sometimes we talked about publishing, other times anything but. I found these chats helped me forget about Writing-Erin, and just be Erin-Erin. Giving myself me-time was crucial to finding balance. Everyone has their own way of unwinding. This became mine. And I learned to not feel guilty about it. So yeah, success in my book.

I loved the Word of the Year approach to 2012 so much, that I’m going to do it again in 2013. This time with…

 

Present.

 

As in, being present. In a way, this springs off of last year’s “balance”.*

I have a feeling 2013 is going to be a bit crazy for me. A whirlwind. I don’t want to spend all my time stressing over things out of my control (sales, for instance). I want to try and enjoy this experience as much as possible.

There’s a line in Neil Gaiman’s commencement address at the University of the Arts where he recounts the advice he got from Stephen King regarding the launch of his career: “This is really great. You should enjoy it.” Gaiman claims this was the best advice he ever got, and yet he didn’t follow it. Instead, he worried over the next deadline, the next idea. He failed to relish the moment. The fun of it.

I don’t want to make the same mistake. So that’s my goal in 2013. To appreciate what’s happening, every step of the way. To enjoy it: TAKEN going out into the world, polishing the sequel, writing new stories. To remember that I love what I do and to savor those moments where I’m at my computer, enthralled in a world that exists solely in my head and anxious to capture it on paper.

When I think of what lies ahead in 2013 for me, April 16th is this fuzzy, looming mark on my calendar. And it really shouldn’t be. It should be exciting and wonderful and yes, I suppose maybe a little scary, but I just don’t want the fear to hold me back from enjoying it. The book launch or anything after.

So yeah. Present. I’m going to actively try to soak it all in in 2013. Especially the “scary” moments.

What are your goals this year? If you had to pick one word for all of 2013, what would it be?

*It also reminds me of a certain post I wrote back in February about perspective and how it seems like the grass is always greener elsewhere when really I needed to start appreciating the grass right beneath my feet.

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