Every year I have a theme. No resolutions, which I’d just break by tomorrow and hate myself for the next day. Just a guiding principle, a phrase to think of when faced with laziness, lack of focus, or a looming decision (or, more likely, indecision).
Last year it was Live Lovely because I really needed a fresh way of thinking of life after turning in my tenure dossier. The year before was Put Yourself Out There because I needed to be brave when my first book was published.
Sometimes I have subthemes for certain parts of the year. Like during my sabbatical this fall it was Finish the Fucking Novel. Which I basically did.
This year the theme is Dig Deep because that’s what I need to do. In my writing and thinking and reading and blogging, even my cooking with my daughter. We’re armed with lots of new kitchen tools and cookbooks. I’ve got essay ideas brewing and notes for blog posts. I’ve started reading Les Miserables, and I’ve finished 87 of 1463 pages.
And in Digging Deep, I hope to do what Neil Gaiman wished for us all this past year:
Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.