2012 has been an incredible year for me creatively. Now that we’re at the end of it, I guess I should be thinking of resolutions for 2013, “courses of action” that I will take to make it fruitful; in other words, my resolutions. But that is only one definition of the word. Resolution also means ‘ending’ or ‘the state of being resolved’. And this year, that meaning is the one that’s most resonant for me.
I’ve resolved that I am a writer always.
I’ve resolved that I know my own voice.
And I’ve resolved that I cannot be happy unless I am writing. Those are big resolutions for me, because I’ve struggled for years to subsume the urge to write, telling myself that surely there was something more practical or purposeful I could be spending my time on. Getting another degree, maybe. I even decided to split the baby, so to speak, and get a degree in Fine Arts so I could write under the guise of furthering my education. (Never did that btw) So writing has always been fraught with internal conflict for me; but this year that conflict was resolved.
As I wrote- my books and on this blog- I met many, many interesting women who’d read what I wrote and reached out to let me know that it meant something to them. They know who they are, and in the strange way made possible by this distant, digital world, they have become friends and creative confidants. They have enriched and changed my work, and made writing not nearly as solitary a pursuit for me as it once was. They indulge my navel-gazing about my characters and help me rethink some of my preconceptions about writing. And I now know, thanks to them that I’m not a voice screaming in the wilderness with no one to hear me. I never used to think it mattered honestly, whether anyone heard me or not – I would write regardless – but to know that they do adds a richness to the joy of writing, and a fullness and care to the work I try to produce that was not there before.
Before I get all weepy and maudlin, I’ll talk about something technical: one other, more literary way of looking at resolutions. The ending of my books. I generally don’t like the HEA (happily-ever-after) ending, because I like to think of my books as dropping in on people’e lives at a moment in time with the understanding that after the last page is turned, they go on (even if only in our imaginations). If after you read something I wrote you wonder how things worked out, but still feel satisfied, then I’ve succeeded. If all you do is wonder, and you don’t feel satisfied, then I didn’t strike the balance I was going for. There’s an art to it.
And that quest for balance is actually what inspired the title of the new book I’m working on, ‘The Art of Endings’ where characters you may have met if you read ‘Secret’ struggle to reach comfortable resolutions to old issues that threaten to compromise their future. Trey tries to resolve issues around his parents’ death and the sacrifices he made as a result. And we see him try to come to terms with the potential fall-out from his playboy past while building a new life with the woman he loves. Darren tries to resolve questions of loyalty and love as he struggles with feelings for his dead best friend’s fiancée; and Shayla tries to resolve the question of who she is now, in the context of a healthy, supportive relationship, something she’s never had with a man before. So essentially, I’ll explore how in life (as in writing), we may or may not get all our questions resolved or our issues dealt with but ultimately, making our peace and feeling a sense of satisfaction with not knowing may be the goal.
That’s how I feel about 2013. I don’t know what it’ll bring . . . but I’m already satisfied.
Happy Reading and Happy New Year!