Resolutions

resolution2res·o·lu·tion (r z -l sh n). n. 1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination. 2. A resolving to do something. 3. A course of action determined or decided 

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!

Nia

7 thoughts on “Resolutions

  1. Nia,

    I’ve read all of your books, and I love your writing style. Secret, for me, ended just as you envisioned, with a conclusion that left me satisfied. I felt that Shayla made an unfeigned decision to try to heal, and I’m glad that their voices have not been stifled. I’d love to journey on with them for yet another season.

    I feel that in life many people embrace the idea that women are complex, but the reality is that men are just as complex or maybe even more so. I’m looking forward to seeing how you are going to have Trey and Darren deal with their issues. Just the fact that they are going to make the attempt is quite a feat as far as I’m concerned. My sister, friends and I have been discussing the men in our lives lately and I must say, sometimes the discussion just ends with head shakes, silence, upturned lips…bemusement. It seems like when we’ve figured out what we want and need, they are in a state of confusion. This, mostly due to their unresolved issues…issues they’ve pushed to that far away place, or issues they’ve refused to recognize as issues. I plan on delving more into that subject matter through my reading this new year.

    As for my 2013, I resolve to be more deliberate, determined, disciplined and dedicated to all things concerning my well being. I’m coming out of the shadows.

    I’m also looking forward to The Art of Endings! Happy New Year….

    Jackie

    1. Happy New Year to you as well, and thanks for your support. In The Art of Endings, I’ll be writing exclusively from the points of view of Trey and Darren, getting into their thoughts, fears and feelings and seeing what their perception is of the women in their lives. I think you’re right – we hear and read tons about women’s innermost struggles and not as much about men, so we sometimes doubt that they have them. That’s why I like using the male POV like I did in Commitment and Unsuitable Men. This will be my first attempt at ONLY the male POV. Fingers crossed!

  2. Oh – and since we are sharing resolutions, mine is to live more authentically. A mentor asked me recently regarding a job situation, “why are you afraid to ask for what you want?” Hmm…needless to say, her question caused the lightbulb to go off in my head and so I’ve been working on being authentic: saying what I mean, meaning what I say, asking for what I want and need, pursuing the things I love, setting boundaries – and not making excuses or apologies. Coz you know, life is too short not to live it honoring the person that God made me to be.

    I wish a very happy and prosperous 2013 to you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s