Shake It Out

I have been REALLY good lately about dropping the ball. I’ve blown through deadlines (both external AND self-imposed) with a gleeful abandon, much like if I were doing a steeple chase with my arms thrust back like an airplane, sprinting forward with my eyes closed.

As such, I’ve been pissing myself off a lot more than usual. And when I get on an irresponsible tear as wide and non-productive as this one has been, I EXCEL at pissing myself off. It’s been so easy lately – particularly since I got my head back on straight – with so many new distractions, I’ve reached my threshold of pissed-ness.

Understandably, I’ve been starting to think about what I need to work on. I know how and why I’m broken, but I’ve been too scattered and lazy to bother fixing things. And since it’s getting to be that time of year again, where I start taking stock of the past year, and where I start thinking about the content and quality of the upcoming year, now’s the time I feel compelled to start pulling my shit together again.

At the beginning of this year I made a promise to myself to try and make 2012 better than 2011, and in that regard I’m declaring 2012 a massive success, despite my end-of-year-dithering. There were a lot of firsts for me. I wrote a bunch of new fiction, started slush reading for an awesome magazine, made new friends, caught up with old friends, got into the best shape of my life, and relearned how to be alone and happy. Twice. I went to Seattle for the first time and the Rainforest Writer’s Retreat, I went to Wiscon, Readercon, and Worldcon. I read a bunch of good fiction (though not as much as I would have liked). I sold a story and saw my very first story in (e-)print. I got to play music. On stage. With an audience. I was inspired, I was distraught, I was distracted and vulnerable and invincible and unstoppable and weak and broken and ecstatic, joyful, tearful, wistful, satisfied, disappointed and content.

2012 became the year of purposefully moving beyond beta. Sure, there was misery and self-doubt and the periodic flaring of neuroses I’ll always be carrying, but misery dilutes easily when stacked up against so much joy, so many things I thought, even one year ago, I would never do. And though, presently, I am angry with myself for falling so far behind on so many things that are important to me, I know this will pass and I will find my footing again. I know this because I’m giving myself the same invocation as last year:

I will make 2013 even more awesome than 2012 was. I will make new art; write new stories. I will record the first album with my band. I will meet new people. I will play more music. I will laugh long and hard. I will read new books. I will run farther and faster and delight in having worked hard on to be able to do so. I will be inspired, I will be distraught, I will be distracted and vulnerable and invincible and unstoppable and weak and broken and ecstatic, joyful, tearful, wistful, satisfied, disappointed and content. Because what is a year that doesn’t include at least that much?

I’m excited for what the new year will bring; for what new twists, joys and miseries await me. And I’m gonna run straight for them, head thrown back, eyes closed, arms straight out like I’m flying.

Why? Because fuck fear. That’s why.

Be fearless. Say yes. Go after the things you want. Be the person you want to be. Make the art you want to make. And when you fail, as we all do, you’ll be all the better for it because there is no growth without failure.

I hope your 2013 is exactly what you need it to be.

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