A lot can be done in a year. A year is over 520 000 minutes. A year is 365 sunsets, and just as many sunrises. A year is 6 novels, if you’re so inclined, or 3 drafts and few false starts. A year is one slow manuscript, dripping from your veins and bleeding you dry. A year might be eighteen queries and the promise of hope.
A year could be books, read between heartbeats and steaming cups of tea. It could be 52 films, watched nervously when you really should be writing. Or over a billion blog posts, read accidentally when the words just won’t flow. For me it might be over a thousand tweets. That’s something like 140 000 characters, 50 question marks, 390 commas and one obligatory interrobang.
A lot can happen in a year and maybe that’s why we set ourselves goals. A year is 365 birthdays after all, at least 8 official holidays, and the presence of change on the horizon. A year is at least one controversial change in the publishing industry that nobody knows what it means and oh godddd we’re all doomed. Except we’ll quickly realise we’re not because a year also represents something else.
A year is 365 chances to revise the plan. It’s 520 000 moments to change your mind and at least 8 official holidays to sit and evolve. It’s 52 weeks of chances for character development followed by some brilliant action scenes. Sometimes we forget to appreciate that priorities can change. Nobody enjoys a book where things go to plan, and that’s because life doesn’t go to plan. Nobody likes a character who can’t develop, and that’s because we are always developing.
The future sometimes scares me, I think it scares a lot of people, but I try hard not to plan with any real gusto because the future also excites me. There are so many things left to do, so many places I’ve yet to see, and so many best friends yet to meet. A year is, most importantly of all, an awfully big adventure and adventures are never what you expect. I like resolutions but I tend not to make them. Maybe I’ll take up painting this year. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll read 300 books before November or maybe halfway through I’ll discover the inherent beauty in the little things and take 300 photos instead. Maybe I’ll get published but in the most unexpected circumstances imaginable. Maybe instead I’ll count snowflakes all year round. All I know is that I’ll try not to waste it, because there’s a lot to be done in a year.
What will you do with 2014? I don’t think I could read 300 separate books in a year without rereading some of them, I am a rereader. I confess!