Supposing is good, but finding out is better.
- Mark Twain in Eruption; Mark Twain's Autobiography
So, let me begin this first post of 2012 with another of the famous Cricket Walker's mini-challenges:
2011 was a year of __________ (fill in the blank).
Learning is what I thought of first when I saw the challenge. I certainly learned a lot in 2011, but that's a bit of a cop-out. I've learned a lot every year, and it seems to have accelerated over the past decade in which I've completed an MBA as well as the courses required for a Ph.D, taken on a new job position, served on three very different campuses for three very different companies, and adjusted to kids growing into the "can I have the car keys now?" years. Learning is good. Learning is important. There's plenty good to be said for being a "life-long learner."
I think the Twain quote sums my "but" up quite well. I've learned a lot over the years, but 2011 was a year to really put that learning into reality. I've always supposed, for example, that I could do the research required for a dissertation for a Ph.D.; in 2011 I found out. I've always supposed, too, that I could write a novel; in 2011 I found out.
2011, then, was a year of finding out.
And now: 2012. I admit, last night I was on top of the world. I'd Tweeted a few times about how proud I've been to have a book appear on one of Amazon.com's Top 100 lists. Last night, when I went to check its placement on that list, I was amazed, shocked, pleased, and just plum tickled to see that my other new release had made it to the same list. On top of that, every time somebody out there tells me they've enjoyed my writing it brings a warmth to my heart.
Yes, I can. That's what I found out. I can write stuff that people enjoy reading. And now, for 2012, I'm going to continue doing that, and improving as I go. After all, I'm not perfect. Then again, I doubt there's ever been a writer who could be considered perfect, this being a subjective craft from hell. The trick, then, is to continue improving in my ability to put the words together in a way that builds more vibrant and memorable pictures in the readers' minds.
And with all that said--time to start starting. Here's to a great 2012, all!
Keeping me focused counts: