“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir
A new year. A new set of objectives. Well, technically, an old set of objectives refreshed in honor of the obsolete tradition of pinning a new calendar on the wall.
Everything learned and studied and pursued the past few years begins to bubble to the surface, accompanied by the ways and means to apply those hard-earned insights to creative endeavors.
I seem to finally understand what’s required to create instead of merely consume. Words. Photos. Movies. Apps. They’re all coming. The magic? Dedication. Repetition. Focus. Work. Knowledge helps, but it’s not required. Most importantly: confidence. Confidence to try. Confidence to fail. The understanding that all creative endeavors begin with an oppressing likelihood of imperfection and failure. But oppression does not willingly cease, just as tyrants do not politely abdicate. You must fight. You must rebel. You must work to achieve in spite of the negative pressures. You can’t be successful until you try. That might be the hardest lesson I’ve learned, and I still struggle with it. It’s far too easy to bow to tyrants.
2015 was busy. I changed jobs, co-founded a new company named Dander, released a mobile app on iOS with an accompanying website dedicated to helping animal shelters. I started to learn new programming languages. I successfully partook in National Novel Writing Month, spilling more than 50,000 words onto paper in 30 days (note: to address environmental concerns, I’ll mention I didn’t actually use any paper during or after the writing process). My kids got older, my basement flooded, I lost weight, I gained weight, I redesigned my website, sold a few novels, started blogging again (however inconsistently), made some new friends, reconnected with old friends, and managed to read some interesting books.
2016 promises bigger and better achievements, most of which build on the past year. Without giving too much away, let’s just say I’m in the midst of several sizable projects. Continued improvement and development of Dander. The launch of a new mobile endeavor. A commitment to blogging. A new photography project. And maybe, just maybe, a new novel. Not to mention a potential relocation, a new fitness regimen, more code learning, networking, and something akin to a social life.
Lots of moving pieces. Plenty of potential. Tons of hard work ahead, with gallons of coffee along the way.
I’ll be updating and detailing as we go. Thanks to all of you who visit from time to time. I’ll try to keep you informed, entertained, and amused while you’re here. No promises, though.
P.S. This post’s title comes from lyrics in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. They are part of a walking song repeated in various forms throughout the novel and its glorious sequel. The road beneath your feet is the same whether you’re coming or going; it is you who is different.
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Also published on Medium.