Unbridled Optimism: The Failing of a Resolution

A year ago I wrote on this blog that my resolution for 2017 was to write a novel.

Yup. I did that. 

Despite working all day, grading all the time, having a small child, taking care of our house, being married, having a social life, maintaing an adequate level of fitness, and pursuing multiple hobbies, I thought I could totally make it happen. For sure. If you dream it you can achieve it. Go team, go team! Hip-hip-hooray! 

Progress check: zilch (unless we count fantasizing about getting an amazing book deal, ugly-crying as I resigned from my job, and spending a ridiculous amount of money at Boden and Anthro for new outfits for my massive book tour).

Maybe I wrote a few pages or scribbled some notes on a long-forgotten notebook? Clearly it wasn't very inspiring or memorable if I did. 

But here's the thing: I still think I'm going to do it. Despite barely having time to sit on the couch alone to take a few soul-cleansing deep breaths every night, I really and truly think that one day, probably, like, soon, I'm going to write an amazing novel that may or may not end up published (seriously, though, it probably will).

I am not an optimistic person- I fancy myself quite reasonable, skewing a tiny bit to the pessimistic side, in fact. I know I will never finish with the top of the pack in a race. I will never have thousands of blog followers, I will never be a size 2, and I will never be mom/wife/pet-owner/friend of the year. My house will never be spotless. I will never give up refined sugar, Diet Coke, Spaghetti O's, listening to Taylor Swift, crying during Grey's Anatomy, or judging people for what they read. I know my limitations.

But having this hope that one day I will be a successful novelist is a gift I'm giving myself. It's a daydream I rely on to help me get to sleep sometimes (literally) and when things get rough at work it's something I remember for comfort. I see it as an option. A security blanket. And on really bad life days, a light at the end of the tunnel.

Will it happen in 2018? It might. Will it happen by the time I'm 40? I'm going to go with yes. Will I become rich and famous and become besties with Zadie Smith, Marisha Pessl, and Ann Patchett (she will actually probably be more like a mentor, considering the age difference)? Mayyyyybe. But will I die wondering whether I had a novel in me? Hell-to-the-no.*

*Unless I die in the next month by unforeseen circumstances. I really, really hope that doesn't happen. But --hello!-- see above about being realistic. 


  1. I admire your optimism! This is obviously important to you, so hold onto that dream. I’ll hold out hope that you’ll write it AND we’ll all get to read it someday :)

  2. You go girl! I found I've caught the creative writing bug, too, and I've got 2 pages written, named my characters, and have a working title. So here's to mutual support for those of us struggling to realize something great!