2014 went out with a bit of a whimper. I didn’t even stay awake until midnight. I don’t know, I often find New Year’s Eve to be a letdown. Let’s think about this: I don’t really do well at parties, I don’t love getting dressed up, don’t love crowded restaurants, and I don’t particularly like staying up late. So it’s not really the holiday for me. The main part I like about NYE is that it’s de rigeur to drink bubbly. I DO love bubbly. I try every year to make it fun for myself, and it’s usually just…fine. And that’s okay. I’m 26 years old and I think I can temper my expectations now.

But here we are and it’s New Year’s Day. (Whoda thunk it, that comes after New Year’s Eve!) A new year, a fresh start, etc, etc. I’ve had some moderately successful new year’s resolutions in recent years. 2012 saw me set out to run a 5K, which I did, and I’ve since run several others and even two 10Ks. Last year I said I wanted to continue cultivating my relationships, and I’ve been pleased with how my Atlanta sense of community has developed. (Plus, who can believe that my book club has been meeting for THREE years!)

I don’t have resolutions per se this year. It’s going to be different, though. Today’s the first day of the rest of my life. That’s super cheesy, and I know you could technically say it about any given day on the calendar. I mean it, though. I left my job at the end of December, and I’m giving this writing thing a go. I gave myself the holidays to cut loose. I spent time with my parents. I went shopping. I watched 8 episodes of Gilmore Girls on Monday. And today I am writing. Today I am working.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 4 years old. You know how every week it seems like kids want to be something different? I had a few alternatives, including professional swimmer (yeah right), but writer has stuck. And yet I’ve never done it. I had all kinds of practical reasons why I wasn’t pursuing it: it’s hard to break into the industry, I don’t have anything to say, blah, blah, blah. Yet I’ve pecked away here on this blog for several years now, and every day at work that I got to string together some words I was reminded how happy it made me, how invigorating it was.

Someone told me once that if I wrote, I was a writer. The trappings are irrelevant. Where you write, how you write, what you’re writing. I’m constantly thinking words, thinking sentences, and I have a bad habit of self-censoring, of not putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. That ends today. Today I am writing, I am working, I am a writer.

There’s inertia to overcome, certainly. When I’m not writing, it’s much easier to keep not writing. Yet when I do write, writing begets writing. The hardest step is the first word. Once I break that blank slate syndrome it’s like a dam has burst. And I am a writer. The dam bursting is my bread and butter.

That’s cool and all, but it’s overwhelming to realize I don’t 100% know what that means. I’m sort of doing this backwards from how most people do it. Usually bloggers write, they write late at night and early in the morning and at strange intervals during the day, and they start to gain a following. Maybe they throw a few ads up on their site and start bringing in a few pennies. Maybe they eke out an e-book and it starts selling, and they think, “Hey, maybe I could do this thing.” So they crunch the numbers and they realize they can, they can quit their jobs, and be a writer. I don’t have the blog following yet, I don’t have the ads, I don’t have the e-book, but I’m being a writer, and I’m working to make the rest of it follow suit.

So what can you expect from my slice of the Internet? More content, that’s for sure. Actual regular posting. (How many times have bloggers promised that?!) More freezer cooking, more talking about books, more local color as I explore new workspaces. I’ll re-visit my failed attempt at October’s 31 Days series examining our finances. Travel planning, triathlon training (I guess I do have a resolution after all), personal reflection.

And what the heck, probably some more bubbly. Who says we can only drink it on New Year’s Eve?

Raise your glass–it’s going to be a wild ride.

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman