Louise Is Shocked She Kept Her Resolutions!

It’s exactly the half-way point of the year, and this week we are revisiting our New Years resolutions. I love that we celebrate the Year with fireworks, and happen to celebrate the mid-point with fireworks too. I am all about fireworks.

I felt a little nervous to look back at my resolutions, because this year has been full of surprises, both inside and out. I was sure that I would look at what I wrote and have to admit that I had failed at all of them. But that isn’t the case! Happiness! Although I am now a little worried about the state of my brain, since I honestly couldn’t recall what my resolutions were. If you can’t remember your resolutions, what good are they? Anyway, Here are my resolutions, and how I have been doing so far.

1. Read more. I have read more, which has been wonderful. I feel like I have rediscovered the pleasure of reading, and it’s ability to transport me into new places, and to help me process my feelings and experiences of the world in a different way. Reading is magical. I am grateful for every story.

2. Write freely. It’s hard for me to totally own the idea of writing freely, because I haven’t been writing much (fiction.) But I did have a good experience of letting go of a project I was really pushing myself to write, and to start a new one. The new book gives me that feeling of freedom that I am always chasing in my writing–the joyful experience of letting myself become immersed in a world of new characters and places and relationships. Just today the whole first chapter came to me while I was riding the subway. I love this stage, where everything feels possible, before I have written myself into unsolvable plot holes and flat characters. I’m excited to write.

3. Be present. Little did I know when I wrote this list back in January that this resolution would be the most important one. My debut year has been full of distractions and temptations and rabbit holes to fall down. It is so tempting at every moment to live in the future and in my daydreams. But the thing about living in the future is that you miss all of the now. And all the possibilities of the future can easily turn into anxieties in my brain. I help get grounded, I returned to my old meditation practice. It has been incredibly helpful, and I find myself slowing down, taking time to feel gratitude for all of the incredible good fortune I have had this year, to appreciate what is happening now. Am I still looking into the future (and Googling my book title for new news everyday)? Hell, yes. But I find the more I practice meditation, the better I respond to the crazy-making roller coaster that is your debut year.

Happy 4th of July! Happy fireworks! Happy summer!

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Louise Miller

Louise Miller is the author of THE CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking/August 9, 2016), the story of a commitment-phobic pastry chef who discovers the meaning of belonging while competing in the cut-throat world of Vermont county fair baking contests. Find out more at louisemillerauthor.tumblr.com.

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