Happy 2017

Ten years ago, a friend gave me an expensive bottle of champagne with the following instruction:

“Open this after something big happens in your writing career. Like hitting the New York Times bestseller list.”

A couple of nights ago on New Year’s Eve, I finally popped open the bottle. The waiting was over. I needed to raise a glass to toast. To celebrate. So I did.

The champagne wasn’t to commemorate some bestseller list I’d made or some honor I’d received. I wasn’t toasting to some book deal I’d just signed or some big project I’d finished.

No.

It was simply time. It had been over a decade since I had received that gift. And I suddenly realized something that startled me.

I honestly had no idea what BIG thing in my writing career I was waiting for.

If ever there was a time I wasn’t thinking of popping open some bubbly and celebrating, it was on this night at the end of 2016. And yet, that’s what ended up making up my mind.

A brutal year was coming to an end. As I took stock of nearly ten years of writing full time, I could hear an Elton John song blasting from all sides.

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did

Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid”

I was still writing. I had weathered the storms and droughts of 2016. The toughest professional year of my life–hell, the toughest year of my life period. Yet I was still here, still at this thing, still hanging and holding on. Not only that, but I was staring into the barrel of a very loaded coming year. A year with some expected good changes.

So I raised my glass to still be standing after all this time and took the first sip.

Happy new year.

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