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.
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.