Last time the year rolled over, I decided to give up my obsession over goals and achievements in favor of focusing on one thing. An ancient Greek poet wrote, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” I was driving myself crazy trying to be a fox and never achieving enough to meet my standards, so I decided to try being a hedgehog.
I’m naming 2013 the Year of the Pen, the year in which I commit myself to writing. I chose a specific topic and am making notes on it every day. I enrolled in fewer classes so that I have more time to dedicate to my own projects. For Christmas, my husband bought me a beautiful leather notebook that safekeeps my thoughts, observations, ranting internal monologues.
I’m nervous. This feels like a big risk, and an unstable career path. For someone who was so goal-oriented and achievement-driven, stepping back from academia feels like a failure in itself. To leave a sturdy career path with regular paychecks in order to write feels irresponsible. But I’m doing this. By the end of the year, I’ll have at least one substantive work to start sending to publishers.