Strikethrough the Old, Write in the New


It’s that time again when we look forward and consider what the new year will bring. We scribble in journals thoughts of the past and plans for the future. Maybe someday the words we write will be quoted along with the new year ponderings of these well-known authors:

Photo_of_Hamilton_Wright_MabieImagine the essayist, Hamilton Wright Mabie, in the late 19th century, alone in his study, the clock on the wall nearing midnight. He writes:

“New Year’s Eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.”

downloadIn the early 20th century, T.S. Eliot also has thoughts about the approaching new year. He opens his journal, dips his pen into the ink well and shares these words:

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

HalBorlandDecades later the American author, Hal Borland, disagrees with Eliot’s words. He writes,

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”

c95b99616ea1be7a055175de5fb7b6c0Borland’s contemporary, Edith Lovejoy Pierce, is less contemplative. She says it simply:

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

What are your thoughts about the new year?
What will you write in 2020?
None of us know what this new year holds for us as writers, but let’s resolve to approach it one day at a time, to give it our best and to live and grow in our craft.


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