Every year around this time people start to ask me about my one new thing for the new year. Every year for the past 25 years or so I have taught myself to do one new thing. Read a list of all of them here. Not to become an expert or take a course, but just a deep dive into some useful skill.
This is the year to write a book.
Notice I said, "write a book." Not get published, or make the New York Times Bestseller list, get an agent or a book deal or go on a book tour, That's because just saying that I'm going to write a book is terrifying enough.
Saying you are going to write a book leads to a bazillion questions, none of which even need to be asked at all until the actual work is done. Sometimes we don't do something because we are thinking too far ahead. Thinking of writing a book leads to wondering about how should it be formatted? Could it get published? Should it be an ebook? How do you find a literary agent? What if I wrote a bestseller? What would it be like to be on the Today Show? How do you put a wardrobe together for a book tour?
You see what I mean.
This is part of why we don't start. We jump too far ahead.
I'm actually telling people that this year's goal is to write a terrible book. And in my mind I'm thinking "Just write a crappy first draft." I mean surely I can get that done!
The other thing I considered was an open mic night at a comedy club. I have wanted to do that since I was 10 years old. I remember seeing Buddy Hacket on The Dinah Shore Show (google it, kids) and taking notes about how to be funny.
What kind of weird kid is taking notes while watching daytime talk shows?
I'm guessing it will be the thing for 2021. But dang it! Morse Code is still on my list. What if I'm taken captive and need to blink out a message to the media?
The year is still new! What are your plans for 2020?