1) People are going to disappoint you. It happens to all of us. Managing expectations is the only way to soften this blow. Not everyone is like YOU, and if you expect them to be, you will be continuously disappointed.
2) People will also surprise you. In meaningful, touching ways. Focus on the good.
3) Sometimes social media gives us way too much information. Like I didn't need to see the post of the half-naked supermodel perched on the bathtub in our very specific hotel room in Iceland. Or witness her stretched across our bed. A week before we arrived. I'm sure my husband felt differently, but there's something to the saying: ignorance is bliss.
4) And on the holiday note, there is no shame in disliking your family over the holidays.
I risk discussing my kids here else I'll end up being muted and/or blocked on their social media feeds. While we had a good laugh on vacation when Twin A left one of his winter shoes in New York and hiked glaciers in Converse sneakers, he also hollered at me for a good twenty minutes about how he was going to report me to the Instagram police as I was "explotiing him." But, he was also the boy who took in every scenic vista and appreciated full on the rare beauty that surrounded us. We also survived simultaneous college transfers this year, and not a day goes by when Twin B doesn't thank us for the opportunity, that he's the happiest he's ever been. They are far from perfect, but they are good kids with tremendous compassion. That's all we can ask for.
5) I almost forgot, bring your own toilet paper if you ever travel to Iceland. And tissues. And cold medicine.
6) Writers and authors - it would be so easy for me to tell you that you have to be the best writer---lyrical and deeply literary---to make it big. But I can't. There's no one secret formula to book success. If there were, we'd all be doing it. There are great writers and there are great storytellers. Sometimes you're lucky enough to be both. My writing is no better than yours. In fact, I'd say yours is better. That's just the way I think. Sometimes success is pure luck. The stars aligning at the right time: The right story, the right agent, the right house, the right PR, the right list, the right promotion, and the right moment to release. So many variables.
Camille Di Maio
and I discussed this last week. The ONLY thing you can control in this business is your writing. So keep at it. It's all you can do.
7) Colleen Hoover taught me one of my favorite lessons this year in her lastest novel,
. "Sometimes you have to walk away from the fight in order to win it."
8) There is no such thing as perfect. If you believe you're without flaws, you're mistaken, and if you think that of others, same mistake. We are all imperfectly unique. Nothing is ever what it seems. I've tackled this subject in book six which is with my agent who will remain nameless as I sit here on pins and needles waiting for her critique.
No review, compliment, accolade or award is going to give you the confidence you need to succeed, nor should it. The confidence comes from within.
10) As much as I relish the solitary life of a writer, there is quite a bit of joy in the camaraderie amongst authors. This isn't limited to the publishing world. Women, especially, need their tribe, their cheerleaders and supporters. If women can't support other women, we have made zero strides.
11) You aren't really listening to someone when your face is in your phone and/or you're texting or checking social media while on the phone with someone. I'm guilty of this and will do a better job in 2020.
12) No, I don't want to write your life story/memoir/never been done before book idea.
Even in our worst moments, there is always a ray of light. I know some things are just incomprehensible. We've all seen our share of pain and sorrow. I have to believe there are lessons to be learned through suffering.
15) Gratefulness. I typically don't have new year's resolutions. I really try to be a good wife, mother, friend, sister, person, etc. on any given day. But one thing I hold near to my heart is the ability to be grateful. No matter how much or how little any of us have, without gratefulness, we have nothing.
Happy New Year!