At the end of 2013, there was an epiphany. 2013 had been an awesome year for me, and I didn’t want to lose my momentum in the new year. I’d already had high hopes for 2014, but apparently I wasn’t the only one. As my friends and I convened at the bar, we started talking about our goals and the urgency we all felt about achieving them before we turn 30. We talked about our projects, our dreams, and what it might feel like not being a loser. We drunkenly made a pact to make it happen; The Year of Awesome was here, and we weren’t going to waste it.
For my Year of Awesome, I have two big goals. One, I’m going to write my ass off. I’m going to spend as much time as I can start revising and editing things I’ve written, writing new things, and stop putting it off. Two, I’m going to start a nail polish company.
The writing got off to a bad start, somewhat. After talking with my boyfriend about getting things done, I was motivated to work on a novel I hadn’t so much as looked at in over a year. I made a cup of tea, I sat down at my desk, and I got ready to work. Then I couldn’t find the file. I’d written it in iWork Pages on a Mac; I traded that Mac for a gaming PC after hastily making backup files. I couldn’t find those backup files. So, after I spent that whole night looking for them (they’d gotten shuffled around on a network drive, I did eventually find them), I went back the night after, with another cup of tea and the same excited inspiration, and found the file was still in the Pages format, which can’t be opened by Microsoft Office. Okay, no problem, my boyfriend has a Mac upstairs, I could just go into his office, export the file to a Word document, and then I could get to work. When I opened it in Pages, it told me the file was empty. I checked the file in both Windows Explorer and OSX Finder. They both said the file was zero kilobytes in size. All the work I’d done on that novel in the past year was gone. Not awesome.
Naturally, I’m really frustrated. I should have checked the file after I moved it. I shouldn’t have waited a freaking year between edits. I shouldn’t have written a novel in Pages. Basically, I asked for this. However, not all is lost. I still have the previous draft and all the edit notes I took. I can redo all this work. It’s daunting, but putting it off is not awesome.
As far as my nail polish company goes, I bought all the supplies for my first round of research and development. I spent almost forty dollars on glitter alone. I’ve been smiling all day because I’m so excited. I can’t wait for all this stuff to come in so I can lock myself in my lacquer room, get high on the fumes, and let them carry me to my nail polish creation destination. Actually, that sounds like a bad idea and I don’t plan to do that. I plan to keep the windows open, but not so much that glitter gets blown everywhere. I imagine I’ll spend a few hours each night shaking bottles and scooping glitter. I imagine I’ll make a lot of mistakes because I’m totally winging it.
That’s the other thing that puts me off. I don’t want to make mistakes because I feel like I’m wasting product, which means I’m wasting money. It’s scary having someone hand me money – capital – and saying “Okay, now double it.” I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it, at least not quickly. I also worry that I’ll need more and my investors will say “Didn’t we just give you some?” and I’ll have nothing to show for it. Then I’ll be out of business. Not awesome.
I think it’s important to do things that scare me; success depends on taking risks, making mistakes, getting messy, etc. This is a conversation I’ve had with a friend who’s a musician; if we let the fear of failure and criticism and rejection get to us, we’ll never get anywhere. I’m going to add that to my 2014 manta. Fear nothing. Do the work. Be awesome.