I don’t make wishes. Not anymore.
I bought into every fairytale as a kid, and while I still enjoy the stories, I don’t believe in leaving my life up to fate. Does that mean I’ve lost the magic in my life? Absolutely not. I’ve replaced wishing upon stars with believing in my own power. I’ve gone from a helpless damsel to the heroine of her own story. Now, I set intentions and establish measurable goals. Here’s what that looks like and here’s why it’s magical.
“2020 is going to be my year!”
Yes, I was that person, and 2020 was a historically awful year for the whole world. Oof, right? How could I be so off? But I wasn’t.
The first full moon of the year is always the Cancer Moon when the Sun is in Capricorn, which has always been a big deal to me because I’m a Cancer Sun with a Capricorn Moon. (If you’re rolling your eyes at my astrological whimsy, don’t worry, I roll my eyes at myself too.) For this reason, I like to use that moon to speak aloud my intentions to the Universe.
So under the full moon of January, 2020, I went to the beach and danced. I’d already set my intentions earlier that year, but under the full moon, I wanted to commit to them, and this was a big commitment.
You see, when I was 13 years old, I wrote a novella about a princess who lost everything and had to save herself and her family. It was entirely rubbish. So, I put it in the big pile of other stories I wrote and called it practice. Yet that story stuck with me. I came back to it time and again, rewriting it to make it marginally better. In my twenties, I rewrote it into a book, and shared chapter by chapter with a friend to see if I was going in the right direction. He loved it and encouraged me to write more.
Then I lost the entire book. My computer died, and I’d never even heard of the Cloud (I’m old, okay?). So, that story was gone for good… or so I thought.
By the time I was 38, I actually had a job writing. Nothing so exciting as an author or journalist, though. I was a marketing content writer, especially for taxes. I’d given up on writing my fantasy tales.
However, I remained friends with the person who I shared those chapters with, and in November 2019, it turned out he’d kept all of them. So I got all my writing back, I read it, declared it amateurish, and promised myself I’d make it better. When 2020 came, I decided I was finishing that book. So, under the moon, I made a pact with the universe and myself that this would be the year I finished the job.
Guess what! It worked!
I had the means and skill to do it. I wanted it with all my heart. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually believe in myself and used up all my creative energy at work. I still had this promise to keep, but I didn’t think I could do it. I wanted to rest in my comfort zone.
Then David died.
David was an online friend who could have been someone I saw in person if either of us were especially social or enjoyed leaving the comfort of their living rooms. I thought we were alike in that way, but then David surprised me. He applied for relocation with his job and got to work in India so that he could be a little closer to his wife in Thailand. He was so close to achieving his dreams. Then he got sick and fell into a coma lasting several months, which carried on into 2020. In February, he was awake for all of two days and died.
This got me thinking about my own mortality and dreams. Covid taking over the US made it urgent. I finished, revised, and edited my book, and realized I’d written a trilogy (oops). I sent it to beta readers who didn’t even open the file. So, I hired a developmental editor. She told me it was long-winded and boring. After I licked my wounds, I realized she was right. I’d committed the big sin of making a chapter-length prologue, a dry one at that. The first chapter took too long to get past descriptions and into action. I rewrote, revised, and edited it again, and sent it back to the editor. “Better,” she said. “Let’s make it good, though.” And together we did.
In November 2020, at the age of 39, I published Struggling With the Current, which covered the events of the first third of a book I named Telverin when I was 13. It became a complete novel on its own and began the now-published Telverin Trilogy. I succeeded in carrying through on making my intention reality, despite everything.
Imagine if I had only wished.
What if I had looked at the moon and stars and begged them to make my wish come true? I’d have sat there all year waiting on fate to make it happen. I would have given in to the despair of a world experiencing a deadly pandemic. No books would have been written, certainly not a trilogy.
If you want something, you can’t hope it will come along. As my Grandma cross-stitched and hung in the hallways, “God helps those who help themselves.” True, no person can do everything on their own and sometimes, the DIY mentality is ableist and promotes toxic positivity. This doesn’t make it any less true that big things don’t happen unless you make them happen.
You are the magic who can make your dreams come true.
January 6th, is the first full moon of January. Take your plans and speak them into the Universe. Make that promise, that pact, that commitment. Understand that tomorrows aren’t a given, and spend today accordingly. Whether you want to write a book, spend more time with family, prioritize your health, or anything in between, don’t wish for it, live it.
Upcoming Event Announcement
My very first author event of 2023 is happening soon! I’m an attending author at the All The Books event in Houston, TX on February 25th, along with 32 other authors. I’ll be available for book signings, pictures, and long-winded, incredibly deep conversations with total strangers. Find out more here.
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You can find all of my published works, even the anthologies I’ve contributed to by clicking the “Learn More” button below!