Something Magnificent Before 50

On January 1st, 1985, when I was twenty-four, I wrote as one of a stack of New Year’s Resolutions that by the time I was twenty-five, I would have finished a novel.

I have no idea what the other resolutions that year were, and honestly, I have no idea where that one came from or why it stuck. But it stuck. And I finished my first novel, which was awful and never sold even after I revised it ferociously.

But the writing of that first book changed my life, and in the last twenty-five years, was responsible in countless ways for making my life matter to me, for making me a better person, and for bringing me joy and challenges I could have discovered in no other way.

Next October, I’ll be 50. And I’ve realized that by January 1st of 2010, I want to have a resolution to put on the table that will give me twenty-five more years of challenges, that will push me in directions I have not yet gone, that will give me something that’s hard to learn and hard to do well and hard to succeed at. Something I can sink my teeth into, something I can chase with focus and passion.

I have some ideas, some possible directions.

But I want to hear what you think.

If this were you—if one simple New Year’s resolution had changed your life 25 years earlier, and you were looking for something that could give you another quarter century of challenges—what would you pursue?

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49 responses to “Something Magnificent Before 50”

  1. Avatar

    Hello!holly and peoples who works the website and everyone here Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New years! thank you very much for your work . go on toward your way. good luck to you . from china.

  2. red_dot Avatar

    I set a long term goal at the young age of 16. Make my own family, I was always a weird kid. I married at 20 and started my family at 21. Now over 20 years later I am almost finished with what I started, weeeell I guess you can say you never finish (Now the kids are self cleaning and I have preened my matriarch to replace me when I go) and now I enjoy my first grandbaby. Everyday now since the marking of the the next generation is an extra day in the life of me. I don’t struggle for money like I did when I was younger and have a great relationship with my wife of 24 years, which I totally overlooked as being a plus when I was 16. So I am at the point now of “what do I do?”. I am continuing with the original goal and now enforce my life with things that enrich me and help me continue to grow and benefit my family.

    Here are some of the top idea’s I came up with…some I do now some I don’t.

    Hunt wild boar
    Move to a third world country
    sculpt rock
    adopt a child
    Build a center for troubled youth
    own a vineyard
    build a ship

  3. HannaBelle Avatar

    I think I might do at my 50+ age what you did at 25 — I wannabe a writer and make my living from it. There are other things to list, but that is at the core of all of it.

  4. Tamara Avatar

    You have accomplished quite a bit in your life time and overcome some heavy burdens while maintaining a positive outlook for the future and your family. Even if you never did another thing (which won’t happen because you are a driven person who needs to be challenged), you would still be an impressive success.

    Given all that you have already done, maybe you should consider a goal that benefits you and stimulates your family for life. I’m not sure what such a goal would be in your mind. My ideas range from taking up running/race walking and completing a race (of any distance) in every state to creating knitting patterns for purchase by an on-line community to teaching a local writing class in a traditional setting (i.e. community college or maybe a city parks class).

    I’m not sure from your original post if you wanted to build on your existing strengths and take them in a new direction or develop a completely new skill. If you are more interested in goals of the second type, well then, what haven’t you ever done that you think would be cool to try? That’s where you start.

    Have a blast figuring out our goals.

  5. Anthea Avatar

    My personal current dream/goal is to set up a website and set myself a story-a-week challenge for 2010. I started on the stories last week, to avoid losing momentum after thinking of it, and I’m hoping to get the website up and running in January.

    For making suggestions for you, it’s hard to say. I’d love to see your publishing endeavors take off, and I think the idea someone else mentioned of movies is interesting too – maybe write screenplays and break into the movie industry that way? Oooh, or computer games…

    I have trouble imaginging a non-creative goal that would fit the bill, but there are so many creative pursuits that your options are wide open from my point of view πŸ™‚

  6. unxplaindfires Avatar

    Hey Holly – In 2001, I set out with what I thought would be a fairly straight forward resolution for year’s end. It was number 8 on my list, “Skin from Stone”. After visiting a statuary exhibition of pieces excavated from the “Acropolis” in Rome, I became determined to learn how to coax the look of human skin from lifeless stone. It wasn’t long before I realized, (one) I had no idea where to begin and (two) it would take more then a year, quiet a bit more.
    I have been able to get passable skin from wood, acrylic and plastic forms. Stone still looks dead under my tools. On Jan 01, 2010 “Skin from Stone” will occupy #8 once again, but it is a side note under Carve a sculpture.
    I can’t wait to see your list.

  7. Lisa R Avatar
    Lisa R

    Hum, I like this topic and frankly needed it a bunch today. In my 41 years of life, I have been and/or am a high school teacher, soldier, mom, federal technician. The teaching gig didn’t last but 3 years. I will always be a mom. The soldier and technician side of my life is coming to an end due to medical issues and I am really struggling with it. So change is definitely a major theme. Here is my list:-)

    Finish my novel and continuously work on a writing career.

    Learn to play the piano with the ending result playing “The Music Box Dancer” for my dad.

    Travel the path of my ancesters backwards researching along the way. This will take me from Montana to England and Norway via the East Coast and Minnesota.

    Ride a peddle bike on multiple routes while researching Sherman’s March to the Sea, the Underground Railroad, Ireland, and Greece.

    Take a ton of cruises and travel all over:-)

    Take up acting at our community theater.

    This should keep me busy for the next couple of years. Thank you Holly. I really needed this topic!

  8. HannaBelle Avatar

    When I was 17 I had a picture of my life at 50. I still have that picture in my mind but I am no where near it. The turns life took have been good … but not what I wanted at 17 — and not what I wish it was here at 50+.

    I designed a magazine at age 20 that would translate well to a website, but the complexity of it — well, several website developers have turned it down. They want easy, not hard. And it does not exist online, at least not in the form in my head. I have been trying to re-write it, as well as a proposal and prototype (in PowerPoint) but I get discouraged.

    I struggle between trying to get parts of that picture to be reality, buidling that website, writing those books, taking in those stray kids and dogs OR just letting it all go.

    I even have in my mind writing that life as a book, making it happen on paper, since it did not happen in real life.

  9. HannaBelle Avatar

    Will it be running marathons or climbing mountains? Building schools in faroff places or studying to become a linguist or anthropologist?

    Or continue writing because you still love it?

    It might be xx number of students get published, thanks to you.

    Or … somethign else? I can’t wait to hear what it is.

  10. Erin Kendall Avatar

    Wow, that is so cool.

    I’m already pursuing my life goal, which is to go pro at writing. I think my other goal would be, and this might seem a little weird, but get my driver’s license. Never got it, due to some health issues, and it’s held me back in so many ways — jobs, independence, etc. I have a wonderful family and husband who drive me places, but it’s not the same. I’ve never been able to just hop into a car and drive.

    It’s also my eyes. I have a rare disorder that basically leaves me with double vision if I look to one side or the other, plus dizziness. Sooooo it will be a challenge, not just to learn, but to actually pass the test (parking was my downfall last time). At this point, I want to give it my best shot.

    Also travelling would be cool. I haven’t been outside the US or Canada, so that would be great. I promised myself I’d see Ireland before I die — I’m Irish.

    And the other thing I’m considering for next year is writing a different kind of book. Still fiction, still within my genre, but in a different way and a subject I haven’t tackled yet. I have high hopes for this one.

    I can’t wait to see what you choose!

    Erin K.

  11. Nancy Avatar

    I cannot begin to fathom what awe-inspiring goal you’ll set yourself, but look out world when you do. I’ll be 50 in March and I’ve wanted to do nothing but be a published fiction writer since I was 5. I wish I’d found you twenty-five years ago (at that moment that my creative writing teacher in college crushed my spirit by telling me I wrote supermarket fiction and should just go and get married and make babies).

    But I’m back on track now to achieve my goal of being a published author, after years of being lost, and that’s all thanks to you, Holly. (Although a few years too late, as I wanted to be a published author AND get interviewed by Dick Cavett and I don’t think that last part is gonna happen now. Unless Dick reads your Writing Diary. You out there, Dick??)

    Seems to me, your goal should be deeply rooted in the You you want to be — whoever that is. Pull out your sweet spot map. Find the thing that makes you tingle and sends shivers up your spine AND scares the pants off you all at the same time. Then go after it with the determination you have inspired in so many of us.

    And know that all of us out here will be waiting breathless in anticipation — and cheering you on — regardless.

  12. Jessica Avatar

    I don’t know if you are looking for something entirely different from writing but personally, I’d love to see a movie of one (or any) of your books. I love your visualization techniques and how you paint scenes so vividly in my head, and I think that would show up well on screen.

    Whatever you do I’ll be looking forward to it. πŸ™‚

    As for me… I made the same 25 y/o goal. Finished my first book when I was 13 (never finished the edit though). Several dozens of unfinished stories later… this year I’m hoping to finish WIP by Dec 31st. (I’m 26). My future goals are to get through a full revision, submit and get published. Other than writing, DH and I have been trying to have a baby, get him a job, and fix our finances so we can buy a house (maybe)… typical life goals I guess.

  13. Lynnette Avatar

    My husband would say: Play the bluegrass banjo like Earl Scruggs. That’s a 25 years+ goal.

    I might say: Learn to ride and care for horses. That’s another big challenge, the one I set for myself not long after I turned 50. So far, we’re doing well and I get lots of joy from my hooved friends.

    But the goal I’m pondering for myself during the years–decades, I hope!–ahead is about people. What can I do to help others? I don’t want to write checks, I want to make a personal, sustained contribution to people who need me.

    It’s a hard decision for an introvert who would prefer to make connections via the books she writes. But God calls on us to love our neighbors as ourselves. And in the world that’s becoming, more people need help than ever before.

    Good luck with your quest, Holly.


  14. Greg Avatar

    Hmmm. I’m answering this from the point of view of someone who is looking for a lifetime of challenges and what would excite me, ignoring writing as you’ve already done that!
    The other things for me are music and travel.
    Music: I’m already secretly harbouring an ambition to have an album written by my 30th birthday. You guys are the first people to know this! It’s just something I’d like to have done in my life. So the goal is to have between 10 and 14 songs inclusive, totalling at least 40 mins of music, written on my music software package and a vocal added. Like the writing goal, I can only set myself a target of doing the work – who knows if anything will ever come of it, but a lot of that is outside my control, like, say, getting published. The goal is to complete the work. I’m aware you’re handy around a guitar as I have heard The Lady and the Dragon, so you could consider something like this.
    Travel: in itself, travelling as a goal could involve visiting so many different countries in the 25 years. Alphabetically ( you could commit yourself to one from each letter of the alphabet a year…this commits you to Oman and Qatar, however! Also, there’s officially nothing for X or W, but I think there’s scope for allowing yourself Wales, Western Samoa or Western Sahara under W, giving you 25 letters and 25 years. It wouldn’t have to be strictly one a year, as long as you started with your list of 25 and got through them in the 25 years. So, for example, you could get through a handful in one year with two or three weeks in Europe, then leave it a couple of years, and tick off a few more travelling through Central America. You get the idea. You’d perhaps need to declare 3 nights in a country as a valid visit, or say 72 hours. Obviously you could write about your adventures in a non-fiction fashion, or consider basing fiction on your experiences, either through using the settings as the world of a novel, or by letting them inspire your work more abstractly.
    If I have any more ideas, I’ll try to append them more succinctly!

  15. Kat Avatar

    You’ve already done mine, Holly–have a family. I think that is HUGE all by itself. I also think it is the most underrated job in the US.

    After having read about all your different experiences, I have a hard time putting myself in your head. I think half of what I’d think of doing you’ve already done, while the other half you’d have no interest in doing. But if you want a few things that have interested/impressed me, maybe you can find some ideas:

    (And suddenly I have the Phineas and Ferb theme song playing in my head….)

    SOAR/Operation Freefall:
    I have participated, and when participating you are a hero for a day. Well worth it. But I am as impressed by how the charity came to be, and that the whole story basically boils down to “I picked myself up by my bootstraps and got on with my life, and now I want to make others lives better as well.” And I adore the fact that you DO feel like a superhero with her program, not just duty-bound to help. The lives she improves are not just those she gives the money to, but also those raising it. Were I ever to start a charity, I would want to come up with something like this.

    On a smaller scale, a woman I knew who couldn’t have children specialized in rescuing kittens. I heard about her through a friend of a friend when I was in need. She works quietly and below the radar, and at first glance all she helps is herself and a few strays, but that is not entirely true. Her rescue program has brought joy to so many furballs and humans, and kept a lot of animals from being unnecessarily killed. Little changes can sometimes do as much as big ones.

    Okay, so changing the world is an obvious choice–I think all of us secretly want to be heroes. And its been on my mind a lot recently as I slide further and further into the great abyss that is the unwashed poor. If it were me, I think I’d try to somehow bring civics to people to teach them how our govt. works (many schools no longer teach it), educate them on the myth that hard work and determination are all you need to get ahead, and do something about education, public libraries, and art. But that’s just me, currently frustrated at life.

    Other things from my List of Impossible Wishes:

    * Be a roller derby girl (came true–and teams will take any age, height, weight, etc, so long as you can skate!!)
    * Jump out of an airplane (done) more than once (*sigh* not yet)
    * Live in a houseboat
    * Sail said houseboat around the world
    * Hike across Europe
    * Learn photoshop and finally make the art I see in my head (in process)
    * Breed Scottish Folds
    * Run or assist a rescue for cats and kitten (been doing so informally, why not make it formal?)
    * Own a skunk
    * Learn how to shapeshift (the impossible wasn’t there because I can’t reach these goals ;> )
    * Visit another world
    * Learn how to go astral
    * Get my back tattoo
    * Become a foster mom
    * Learn swordplay
    * Run a writer’s group (doing so now)
    * Write and publish a novel
    * Live between the mountains and the sea (I do)
    * Pay all my bills without worrying about where the money is coming from
    * Get back into singing lessons
    * Learn the guitar
    * Ride as many roller coasters as I possibly can (ongoing)
    * Find a fairy (er…I mark this one as done)
    * Find real magic (also marked as done–long story)
    * Learn ghost hunting
    * Learn Linux
    * Learn at least 5 languages
    * Go to Burning Man (been twice and I recommend it at least once for all the artists I know–and in case you’ve heard the rumors, it is NOT “just a big party in the desert,” not even close)
    * Follow my passions as I find them

    This is also known as my list of taking my life back. Any one of those things could change my life, and some have, and in surprising ways. None quite the way I expected, which is fine by me. I’m not much a results sort of gal; I’m more for the journey.

    Since the original goal that changed your life was nearly accidental, maybe that’s the solution. Don’t make a 25 year goal, let the goal find you, and enjoy the journey looking for it. You’ll certainly know it when it finally crashes into your lap. πŸ™‚

    Easier to keep, more manageable, and allowing more freedom to explore is possibly a goal a month, or maybe 2-3 months for bigger goals. “Trying sushi” can turn to “learning to make sushi” can turn to “taking a cooking course” to “whoops, I’m a chef!” pretty easily. They don’t have to be huge goals – “learning to do a backflip off a high dive” is as valid a goal as “joining an urban renewal program.” Even if you have the diving, you might not hate Joe Schmoe who’s daughter you gave swimming tips and who got you into tournament style chess. You just never know where life is leading you until you get there.

    But, like I said, I’m really a journey sort of gal. πŸ™‚

  16. djmills Avatar

    Mine is easy! Writing well enough to get published, again and again. πŸ™‚
    Not sure about you. You work too hard now, but, only you can decide what will enrich your life over the next 25 years.

  17. Gary Townsend (a.k.a. G D Townshende) Avatar

    I’ll add that I’m currently reading DIPLOMACY OF WOLVES. Just started it yesterday. Great roaring start! πŸ˜€

  18. Gary Townsend (a.k.a. G D Townshende) Avatar

    I will be 50 this March.

    When I was fourteen- to seventeen-years-old and living in England, not too far from Stratford-upon-Avon (I grew up a military brat), my Shakespeare teacher and my Creative Writing teachers both encouraged me to pursue my desire to write. My Creative Writing teacher specifically suggested that I pursue publication. My Shakespeare teacher introduced me to Writer’s Digest and Writer’s Market (this was back in ’75-’77).

    Although I don’t regret a thing that I’ve done (I think regret a rarely useful emotion), I do regret not having been as diligent in that pursuit as I could have been. I’ve written perhaps a dozen non-fiction articles and all but one got published. The one was sent on to another publisher by the editor who rejected it; he thought it publishable, but outside of the scope of his particular magazine. Similarly, with my fiction, I’ve received nothing but handwritten rejections, except for one form rejection. Two of those rejections have come from none other than George Scithers. I’ve written on and off since graduating high school, and when I look at my track record, which I know many would envy, I can only wonder how much sooner I might’ve enjoyed success if I hadn’t been so damned lazy. That’s my regret.

    I hope that in my next 25 years I can accomplish even half as much as you have these past 25 years.

  19. BeccaBooG Avatar

    I’d say travel the US in an RV, travel the world in all forms of transport. Create a publishing company or production company. Take up art/guitar as more than a hobby?

    When will you divulge your ideas?

    1. Holly Avatar

      New Year’s Day.

  20. Cayleigh Avatar

    To be honest, I don’t really have the right to be answering this, since I have yet to even live twenty-five years. But I’m going to throw in my two cents anyway.

    I do sort of know how you feel, since at the age of ten I decided that I would have a novel written before I graduated high school. I did it. It royally sucked and has been tucked away in some forgotten drawer, but I did it. So I gave myself a new goal–getting myself published before I graduate high school. And, even though it’s a long shot, I know that I can write the novel, and I’ve still got time to figure out how to sell it.

    But that goal I made at the age of ten has already changed my life. And if, thirty years from now, I’m in your position, wondering what I should do next with my life, I’d travel.

    Since writing is the kind of profession you can do anywhere, anytime, and I wouldn’t want to give that up, I’d try to see as much of the world as I could.

    So there, a long-winded response for a relatively simple conclusion.

  21. Margaret Avatar

    It’s almost impossible to see into someone else’s head, and you’ve done an incredible amount of things by sheer gumption that most would have deemed undoable. That said, what I would suggest is that you look at your life so far and look at some of the things you have told yourself you can’t do, either ever or anymore, because of something/someone else. Choose one of those. Claim your future as yours to own. Step outside not what others hold you to but the limitations you’ve put on yourself.

    1. Holly Avatar

      There’s actually nothing I never told myself I couldn’t do. There were things I chose not to pursue because pursuing them would have taken me away from things I wanted more. But I’ve been sitting here racking my brain, and I have nothing but vacuum in the “I could never do that” column.

      1. John Ribar Avatar

        One thing I always thouht would be interesting is to immerse myself in a new place, and see how I would be assimilated, if at all. In a book called Kabloona, a writer lives with the eskimos. He has to learn the language, customs, foods, everything, and no one there to speak in English. Unfortunately, this is tough with a family (maybe), but still seemed like a good way to spend some time…

  22. The Pencil Neck Avatar
    The Pencil Neck

    Personally, I’ve never planned more than a few months ahead in my entire life. I’ve tried to a few times but never have. I never even seriously expected to finish college.

    I think what’s important is not looking at the long term and making a choice to do grand things but rather to keep your eye on doing the things you love to do and doing things that are “right” for want of a better term. If you look back, you made a short term decision to do something that you ended up loving to do (I think) and that led you down this great road.

    Things change in life and if you make a grand 25 year plan to follow, it’s not going to be flexible enough to adjust to those changes. I mean, 25 years ago, I seriously doubt teaching thousands of people to write better over the internet was on your to-do list.

    Twenty five years ago, i was a sophomore in college after having dropped out of high school and spending a few years teaching guitar and playing in bands. All I wanted at that time was a girlfriend and to pass all my classes. And to play computer games and read books. And to have my best friends’ girls stop hitting on me.

    The last twenty five years have been a wild ride for me. I’ve lived in 15 different places. Met and married the girl of my dreams. Played in bands with guys from some big name bands. Recorded a CD. Passed all my classes and graduated with honors (twice). I’ve played a lot of computer games and read a lot of books.

    I just don’t get hit on much any more. πŸ™

    But, anyway, I’ve had a great life just following the dreams and doing things I love to do and having fun and trying to do right by everyone.

    I think you just need to find another great New Year’s resolution.

    Rock on wit yo bad sef.

    1. unxplaindfires Avatar

      Hey TPN – I’m pretty sure “one great resolution” was exactly what Holly was looking for. Her example (write a novel) just so happened to change her life for the next 25 years. She not looking for a long term goal commitment – just lightning in a bottle.

      1. The Pencil Neck Avatar
        The Pencil Neck

        That could be. When I read it, I interpreted it somewhat differently. Especially this quote:

        “And I’ve realized that by January 1st of 2010, I want to have a resolution to put on the table that will give me twenty-five more years of challenges, that will push me in directions I have not yet gone, that will give me something that’s hard to learn and hard to do well and hard to succeed at.”

        To me, that says she’s looking for a long term resolution and not a short term one. And I think that could be a mistake in scope.

        1. Gabby Avatar

          I don’t know about that. It’s great to have a long term goal–something to shoot for and dream about. The first step in achieving it is starting to imagine yourself there already. There are alot of great things about setting a long term plan for where you want to be in 10,15,25 years.

        2. Holly Avatar

          I’m looking to try something difficult. Something few people dare to try and most who try fail to accomplish.

          I’m entirely willing to fail—failing is, after all, what you keep doing until you succeed—but I want the process of failing to teach me, to entertain me, to challenge me to do better, to interest me, and to allow me to pursue my personal goals of making life better for my family and for other writers. (My little corner of the world—that’s all I want to improve, and only for those people who share what I want.)

          Lightning in a bottle—yes. I’m not looking for a 25-year commitment. I am looking for something so challenging that 25 years later, if I find I love it, I’ll still be learning new things. Like, in fact, writing, which I will assuredly still be discovering 25 years from now, if I’m still around.

          1. The Pencil Neck Avatar
            The Pencil Neck

            There are so many things I think I could throw myself into and spend 25 years getting enjoyment out of.

            I could spend 25 years studying art, architecture, anthropology, history, biology, languages, etc. And I think that studying any of those things for that period of time would be very good for me. I could spend 25 years studying martial arts or yoga or something like that.

            If I was in the right financial position, I’d become a professional student. i would probably collect a few masters and PhDs along the way.

            The most fascinating person I’ve ever met is my Uncle Stanley. He’s old now. But several factions of my wife’s family didn’t really “get” Uncle Stanley; he’s a bit… uh… rough. He always found things that he wanted to do and he always found a way to do them. He’s an expert in Military History (specializing in the Pacific Theater of WWII) with several publications under his belt, he’s also got several High Energy Physics research articles to his credit from when he was working as the guy in charge of the physics labs at the University of Texas. He used to teach a course at UT on how to build a camera from anything. He’s a HAM operator and for many years, had a business on the side building computers. He was a sniper in the Army in the Korean war. But he joined the Marines at the age of 15 when they bombed Pearl Harbor and he fought in the Pacific Theater. He finished his military career in the Navy doing god-knows-what and draws a pension from all three of those services.

            What I learned from him is to follow your dream. And when it comes to an end, just find something else you love and start doing it.

            So. Pick something. πŸ™‚

  23. Gabby Avatar

    Yes, this is a hard one. Cause I have no idea what you might dream of doing and would really fulfill something that you haven’t done already. You work full time at your writing, and you publish stories. And you have an amazing website that gives back/pays forward to those of us who haven’t gotten there yet. I don’t know, if I had accomplished everything that you have accomplished, what would I want? I kind of agree with Vanity. I’d want to do something for me… see the world, travel, know other cultures first hand by staying there for longer than a week. Not sure. I imagine that whatever you decide will be pretty awesome. πŸ™‚

    1. Holly Avatar

      What sort of goal would you set for yourself?

    2. Gabby Avatar

      I want to be a full-time published author. It’s my long-term goal. First one is to finish my WIP before my next birthday. It’s why I have trouble of thinking of what my goal would be after I had accomplished all that you have. Right now, to even finish the one story would be great. I can’t imagine trying to figure out the next step after I’m able to do it full time. I’ll be very curious to know what you decide. :))

      And I am sorry about the hate mail. I think I want to do the pseudonym route to avoid it. (I sort of need to finish before I worry about that though).

  24. Jean Avatar

    Why not learn to fly…get your pilot’s license. It’s something I want to do one of these days.

  25. vanity Avatar

    I don’t need to tell you about good new year’s resolutions, as I’ve learned from you what good goals are. I’ll still mention that having a hard to quantifiable goal like “this year I want to be nicer to people” is not the way to go.

    As for resolutions, I’d think setting some goals that’ll keep you busy for 10 months would be good and to see whether you manage to tick them all off by the end of the year.

    Since you’re writing anyway, I personally wouldn’t include writing related goals, but other stuff like travelling to specific places (Egypt, Singapore, Australia?). If you want to include writing related stuff, how about something unfamiliar like writing a screen play?

    Whatever you decide, I’m sure it’s going to be well thought out and beautiful πŸ™‚

    1. Ieva Avatar

      Or travel to all the places where people from Holly’s courses live. Now that would be a blast, imagine? πŸ˜€

      1. Littlesister Avatar

        and stay over at their house for free ,to save on hotel costs!
        That should be some fantastic and inspiring trip around the world…

  26. Ieva Avatar

    If I knew that the current period of my life was done as in “it was good, but now I’m grown past it” I guess I would have another kid (which I will, at some point), or put as much energy as possible in helping all those kids-for-adoption in here (either adopt one, or show up for them and teach them origami…or poetry). Right now, I’m all self-absorbed in my own creativity, but whenever I feel stuck, I just make another baby. πŸ˜‰

    You’re doing a great job at what you’re doing (and your HTTS&HTRYN courses help me a big deal), but (and) sometimes I worry whether the pressure people are putting on you by loving you isn’t messing with your own perception of who you are. I know that I’d have a hard time seeing myself clearly through all those expectations.

    (Feel free to disregard. It’s my seclusive Baltic temperament showing. ;))

    1. Holly Avatar

      Believe me, I get plenty of e-mails from folks who DON’T love me to keep me grounded. My hate mail is pretty impressive. πŸ˜€

      1. Ieva Avatar

        Ouch. Well, that’s settled then, balance is a good thing. πŸ˜‰
        (Seriously. I’ve always had issues with people like me/people dislike me problems but it had never occurred to me that I should just be where I am and let both sides even out instead of jumping up and down every time somebody jerks the link.)

    2. Gabby Avatar

      Holly, I don’t understand that. What crackpots are sending you hate mail?

      1. Holly Avatar

        :/ Folks who think I’m betraying them by selling my courses on writing instead of giving them away, folks who don’t like the contents of my novels, folks who are offended by the content of my website and my opinions, people who just don’t like me because they think I’m mean or a bitch, people who have read something about me on someone else’s site (when that someone doesn’t like me) and who decide to pile on…

        Long list. I don’t get hate mail every day. I get it often enough I don’t mistake myself for universally beloved. It’s part of the gig, frankly. The more visible you become, the more some people are going to hate you just because you aren’t invisible.

        1. djmills Avatar

          Holly, hugs from me. I hope you become a multi millionaire (if that is what you want), from your courses and all the good writing tips you have helped me and others with since I discovered your site. But you will have to put the price up. It is far too cheap for the mountains of knowledge you are giving away. πŸ™‚
          I think the complainers are jealous of you, and know they can’t come anywhere near the level of your talent and understanding of the writing process.

        2. Greg Avatar

          Aaah, other people. I’m not well-known enough for the hate mail, but I get negative comments about what I’m trying to do enough times to make me avoid seeing certain people socially and other ridiculous scenarios, because I want to protect my belief in myself.
          It’s a bit like scenes: does this scene matter? no? then draw a big X through the entire scene…
          …so it must be with other people!

          But then you know that. Hence this service you provide (for free, incidentally) so that like-minded people can find some kind of sanctuary for their dreams.

        3. HannaBelle Avatar

          And unfortunately, the haters are out there looking for a place or person to criticize. Just be sure to keep a file of the ones who appreiciate what you do and who you are. Read it often.

        4. Rabia Avatar


          I’ve always admired your honesty about who you are and what you believe. It’s courageous to put yourself out there for the world’s judgment. I’ve always been a people-pleaser, so that kind of moral courage is one of the things I’ve struggled with.

          Please remember that there are many of us who admire you and appreciate what you do!

  27. Charlene Teglia Avatar

    You know, I think you’re already heading this direction with Holly Shop and TalysMana, getting involved in the publishing side of the business and doing some very creative marketing.

    And now you have me mulling over what my next goal should be.

  28. Joanne aka soulsprite Avatar


    If I was looking for a resolution that would make a big difference in the next 25 years of my life it would be to follow a spiritual path with great dedication and to be willing to work through my blocks and be commited to awakening and remaining awake.

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