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This is my year of the ducks.

This is my year of the duck.

Every January I’m imbued with a feeling of possibility. It’s a new year. A period has been added to the last sentence of 2013, and a shiny 2014 is available to fill with ideas, words, and work. I’ve decided to dedicate this year to one of my favorite creatures.

This is my year of the duck.

Ducks are masters of land, sea, and air. They view life with a Mona Lisa smile, and are willing to plumb the depths for sustenance, leaving their heads beneath the surface and their tail feathers vulnerable to the breeze. Awkward at times, graceful at others, they go about their business with enthusiasm.

In the coming twelve months of writing I’ll try to let go of fear standing in the way of expression. I’ll develop a smile to face down the moments when words hide from me like minnows under rocks. When I want to turn away from the computer to find distraction, I’ll focus on my characters until they talk to me and show me the paths they want to follow. I’ll float on the pond of ideas lightly, lightly, and swim my way to the ends of the stories I need to tell.

I’ll stop once in a while to preen my feathers, to feel good about what I’ve written rather than letting the perfectionist-voice whisper criticism to take away my pleasure in what I’ve captured on the page. And I’ll fly high enough to see entire landscapes populated by characters I want to explore.

It’s the year of the duck.