The beginning of the year began with flowers. Mini irises, lone crocuses – is this seriously winter? Well it was for a week, the earth hardened by frost mid afternoon. I wore a jumper, a fleece, a coat, a double-wrapped scarf and iphone friendly gloves. I don’t do cold. It makes me tentative and gingerly, and snarky. Winter is a bold month, makes no apologies. Deal with me she says. Deal with me naked and raw.

Bold is my word for 2016,

and maybe I should look at the ice queen a little closer.

Bold has always seemed like a loud word to me. It’s daring and audacious and adventurous. It wears a proud smile and a harlequin suit.

But I wonder if bold can be quiet too.

I wonder if she can be patient, hide under a rock, the unshowy germination of a bulb hugged in soil.

I was bold in the loud sense the beginning of this year: I decided to lay my other blog to rest. It was time, and besides I couldn’t think of anything else to write. But it’s still there, just in case…

And then two weeks ago I finally sent The Big Yellows out to literary agents and am now quivering in a corner as the rejections take aim.

Oh God – Why am I putting myself through this?

But I had promised myself bold, and the reaching out to agents another addition to the much shorter haircut and the second tattoo planned this year.

So what of a quieter kind of bold?

The silent decisions. The marked yet unseen boundaries.

Mid January I found myself caught in lists and goals and boxes of balsam tissues. And the anxiety and the constant feeling that I’m losing the race, that if I don’t do it now I’ll lose, lose, lose. But what is this self-imposed race I’m trying to win? And why do I need to keep running? What happens if I stop and walk away?

So I did.

I put down my pen and switched off the lap top and made a pasta bake instead.

I walked away with a smile.

This was bold as a whisper. Not shouting but listening. The moon instead of the sun.

The quieter bold pays attention, is the wiser voice, and there is no regret.

And this is my bold of 2016.

A solid, winter bold the colour of coal.

16 responses

  1. What a lovely post! I love your different definitions of bold (in fact, the definition of bold could be making your own definition of bold and following that through regardless of what anyone else thinks!) I think the one you’re going for sounds great. Good luck with the agent submissions – I have my fingers crossed for you. xx

    • Hello! Thank you very much :o). And I really like what you say – ‘the definition of bold could be making your own definition of bold and following that through regardless of what anyone else thinks!’. Don’t keep your fingers crossed for too long though – it would be lovely to get an agent but it all depends on whether they like my story, feel they can champion it to a publisher… X

  2. I’m usually not a fan of the cold either, until I had to buy a whole host of layers for our recent ski trip and then I discovered I could manage extreme temperatures after all. Though, I have to say, it was lovely to warm up once we were back inside.
    Wishing you every success with your writing xx

  3. Well done and good luck – fingers x for you!!!! Sad to see other blog has stopped (im back after a very long break) but glad this one is still around so can catchup with all your posts! Love the word bold- does make you think 🙂 big hugs xx

  4. I love this concept of a ‘quiet bold’. Very poignant. Have you read Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings about the the two Grimke sisters who led the anti-slavery movement in US? I see the main sister, Sarah, as quiet bold, her sister the loud bold type. But this quiet boldness: its something that so many authors have to possess when they start out, I guess, as they need to be bold to send first manuscripts, then second, third…yet keeping it quiet all the time in case of rejection. I am sure that you will receive an acceptance at some point, even if not at first (I keep hearing about acclaimed novelists who were rejected too many times these days). You write so well, I’d be amazed if you weren’t….Good luck! S

    • Thank you very much lovely…. I’m having to be ‘bolder’ than ever at the moment – so much going on in my life. The rejections have been pouring in which isn’t such a bad thing as my skin is getting a little tougher and I guess I’m earning my writer’s stripes in the process. All you can ever do is pick yourself up and carry on…. :o).

  5. Pingback: A return to what I know « Sadie Hanson

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