Janus and the turning of the writing year

Janus, god of transitions

Arbitrary as it is, the end of the calender year is a traditional time to look back on what was, to consider what is and to plan for what might be. The first month of the year, January, was named for the Roman god Janus, a figure with two faces: one looking back, the other looking ahead. Although any day of the year can be a time of reflections, it is the touchstone dates that prompt the self-examination. Day-to-day living is too full of day-to-day concerns for us to take a step back and see the big picture.

It’s by no special magic that I get the Today’s Author slot for the last day of 2012. It was open and I said I’d write a post for today. By the act of reaching out to claim this day as mine, it became mine. Simple as that. Now, as I write this post, I realize that within that simple act is contained the seed of every step forward. This site is new, although the contributors have worked together on various projects and collaborative blogs in the past. How best to launch this site? To establish it and help it to find its voice? Where is the path forward, and how best shall we take it?

It will grow as anything grows: in fits and starts, fed by the remains of last season’s flush of growth, driven onward by the desire to reach for the clean air and bright light somewhere high above. I’m looking forward to the coming year and to the writing opportunities that it will bring. Some of it will be documentary, as I talk about my own experiences writing and publishing. Some will be advisory, as I try to share lessons I’ve learned. Some will be speculative, dealing with things I don’t know but wish I did.

In any event, this year will be a bit of the old, a bit of the new, a mixture of the familiar and the unexpected. Despite his strange outlook on the world, occupied both with what was and what is yet to be, Janus never stumbles. It’s a skill that’s worth learning for all of us.

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