Deb Lund, Author of the Month: Resolutions in the Sand

Each year, my family writes resolutions on a beach. This year, we were on Long Beach in SW Washington, a bit cooler than last year’s version on Kauai. The premise for this ritual is simple. As the tide comes in, the resolutions we carve into the sand are either carried off to become reality, or there’s no sign left of them. Either way works for us!  
It doesn’t matter if you write resolutions or not, but your goals have a better chance of being achieved if you first acknowledge them and then support them with persistence, passion, and play. Let me explain…


Have you ever been called stubborn? Good! But let’s call that quality persistence, okay? So many creative people stop when they hit the wall. When they think they’re not good enough. When they think, “I can’t!” We’ve all had our walls. If you’re a teacher or parent, you might want to share this insight the next time you see someone slumped at the bottom of their wall. Hitting the wall means you’re close to breaking through. Pick yourself up, walk away if you need to, but continue to pick away at that wall.


Passion is contagious. Put yourself in the path of passionate people. Identify who can help you. When past students look me up to tell me I was their favorite teacher, I know they’re responding to my passion for helping others reach their potential. What’s your passion? Don’t hide that light. Let it ignite passion in others. Claim it and watch it spread. Add that to your persistence, and you’ll have a much better chance of checking off your list of resolutions this year.



Play sounds easy, right? This one is the most difficult for me. Creative work is play. Play is not wasted time. It’s part of the creative process. It’s where you discover your gifts, your best ideas, your best techniques. I need to remind myself continually that play is not wasted time. If I focus on completing a project without putting in time playing with it, it may be close to “perfect” but there’s no sparkle, no joy. Play is practice, pleasure, and process. It’s pure expression and exploration. (Did you see how I got a few more P’s in here?) Allow—No, require—more play time! Productivity is important, but it must be paired with play.


What are your goals? Write them down. List the tiniest baby steps you’ll take to achieve them, write down names of people, classes, or organizations that can help you. Contact them. Set out your supplies. Take one step now with persistence, passion, and play in mind. Your dreams need more than sand and tide to become reality. 
Happy New Year!



Author: Laurie Ann Thompson

I write books for curious young minds and open hearts, no matter what their age. BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, a teen guide to saving the world, will be published by Beyond Words/Simon Pulse in September of 2014. EMMANUEL'S DREAM: THE TRUE STORY OF EMMANUEL OFOSU YEBOAH, a picture-book biography, will be published by Schwartz & Wade/Penguin Random House in January of 2015. And MY DOG IS THE BEST, a heartwarming fictional picture book, will be published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan in May of 2015.

4 thoughts on “Deb Lund, Author of the Month: Resolutions in the Sand”

  1. The three P's! And play is an important one! Funny, when my kids were toddlers, I was very adamant about enrolling them in play centered preschools. I believed that play was their work. It's mine, too…but like Lisa, I often have a hard time remembering that.

    P.S. I LOVE that your family writes their resolutions on the beach! What a great tradition!


  2. Love this post, Deb. Regularly writing down my goals helps me internalize them, to feel them a little more deeply so that I take more action in their direction, even subconsciously. Like Trudi, I sometimes put pure creative fun on the back burner because I think I need to be “working” — but then, time and time again, I learn that playing rewards me in life/work immediately. It's so powerful. And the truth is that there's really plenty of time for play when you look at all the other ways you're not working during any given day.


  3. Such sage advice, Deb! I tend to feel guilty when I am playing, thinking it's not truly work unless I am producing pages. Yet, time and time again I get my best ideas when I am simply having fun dipping my toes in the creative waters. Thanks for the great post. Happy New Year!


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