Happy New Year

I’m sitting here in Tasmania, on the other side of the world from the small farming town in which I grew up, reflecting on the wild adventure my life has become. This past year was one of the best of my life, even as it contained some of the most difficult things I’ve ever wrestled with. My father is bravely battling cancer. The country I love is taking what I feel to be massive steps backwards. I’ve spent many a dark hour thinking about what’s slowly slipping away.

But I also think about all the good to come. The next generation of young adults are more amazing than the last, and this trend seems universal and without end. The world and my country have survived far worse. There are great trends to focus on, such as the imminent death of coal and the ascension of cheap solar. Or the healing of the ozone layer. There are always problems to fix, but we should appreciate the problems that we solve along the way.

I spent a month of my year in the Galapagos, and my father joined me. We swam with giant sea turtles and hiked lava tubes with blue-footed boobies. This was just a year after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean with my dad. How many kids are this dumb lucky that they get to spend forty days straight with a parent — and a best friend — fulfilling a lifelong dream?

There is always good in the bad. I wrote a short story about this once. In the wake of losing my beloved dog, in one of my darkest of places, I began a novel that would eventually be about the redeeming power of hope. When I sign copies of WOOL for readers, I almost always write “Dare to hope” inside. The original self-published version of WOOL was dedicated to: Those who dare to hope. I think it’s the bravest thing we can do, have hope. 2018 should be a year in which we remind ourselves of this.

Bright days are ahead. They will follow nights that seem cold, dark, and lonely. This is how it’s always been.

I hope we can remember to share the good moments without it seeming that we aren’t aware of all that’s grave and serious. Laughter, joy, and positivity are critical now more than ever. Michelle and I are working on a website to celebrate just these things, a place of respite and peace where deep breaths can be enjoyed, quiet contemplation pursued, positivity embraced. It’s not a retreat from the world and its serious issues, but a way of regrouping, of fortifying ourselves for the good fight, and for appreciating the progress already made.

What I appreciate every day of my life is you. Not a single day goes by on Wayfinder that I don’t pause and appreciate what your support and readership have meant for me. It has made it possible for me to fulfill a lifelong dream of sailing around the world. Right now, that crazy book I wrote so many years ago, is in the top 100 on Amazon, still selling strong, still gaining word-of-mouth, still finding new readers who dare to hope. Thank you for that.

I look forward to the adventures ahead. I just put the finishing touches on my first draft for a WOOL TV pilot. An embarrassment of amazing offers have poured in, after getting the adaptation rights back from Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox last year. This project was always meant for TV. I just never had any hopes of anything actually getting made. I went with a big name, and a big offer, for the big screen, all because I never thought anything more would ever happen. I was too afraid to hope.

I’m going to try harder in 2018.

Thanks for everything. For the rest of January, WOOL will cost a measly $1.20. This novel has probably never held more societal significance than it does right now. I look forward to the new connections it makes with readers, the new friendships it brings, and the adventure it might take us along very, very soon…

Thank you for everything, and have a Happy New Year,
Hugh Howey

20 responses to “Happy New Year”

  1. I love that you’re able to see the light despite the dark, Hugh. We all need that.

    I’m incredibly excited about WOOL! Let us know when you have details. Are we talking about a potential 2019 show?


  2. I love this post. Brimming with hope. It’s contagious.

  3. At the end of the day all we can really hope for is to make a difference – to influence things for the better — especially during these interesting times. Thanks Hugh – I think you’re making the kind of difference that’s necessary.

  4. No, Hugh, Thank you for your brilliance, your gift to world readers and amazing articulation of all that you personally hold near and dear. Life has a way of evolving in all directions at any given time. So many people are drawing from your energy, zest for life and adventures. I am guilty of that when life gets mundane. The world is inside out at the moment but you are spot on when you say there is always good in the bad. For every negative there is always a positive. May your creative juices flow while I’m able to read and enjoy. In Tasmania, so very close and yet so far but maybe that’s a good thing. There is always the future, whatever it brings and goals to aspire to. Happy and safe travels. Liz

  5. Fun questions (I hope):

    What is your dream cast for the TV series?

    What are some ideal locations for filming, based on all your travels?

    Ideally, how long do you want/see the series running?

    1. All unknowns.
      Sound stage, anywhere.
      Seven seasons.

  6. I love reading “The Wayfinder” and opened your email to get a dose of inspiration, only to discover that you were in Tasmania !! :-) Being a typical Tasmanian, I will ask the obligatory questions: Where are you staying? How long will you be here? Have you seen MONA yet?!!

    1. We’re going to Mona on the 13th, I think. Are you in Hobart?

      1. Yes… I am lucky to live in beautiful Hobart! I am an author (writing about ‘rithmetic etc) and a fan of MONA whose creator knows a lot about “rithmetic and probability. I am also a fan of the work you do with Data Guy! If there is anything I can do to help make your stay in Tassie even better, please let me know. :)

  7. What a lovely post, Hugh. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope he isn’t suffering with great pain. Cancer is an illness that robs us of so much. It’s also one that is difficult for those around loved ones who are suffering.

    But having said that, yes, you are lucky to have spent that time with him crossing the Atlantic. What a blessing!

    Thank you for your optimistic post. We do need this kind of hope in a world that brings us so much bad news through the press. I recently heard Obama’s interview with Prince Harry and he was also optimistic about the future. He underlined that we are living in the best of times.

    So, with those thoughts, I wish you and yours a happy new year. And good luck on your screenplay. I’ve written a few. They are not easy but they are a lot of fun to write.

  8. Inspiring post. Dark days pass, life goes on.

  9. As a Tasmanian I hope you’re enjoying our beautiful state (and our few days of warmth).
    Your post is inspiring and heart warming – and jealousy inducing. It’s always nice to see someone get along so well with a parent, though it is sad to hear what you’re going through. I hope that all turns out well for him.
    Looking forward to seeing Wool on television. You’re right, it was always meant to be on television.
    Good luck and all the best.

  10. Thank you for this. I needed to read this today, and I will continue to “dare to hope”.
    I’m sorry to hear about your Dad and am sending good thoughts and healing vibes his way.
    Cancer sucks! My 5 yr old granddaughter was just diagnosed on Nov 25th.
    Looking forward to reading more from you in 2018. All the best to you and your family, and again, thank you.

  11. Nice post, Hugh

    Dare to hope. Perfect sentiment for the coming year and the challenges that lay ahead. Very best of luck with your pilot, I look forward to it.

  12. “Do you ever wonder if we make the moments in our life or if the moments make our life?” :)
    There is always hope… ;)
    Great hug from Hungary! Happy new year!
    Anett (nurse) :)

  13. I will forever be grateful for your writings and optimism. I came across Wool years ago. Your social media fan base was exploding and you were dancing online in fuzzy house slippers. It was a relatively dark time in my life and the tight-knit group of friends I made because of you I will always cherish. Furthermore, Wool elicited in me a desire to read for the first time in many years. The entire Wool series, The Hurricane, Halfway Home, Molly Fyde, I Zombie, and many more, shall always hold a special place in my life. Thank you for that! Best of luck with your tv adaptation. As my copies of Wool say, I will continue to “dare to hope” along side you. (We’ll just forget the blood splattered “there is no hope” in I Zombie.) :-)

  14. Thanks Hugh, nicely written. Remaining positive is a challenge, but totally necessary. And maintaining our human connectedness, resisting the forces of division. By the way, I still like Jennifer Lawrence for the role of Juliette. :)

  15. Hope springs eternal. Thanks Hugh !

  16. Looking forward to the new website, dude! The world can use a healthy dose of positivity about now ;)

  17. George Algozzini Avatar
    George Algozzini

    Thank you Hugh. 2017 was hard in many ways. My father in law passed and just Friday a very good friend passed. I have hope to see them again in heaven. Hope is a wonderful thing. I read all your stuff and appreciate your work.

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