The Sky’s the Limit (Mary Strand)

Happy New Year!

This month, our blog topic is “limits”: setting them, recognizing them, dealing with them, getting around them, ignoring them, etc.  Basically, how we react to limits imposed on us by ourselves or others.

My first reaction is that I don’t believe in limits.  I definitely reject outright all limits that others try to impose on me, and I generally laugh in their face while doing so.


As I leave in the dust a really tough year, when not one but both knees utterly let me down, it occurs to me that I wound up putting limits on myself.  Sure, I didn’t tend to think of it that way.  I mostly just shook my fist at the universe or declared that I was royally screwed.  (If you spell “screwed” beginning with an “f.”)

Feeling as wrecked and hopeless as I did all year, I simply accepted that I couldn’t write.  At least, I couldn’t write funny stuff, and that’s what I write.  For a few weeks last summer, I did try.  It wasn’t funny and didn’t sound like me, so I finally gave up.  Instead, I worked on revisions to old manuscripts.  I got through two of them.  I also spent more time than usual on guitar and vocals, and I started writing songs.  I discovered that I love songwriting, and it feeds me creatively.  In a big way.

So, basically, I made some decent use of my time in 2018, but I still lost hundreds of hours to the limits imposed on me by my knees.  Which means I let myself be limited by me.

To quote the brave teenage Parkland survivors: I call bullshit on that.

Does Chris Hemsworth have anything to do with limits?
Not that I can think of.  You're welcome.

I don’t believe in limits, whether I set them myself or some jerk tries to impose them on me.  Yeah, yeah, I did let limits attach themselves to me like a psychopathic fungus in 2018, but that was soooo 2018.

In 2019, I get a do-over.  I get to reach for the stars and new book ideas and finished manuscripts and book contracts and playing sports and getting the songs I write into the right person’s hands.  I get to look for success, and find it, in every imaginable way.  I get to set goals that other people say are unrealistic or utterly outside of my control.  I get to dream.  As in, go big or go home.

In 2019, I get to be me again.  And I refuse to let any limits stop me.

Including my own.

Mary Strand is the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Push-Up Bras and three other novels in the Bennet Sisters YA series. You can find out more about her at


  1. Must have been a bad year for knees. I sure do relate to a knee, or in your case two of them betraying you. Hope 2019 kicks butt for you.

  2. Aww, Mary, sounds like a rough year, and so glad you're doing better now. May 2019 bring you all the success you deserve!

  3. I love the idea of a new year bringing a do-over. Here's to a FANTASTIC 2019!

  4. i totally relate to the knee thing. Happy new year!

    1. Knee things are happening these days to WAY too many people I know! Happy new year!

  5. For some reason, I didn't read this until today. Totally my bad and I wish I'd read it sooner because there are some GREAT takeaways here! Thank you for this. May your do-over year surpass your wildest dreams!

    1. Thanks, Brenda! There are no deadlines on reading a blog post! :-)


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