Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy New Year's! (And Blog Anniversary!) (Definitely a week late oops)

Do you know that awkward feeling when you're supposed to write something and it should be super easy because hey, you're a writer!, but there's extra pressure because you want to make it special (what, it's not like it's the last day of the whole year or anything) - so you spend the whole next year trying to think of how to start it?  

*goes on Twitter 'cause procrastination*

Ooh look, that's conveniently something I wanted to talk about.  Thanks, Twitter.  

I've recently realized that I spend a dramatic amount of time working toward a goal, and a inconsequential period after celebrating the moment when I reach it.  We work so hard towards the things, so especially now, when we're making resolutions with determination...let's celebrate the old year as well.  Don't forget how far you've come.  Sure, there will always be things to keep improving on, but dear friends, you've already come so far.  Stop and smell the blooming flowers you've already planted.

A few of my highlights from this year!

  • My book with Skyler Barnes, The Drawing in of Breath, was published in February!  This is so far my most favorite and personal piece of work.
  • A few months later, my high school writing club finished up our anthology, Silver Lining, and we published that as well!
  • I discovered Hamilton and well, umm, that should have been at the top of this list. xD
  • I began to learn the value of struggling and saw positive results rise out of pain.  Many of these problems now, instead of seeming completely invasive and totally controlling, have been reduced to 'just another mountain to climb', which is a much nicer way of thinking about them.
  • I got accepted into some colleges, and offered some scholarships!
My top posts were The 11 Stages of Writing a Poem, Carrie Fisher, and Potential is Not A Number

I wrote 33 posts, which is this blog's record!  xD  I am quite a spontaneous little blogger, haha.

Also, it is worth noting that this marks the SEVEN-year anniversary of my blog!  I remember very vividly that New Year's Eve, 2010, my dad took my upstairs to the computer and helped me make my first blog.  (Let it be noted that after that point and over the next few years, I became rather blog-happy and now have fourteen random blogs of varying privacies, most of which have never really been used.)  First post was titled HAPPY NEW YEAR, in which I told the whole world I would be posting "stories, articles and other things that I write", and started a debate about whether to say "twenty-ten" or "two thousand and ten". I was an excitable little one.  So, happy anniversary!  I'd have a giveaway, but, umm, I don't really have anything of worth to give away at the moment.  *clutches and strokes precious books*

* * *

Anyway...on to 2017!  (Forgive me if this posts grows longer than the list of things you're procrastinating doing right now.)

Last year (yeah, jk, I'm not ready to leave 2016 yet.) I choose a word for the year.  It was love. Looking back, I can see how that word has been a theme, in quite a few different ways.  I met a lot of new friends. I went deeper into old friendships.  I learned to love myself more.  I began to discover my passion for loving strangers and writing for them. This year, I have a sentence instead of a word (cause I'm a rebel and writer and word count minimums are hard for us).

I saw this quote in a store window a few weeks ago, and it really stuck with me.  This year, I want to really, fully live.  I don't want to get stuck in the past or the future, worrying about things.  Instead, I want to recognize that I'm alive and act like it.  Appreciate every color and movement and song lyric.  For too long, I've gone through my days like a machine, trying to get the day over with, until I realized that I'm not really living.  This year, I hope to become both more enthusiastic and aware of the life that I have.

My New Year's Resolution!

I'm going to write at least one (creative) sentence every day.  Obviously, this doesn't seem like very much, but lately, I haven't even been doing that much.  A long time ago, I successfully completed a resolution to write 20 minutes a day.  I ended up doing it for 500 days straight and learned so much, but eventually the pressure of sitting down for a whole 20 minutes made it too much of a chore to be beneficial anymore.  

My logic is that writing one sentence will pose little threat to my time, and after doing it for a few weeks now with two of my besties (we started mid-December), I've found that if I write one sentence, more follow.  It's that first sentence that's the hardest, but if you can find a way to get yourself to do that, you can keep going.  The sentences multiple like little bunnies. So adorable.  

Also, since I'm putting so little pressure on myself, everything that I write beyond that one sentence is technically bonus, and it feels pretty good.  Attainable goals are the best.  After doing this for a while, I am finally starting to feel like a 'writer' again.  It's been a while that I've been able to have the discipline of writing at least a little each day, and it is wonderful.  I'd definitely recommend this to anyone, especially if you need a boost of motivation, or a way to get into the habit of writing daily.

What are your New Year's Resolutions?  Are you living fully right now?  What did you accomplish last year?  :)  Let me know in the comments!

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