New Year Resolutions: Writer’s Edition
~ embracing the unknown for the love of creative expression
I always like the start of a new year. While I don’t subscribe to the idea that I will be less of a mess in 2022, the new year feels ripe—like a plum barely holding onto the branch. (I plan to enjoy piercing teeth into purple skin, as juice on either side of my mouth races toward chin.)
I want to come home to myself this year. I don’t know what that looks like yet. But I know it includes a lot of writing, which I have avoided during the pandemic. I am a copywriter by profession, so not entirely but..creatively.
I have found that I don’t want to be honest with myself about how deeply I have been affected by this pandemic. Yet when I review, I see how every aspect of my life has been shaped by it.
I can see each of us, around the world, with new wells of grief. Some think they are standing in a puddle when they are up to their neck. Others have large pools that are spread out, almost luxuriously, as they sit alone at its center.
But if we look up from our individual well, we see the collective ocean. Our world is in need of grief-workers. Those who can see through the separation, and weave us back together.
When my writing voice is stifled, there is always a reason—just usually not one I’m ready to look at. That is why I love tarot and oracle cards; often it is the same: you can only see what you are ready to find.
As we approach this new year, I feel ready. Here are my writing resolutions for 2022; I would love to hear yours in the comments below.
Write this Newsletter Twice Monthly
Ah yes, the temptation to poo-poo on myself for not having done this last year, as I intended. Our human timelines are so silly, and I am reminded of this as I reflect on how much more clarity I feel approaching this year and this newsletter.
I would like to consistently publish my words. I am working on just observing the silliness that occurs inside when I want to share my words—when I want to share any creative project. Publishing a newsletter establishes a practice of sharing, like a muscle I hope to strengthen.
Create Youtube Videos on Writing
A couple years ago I made three videos on writing. I don’t remember why I stopped. I think I was really onto something. I love the vibe I created and the topics I spoke on.
Furthermore, I have so much knowledge on writing and digital marketing. I would love to share what I know. I think a lot of these topics are spoken about in the most complicated way possible, while the processes themselves are quite easy.
Make Significant Progress on My Manuscript
For the last year, a story idea has rattled around in my head. I have drawn maps, written backstory, brainstormed character details, built parts of the world in my mind, but I hadn’t started writing the first draft until a couple days ago. I saved an image to my phone’s lock screen that says, “Every first draft is perfect, because all a first draft has to do is exist.” I want to tell myself the story this year.
Compile Poetry & Song Chapbook
I want to think of this as a book of my writing up to this point. I want to compile my best songs and poems and release a print version, as well as an audio version. I commissioned the art for this chapbook over a year ago now. In 2022, I want to compile the book itself.
If I’m not journaling regularly, I’m avoiding something. If I’m not journaling regularly, I’m not prioritizing “me” time enough. If I’m not journaling regularly, I have no record of this beautiful life I am living. When a writer can do nothing else, they can journal.
Write Songs on Piano
My darling, Callista, bought me a piano for my birthday. A legit-ass keyboard with a sustain pedal and everything. I remember taking a songwriting class my first year in college. I spent hours and hours in the practice room, writing the most basic chord progression for a beautiful song.
In 2021, I applied to Berklee for songwriting. This year, I decided I want to learn piano so I can write songs and musicals the way I hear them. In 2022, I want to learn piano and write my own songs.
After I lost my job in May 2021, I asked myself what I truly want to do with my life. I asked, “what dreams am I too afraid to pull out from the shoebox under my bed?” I looked at all of them like polaroids, and hung them back up on my wall with string and clothespins.
I realized that most of them were put away because other people convinced me that they were impossible. They convinced me so well that I didn’t dare to try.
The hard part is recognizing that I am one of those people. And at this point in my life, I am the only person still telling me to be afraid of my dreams.
All those years ago, when my father would tell me what path to take to ensure my security, I used to tell him that I would rather be poor than unhappy. Last year, I was both.
Not because I didn’t follow the path he worked hard to give me. But because I gave up on the dreams that kid was fighting to protect.
The world is funny like that - there are plenty of valid reasons not to listen to your highest calling. Fear is not always False Evidence Appearing Real. Sometimes, it is very real. Sometimes, it was real but it isn’t anymore. Sometimes, it feels real because we don’t know what else the unknown will feel like.
But in that unknown comes a tiny whisper. A tiny whisper that can be trusted above the loudest screams and deepest bellows. There, intuition sings.
Do you have any creative resolutions for 2022? Please share them below.
P.S. As I was journaling this morning, I was inspired to open The Complete Notes from the Universe to a “random” page for a 2022 oracle reading:
Happy New Year <3