On the Eve of the New Year

Love what you’ve got, and you’ll have more love.

– Regina Spektor, “Firewood”

This was my first year out of school, my first year of full-time work, my first year of blogging… The moments of disappointment, I’m grateful to say, were few. The moments of excitement and joy and contentment were many. I feel I’ve reconnected with old friends who were too often trumped by assignments, essays, exams, and all that fun university stuff. That said, I do often miss my university friends – brilliant fellow writers whose work I miss reading and whose astute feedback I miss receiving.

I already have so much to look forward to in 2013 – a trip abroad, my best friend’s wedding, friends with babies on the way. But it just wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without some resolutions to make it even better.

Health

  1. Get back in the pool/on the pilates mat.
  2. Try a new sport. I’ve got my eye on the Edmonton Fencing Club.
  3. This is going to be the year I achieve clear skin. I will stick to my face-washing regiment and keep a look out for new products/remedies.

Reading

  1. Read the remaining unread books on my shelf.
  2. Read my new Christmas books before too long.
  3. Not allow the unread pile to get as unwieldy as it was in previous years. Ever again.

Writing

  1. Write that scene I’ve been dreading for three years.
  2. Complete a first draft of my novel.
  3. Read a few books about writing. Advice from other writers is invaluable.
  4. Keep regular blog updates of at least two posts a month.

Earlier this year, the video of Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech hit the Internet in a big way. I’ve kept quotes from it everywhere, to make sure I have a bit of that brilliance and encouragement with me every day. I hope, even if you’re not an artist, you find some wisdom to take from this.

Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.

Make good art.

I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

Make it on the good days too.

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