The end of the year has come, as it is wont to do. I love the beginning of a new year. Not only to I get to start a new planner (2016 is my first time using a hobonichi and I am hype), but the new year gives an opportunity for goal-setting and fresh starts. There’s a creativity in the air. I always find myself seizing upon new ideas. I think the weather helps, and the fact that everyone’s just so relaxed until February. In the past, January has always seemed to be the month when I start new blogs, write more essays, begin new projects. I’ve discovered I’m more excited for a new year than for Christmas.
Other people must feel this too, as the beginning of the year is always when people start those enthusiastic endeavours that tend to fall by the wayside a couple of months in. Take a photo every day, read 50 books in the year, that sort of thing. I’m sure plenty of people are cynical because so few stick with it but I don’t mind that at all, actually. You’re doing a few weeks extra that you wouldn’t have done, and you might have made something great in that time. It’s nearly always going to be worth it if you don’t get down on yourself for bailing. I’ve come to see January as a creative time, more so than any other time of the year, even spring.
I received a few art supplies for Christmas, as it finally occurred to me that these were things I wanted, that I’d never justify the expense for to myself, and that people could actually buy me instead of books. (Books are good, but man. My “to read” list is long enough as it is.) Therefore I am now the proud owner of a set of Staedtler fineliners, some watercolour paints, and some fancy coloured pencils. I’m not skilled with visual art, but I’m keen to improve. I’d had it in my head to knuckle down and dig into everything in the new year, with the vague idea that some artistic challenge or other would present itself one way or the other.
Happily, it has! This January I’m trying out Michelle Greco’s Muse Moments January Challenge. I’ll write, I’ll draw, I’ll paint… whatever strikes my fancy.
I’m still working on my NaNo novel. Slowly, yes, but the important thing really is to keep moving forward. I’m taking quite a few notes for the second draft; it’s going to need some serious surgery. There’s a character who has no real purpose aside from being a different location for the main characters to visit, and someone else to talk to. I didn’t know what to do with him, so I killed him. Unfortunately that just raised more questions: should I have killed him a different way? Did that way of getting rid of him really make sense? Did it affect the trajectory of the story at all? It did not. I like him in the story, because he highlights aspects of the personality of one of the MCs. I’m going to have to completely re-write him, his home, his personal connections, his place in the story.
I’m fired up to write the second draft and I’m only about 60% through the first one. I know I can’t go back now; I’ll end up refining and refining what I’ve already written without ever getting around to finishing the book. I’ll have to keep moving forward, and leave that part for next time.
Meanwhile, I’m itching to write some poetry, or maybe a short story. One of the national magazines opens submissions in January, and I’d like to try my hand again. (One day I’ll make it!)
Here’s to a new year.