Last year, we told you all the new year’s resolutions we hoped you DIDN’T make in 2013, including:
- Write less
- Start implementing the word “awkward” wherever possible in writing, especially in locations in which it is incorrectly used to replace “distasteful.”
- Insert useless exclamation points into writing
- Get more inspiration from Lifetime movies
And we’re so glad you followed our advice!
This year, it’s time to focus on what you should be doing. With the arrival of a new year comes a blank canvas, ready to be painted with the vibrant details of our journey–past, present, and future.
It is a metaphorical rebirth: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically for some. For writers, it can also represent a creative rebirth, a cleansing of the writer’s soul. It is so easy for creative beings to feel dejected, sluggish, uninspired. Especially when the year is coming to a close, and all of our hopes and dreams and goals are weighed and measured against our actual accomplishments.
Now is the perfect time to tie balloons around last year’s unfulfilled desires and goals, to bury any unrealized resolutions, to sweep those pesky bad habits and bothersome nuances out the door. Let us not carry any of 2013ʹs dead weight into the new year. Let us instead forge ahead into 2014, inspired, confident, and open to the path we’ll walk.
Several years ago, I decided to forego the antiquated act of making New Year’s resolutions (which usually went unrealized), instead writing a personal creative manifesto (or manifesta, if you will): an organic declaration of my creative
principles, my values, and my intentions for the coming year.
Here’s a glimpse at my Creative Manifesto for the year:
- I am a writer. I may be more than that, but I am never less than that. I will remind myself everyday that I am a writer until there is no room for doubt.
- I will keep moving forward, never backward. I will create and never un-create. I will write and never unwrite.
- I will love my stories as if they are living beings. I will care for them, respect them, and nourish them. I will nurture them and give them a safe place to grow.
- I will create from a place of truth, from the raw, real self without walls, self-imposed or otherwise.
- I will open myself to beauty, to light, to love. I will create from this place–with no barriers between myself and the open world.
- My creative self is malleable and holds no shape. It cannot be put into a box or pigeon-holed into any of life’s genres.
- My craft is a gift I have been given. I recognize that I am only a vessel for the language I ask for every time I sit down to write. My words are a prayer, a meditation, a chant, and that whatever the words, whatever the meaning, whatever the genre, my writing is a gift.
- Everyday is a blank canvas, a clean sheet, a new day, and I will treat everyday as a gift.
Why not write your own Creative Manifesto (or Manifesta) for the year to come. We’d love to read them!