Monday, January 2, 2017

Just Write

Over the years, I have composed the odd list or two of New Years Resolutions. I always say I won't, but then at the last minute, I get caught up in the hype and the hope that a 'fresh start' brings, and I haphazardly put together a long list of things I'd like to achieve and areas I'd like to improve. Some I have stuck to, some I haven't. This year, I have a clearer idea of my goals, although I am unsure about how to approach a number of them.

For areas such as career or even the tempting possibility of further study, I still feel like I'm left in the dark with no idea about what to even do. I feel like they fall under the 'take each challenge as they come' category and as such, I have resolved not to worry so incessantly about the future.

But there is one particular area where I have concrete goals and it is something that had been on my mind the last two months of 2016. I really want to commit myself to writing. I don't have ambitious plans to pen a novel or anything like that. I simply want to maintain a momentum with my writing in general. Looking back, I realised that it is something I have always done. As a child, I wrote and drew up my own storybooks. At 14, I started my first blog. When I got a bit older, I took on freelance projects, which continued for three solid years until it all kind of fell to the wayside half-way through this year. I still continued to journal while abroad and rediscovered my love of blogging once I returned home, but my lack of commitment to freelance writing made me feel like I'd lost a part of myself.

Writing is something that can always be a constant in my life. At University, it was a much needed creative outlet that relieved me of the stresses of study. While traveling, it helped validate all the amazing things I was seeing and doing; I didn't feel right until I had written a daily or weekly recap of my adventures. Finally, during the end of 2016, writing kept me afloat while I struggled with the general uncertainties that come with life after University. I am particularly proud and so glad I not only attempted, but completed Blogmas in December, as it had me feeling the most motivated and creative I have felt in a long while.

Writing is a huge part of who I am and I can't imagine life without it, because the periods of time in which I haven't kept up a consistent routine correlate with the more stressful, sad and frustrated moments.

Irrespective of what happens this year, I find a sense of comfort in knowing that I can have total control over this one aspect of my life, as long as I stick to it and constantly work on ways to better my writing. After much thought, I came up with five focus areas which pinpoint both how I will go about keeping up my writing and the areas I want to improve.

1. Write something every week in your journal (even if it's bad!)
2. Write one freelance piece a month. Topics can be food, art, travel, opinion pieces or whatever takes your fancy. Even if you don't end up submitting your work, commit yourself to this once monthly task anyway.
3. Write one nice thing that happened in your day, every single day
4. Actually properly read (rather than skim) long form book reviews, think pieces, essays etc. they are worthy of your time! Note down things you like about the reviews and how you can improve your own critiques.
5. Most importantly, keep up your blog!

Happy New Year and all the best with your resolutions, goals and intentions! May 2017 be full of personal achievements.

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