“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin
The new year stretches before each of us like a blank page or newly stretched canvas. What will you do with your year ahead to push yourself to blossom and create? I’ll be honest: I prefer making goals rather than resolutions. Goals can be achieved and measured. There’s accountability, if only to myself. Because written goals are more likely to be accomplished, I’ll share a few of mine with you. As 2014 fades into memory, pull out your own pen, rip out a clean sheet of paper, and jot down your own goals. A year from now, what do you resolve to have completed?
Write More. Commit to getting words on the page. As Neil Gaiman said, “Embrace your fear of failure. Make peace with the impostor syndrome that comes with success. Don’t be afraid of being wrong.”
- Join other writers at The Writer’s Center.
- Attend a writing retreat someplace like The Porches.
- Consider personal goals and do a weekly check-in with an accountability buddy.
Submit. A key to publication is submission. Little Patuxent Review‘s deadline for our summer edition is March 1. Focusing on a submission goal and setting deadlines for myself works for me. How about you?
- Consider also the Baker Artist Awards (Deadline: January 15)
- Enoch Pratt Free Library Poetry Contest (Deadline: March 1)
Read Less. This may sound counterproductive, but I want to select books which inspire me to become a better writer. These novels or short stories are the kind I’ll want to savor, possibly analyze, and discuss.
- Join a book club, like the Brown Bag Book Club at GreenRow Books in Ellicott City.
- Pick up some interesting reads at BrickHouse Books.
- Swap books at The Book Thing of Baltimore.
Attend Readings. Hearing authors read from their novels, and learning about their process helps me feel part of a tribe. Listening lifts me up when I’m in the throes of darkness, hearing that gremlin who resides under my bed, whispering, “You think you’re a writer?”
- January 15: J.M Tyree and Elizabeth Kadetsky , two authors selected as Vogue’s “best under-the-radar reads” share their most recent work, at The Ivy Bookshop, 7 p.m., FREE.
- January 24: Little Patuxent Review Winter 2015 Launch Reading, 2-4 p.m., FREE
- February 7: An Irish Evening with Emma Donoghue at the Smith Theatre, 7:30 p.m., Tickets required
- March 3: Michael Salcman,”The Enemy of Good is Better” at The Ivy Bookshop, 7 p.m., FREE
View more Art. I’m a big fan of the artist date, where I step away from my own work to view others’ art. This act of appreciation fills me with gratitude and inspires me to work longer and harder at my own craft. What methods to you use to refill your own artistic well?
- Check out the Creative Alliance.
- Take a road trip to the Brandywine River Museum of Art, home to some of the Wyeth family art collection, among other greats.
- Renew membership at the American Visionary Art Museum.
From all of us at Little Patuxent Review, thank you for a wonderful 2014.
Happy New Year.