Saturday, January 3, 2009

Writing Myself into the New Year

I'm sitting at my desk surrounded by notebooks -- my writing and art and life journals from 2008 -- and am in the middle right now of a process I do each year sometime between Christmas and the middle of January.  I go back through my writing notebooks of the past year, pulling out poem drafts, story ideas, character sketches, art ideas, notes about marketing, and drawings I want to save. As I work through the 20-25 notebooks, I'm also reading the year's story of my ups and downs -- as an artist and writer, of course, but mostly as a PERSON -- and thinking about the year in front of me.  

Now, I'm not big on resolutions. They go the way diets go for me.  Badly. Let's just say they stimulate a spirit of rebellion.  So, yeah, I'm thinking about the things I'd like to do differently. But what works better for me than making a resolution (or five or 20) is to look at how I want my day to go.  Do I want the balance to swing toward art or writing or both?  Do I want solitude?  To be inside or outside more? What keeps me from doing the creative work I love? What can I do (ya know -- TODAY) to change that?  In what ways do I want to share myself and my work with others? Where do family and friends fit in?  

Gradually, as I've taken this time at the end of one year and beginning of another to ask myself these questions, I've begun to experience each day as the gift that it is. Days that actually DO yield creative work -- like the 40 or so pretty rough poem drafts I pulled out of my journals today and the mixed media art quilt ("Mardi Gras Me-dusa") above, that this time last year was only a sketch or two in one of those notebooks.

So, here I am, answering a couple of this year's writing myself into the new year questions by starting another new notebook (of sorts) -- setting out to keep a blog! Hoping to connect with you here and wishing you a happy and creative new year!


Marilyn said...


How exciting to see you here--and how natural. Makes me wonder why you haven't done this sooner, but I know everything happens in its own time. The art, by the way, is terrific and reflects your newest creative endeavors (since leaving LA, that is.) Looking forward to hearing/seeing more of you.

Happy New Year!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Welcome to the dark side. Heh. Heh.

No really. Welcome to one of the best time wasters in the universe. Blogging is an amazing way to meet incredible people and not work on my WIP at the same time. Bonus! ;-)

There are a lot of wonderful people out here in the blogosphere. I hope you meet some of them soon.

Fran said...

Congratulations, Julie! Nobody responded to me the first day...

You'll become a bit obsessed, I'm afraid. But it's a nice obsession. You really find yourself caring about your readers. Who are they? Where are they? Why are they reading ME?

And it is a wonderful way to get some of those bottled-up thoughts out there, over and above the more literary ponderings.

I know you're following my art blog, but I do hope you wander into the writing one too. I'd love to see you there.

Good luck.