Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

My first Zentangle-inspired drawing -- fun!

My first Zentangle-inspired drawing — fun!

I’m so happy to be back home again after getting stuck in that huge storm in Ohio on the day after Christmas. We started trying to drive home but only made it 50 miles in 90 minutes before we decided it was safer to get a hotel and try again the next day. The roads were just AWFUL, with cars and semi trucks in ditches everywhere. Once we resigned ourselves to the fact that we wouldn’t get home that day, it actually turned out to be a relaxing day. We napped in the afternoon and went out to a very nice dinner at a restaurant recommended by our hotel clerk. The roads were totally cleared by morning, and we finished the other 250 miles easily and safely. Unfortunately we arrived home to about 6 inches of snow here too. It’s unfortunate just because I don’t like this much snow. I was hoping we’d have a repeat of last winter, very mild temperatures and little snow. I’ll probably go out and play in the snow a little bit, but then I’ll be over it. Just not my thing.

But back to the question: Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t. At least not officially. I think I have an odd superstition that announcing a resolution is dooming it to failure. Isn’t that silly? I know common wisdom says you need to tell other people about your goals to further commit yourself to them, but that actually puts pressure on me in an unproductive way. I’m sure it’s no surprise to my readers that my mind often works directly opposite the way most other people think. Just one more way I’m “special”, I guess. 😉

You knew I'd have to find a way to incorporate birds into my drawings, didn't you?

You knew I’d find a way to incorporate birds into my drawings, didn’t you?

But this year I might take a small chance and talk about one of my goals for 2013. I have a few private goals I’m going to work on this year, but my one public resolution is going to be about focusing more on improving my writing. Over the past couple of years I’ve been dreaming of writing a book. I’ve read innumerable books about writing, some of which included day-by-day writing exercises and prompts designed to instill the habit of writing every day.  I made halfhearted attempts to follow their suggestions, but none of them “stuck”. I do have tons of notes and files about possible book topics, but I feel I’m just flailing around with no focus and motivation.

So I’ve paid a small fee for a writing workshop that starts next week. It’s really just another format for one of those daily writing prompts, but this time I’m doing it with other people and being motivated (hopefully) by a great teacher.  It’s called the “21 Moments Monthly Writing Challenge”, and will be led by Christina Katz. I’ve been subscribed to her Prosperous Writer e-zine for a while, and she offered this private workshop to all her subscribers at a great price, so I couldn’t pass it up. It feels like just the right speed and format to get me off to a great start for the new year. The plan is for us to write a 200-500 word piece every day for 21 days in January. That’s do-able, right? And who knows, maybe once my writing wheels are greased I’ll be off and running on one of my book ideas.

This is my favorite one so far

This is my favorite one so far

One other thing I do that isn’t the norm in our culture is that I do my spring cleaning in January rather than in the spring. This is a leftover habit from the years I lived in Japan, where their tradition of cleaning at New Year’s seemed to resonate more with me. I generally focus more on declutterizing than “cleaning” though, and this year I’m going to continue my quest to rid my house of excess yarn and knitting supplies I don’t need any more. I’m still knitting occasionally, but I’ve got SO much stuff I don’t need any more. I started selling some of my knitting books on Ravelry last month, but might end up donating a bunch to the library because it’s easier than constant trips to the post office to ship books.

Once I get all that knitting stuff out of here I’ll be able to reorganize my studio for my current interests. I’ll have one desk for writing, another desk for drawing, and room to store all my camera gear so it doesn’t have to be all over the dining room table anymore. The husband should appreciate that part! (I haven’t mentioned my drawing here yet because I just discovered Zentangle a few weeks ago. The images in this post are some of the Zentangle-inspired art I’ve created so far — it’s very relaxing and fun.)

I hope you all have safe and fun New Year’s celebrations, if that’s your thing. Our plans are the same as every New Year’s Eve: Enjoy a quiet evening at home with books and movies and a nice bottle of wine. Just the way I like it.

Be well, everyone, and thanks again for your support this year.

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5 Responses to Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

  1. pat clair says:

    Glad to read about your trip back-I am so glad you stopped for the night because we were so worried about you. We just got 6 more inches of snow here! I am sure you did too. Writing a book will be great! Right down your alley and who knows if you may sell a book. Do not sell all your knitting patterns though – you are too good at that and it is therapy for your hands and mind. After you type a book all day online, you will need to flex those fingers!! Keep warm and I miss you already!——Love, Mom and Dad too

  2. I’m glad you made the decision to wait out the snowstorm. It’s better to get home late than to never arrive at all. I despise driving on wintry roads. Of course, living in Canada means I have no choice.

    I don’t make resolutions any more. Like you, I always felt trapped in some way by them. Now I decide on New Year’s directions I might want to head in. They are just starting points on January 1, and I might keep travelling directly down that path, or veer off in different directions over the year.

    Good luck with the writing! And I love your art work. I am envious. I have always wanted to be able to draw, but stick figures are the best I can do.

    Happy New Year!

    • Kim says:

      I like that: New Year’s directions….good way to think of it. As for the drawing, seriously, I’ve never been able to draw either but this is just doodling. And it’s sooooo relaxing. If you want to see what I mean, just draw a square of about 2 or 3 inches across and fill it with very small circles — you’ll feel almost like you’re meditating. It’s far out, man! (Pretending I’m back in the 70s today….)

      Kim

  3. littlesundog says:

    Kim the Zentangle is gorgeous!! My favorite (being wildlife woman) is the rare daisy-breasted sparrow! How beautiful… even stunning!! How did you discover Zentangle?

    I do not make resolutions… another societal expectation that causes me stress. I do support and encourage those who do practice making resolutions though. It is a good time to start fresh with something and try to stick with it.

    • Kim says:

      Thanks for the compliments, I really love them too. I think I just stumbled upon Zentangle one day while browsing the web for a blank book to use for writing exercises. Now I have my very own sketchbook and feel like a real artist! I just finished drawing a bookmark this evening while winding down before bed…maybe I’ll share a pic of it next time.

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