It's hard to know where to start exactly. I am not a fan of resolutions. I have never really understood the purpose of making promises just because it is a new year. Honestly, if you want to change something in your life, why wait until New Years? Add that to the fact that most resolutions last for a matter of weeks and they seem even more pointless.
Two years ago, I took on the 365 challenge; a photo a day for the entire year. It was a fun project and it is now interesting to look back at what I did for an entire year. We so often marvel at how quickly time goes by and that project gave me the gift of seeing where a year really went.
I attempted the challenge again this past year but lost interest three or four months in. It wasn't holding my attention the way it had the previous year. Part of me thinks I wasn't doing as many activities so I was less inclined to share my life. I felt like there really wasn't anything going on in my life that warranted documentation. However, I did miss the challenge of pushing myself to do something every day. That's where 2013 comes in.
Back in September I became aware of the idea of having a "word of the year." Instead of having resolutions for things you wanted to change, you pick a word and focus on bringing more of that concept into your life. More information on the topic can be found here: http://christinekane.com/resolution-revolution-a-better-way-to-start-your-year/. I decided that this was something I really wanted to do for 2013, (technically I had to convince myself not to try doing the word of the year in September). Once I made the decision, picking the word was extraordinarily difficult. I rattled around with words like: self-love, confidence, trust, mindfulness, and peace. None of them seemed to fit and I was getting increasingly frustrated. At the same time, I was fascinated by painting with watercolors with my preschool class, something I hadn't done in years. I started taking an interest in other art mediums as well, and I came to realize that I really hadn't taken care of myself creatively in quite some time; over 17 years to be exact.
When I was younger, I allowed two situations to take creativity away from me. The first happened in grade school. I loved to draw, and so did a boy in my class. In the fifth grade, he started challenging me to "art contests". Another student would pick what we were to draw, and we would each submit a drawing for judging by classmates (mostly his friends). I always lost. This would then prompt him to say "the master beat you", every time he saw me or passed me in the halls. This is about when I quit drawing anything other than a random doodle.
The second situation came in high school. I loved creative writing and storytelling. We had a writers' workshops in eighth grade during which I created a story that I was very proud of. In sophomore year of high school, a friend of my dad's announced she wanted to start a young writers website and asked to see my story. What I got back was my beautiful story with entire pages lined out with only the note "unnecessary detail" She never talked to me, she just mailed it back like that. I was devastated. It was at that time that I stopped writing. I have had a near terminal case of writers block ever since.
So...with all that personal history out in the open my word for this year is creativity. I am merging my word of the year, with the 365 challenge. It is my goal to spend at least 30 minutes every day in some sort of creative endeavour. I have supplies, I have desire, now I just have to do it.
Staring down this challenge I am both excited and anxious. I don't know what I will create, I don't know if it will be any good. I don't know if I can create without being horribly critical of the end result. Mostly I'm scared that I don't know how to be creative any more. That sounds like a silly fear even as I type it.
Well...goodbye 2012...hello 2013.