I was talking with a friend the other day about this past year. To say it was not what we expected is an understatement, but at the same time, for me, it has been good.
Not to say that it has been easy, but there have been so many good things that happened this year. I write because I need to remember. When I start to spiral into depression, like others, I become more negative. More often, people know what I don't like more than what I do like.
I catch myself saying, "I don't like ..." or "This isn't my favorite ..." Much like the season around me, things turn dark, and I feel myself falling. Have I figured out how to stop falling? Not really. The important part, for now, is recognizing the signs that I am falling. Lack of will to write stories is a key one - my creativity drains away.
But, now that I know these things, I can begin plugging holes. One of the ways I do that is by finding little things. (Instagram has been a huge help for this). I have used Instagram to celebrate my trips, to capture scenes, and to center my photographic art.
Another way is to focus on writing, without writing. It sounds odd, but what I have found is that plotting my short stories, novels, or audio dramas has helped. It gives me something to focus on without being ultimately creative. I like solving puzzles - how do the pieces fit together? Is there a logical pattern within the chaos? What am I missing? What do I need to still find? As I work through the outlining, I am able to find the weak parts of a story, the key elements, and the portions I want to focus on.
This year has been a good year for outlining, I might add. I was able to finish several novels, but unable to start writing. Still, I did manage to finish two short stories, and started a play.
As I look into the next year, I don't find myself planning (I don't know how many of us are). What I find myself doing is deciding to do daily or weekly things. For example - I plan to write a little bit every day. A thousand words is a good start. I'll proceed from there.
Taking those outlines and start writing again. Focus on characters and snapshots from the world. Explore history and culture. This coming year, more than anything, will simply just refilling my creativity.
What about you? This year has been difficult for everyone, though some of us have had more thrown at us. What will you do this coming year? Is it going to be a year of healing? Processing? Or something else?