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Well then

Somehow the three-day weekend has completely gotten away from me. Here it is, Sunday afternoon, and all the things I was going to do are undone. I read a novel, and played games on the computer, and watched Criminal Minds, and chatted with friends and enjoyed Irish music. I guess that’s what people do on holiday weekends, isn’t it? I wrote for a while, did some yoga, baked bread for the first time in ages, started in seriously on a big important project that has to be completed this year.

But I’d intended to blog about the blue moon, and about the palindrome day, and missed both of them. I suppose as long as I get my photo essay on 2009 done sometime this week they won’t be too out of place.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the closing weeks of 2009 and the first days of 2010 organizing things. Files, thoughts, ideas, plans. None of this work is the kind of thing that I can take a photo of, or hold up and point to, but it should provide the foundation for a whole host of tangible results.

I didn’t make any resolutions this year. Instead, I sat down and made a list of the things I want or need to accomplish this year. More in the nature of an over-arching annual to-do list than a detailed list of proscriptions and prescriptions. I’m not sure there really is a clear distinction between goals and resolutions, but nonetheless mine are the former and definitely not the latter.

Some of these goals are small but important things that I’ve been dawdling on. The biggest ones require me to get serious about a couple of big projects I’ve been idly poking at for a year or two, to commit the time to actually get them substantially underway, if not entirely completed. I’m exceptionally good at coming up with ideas and starting projects, but not so hot at finishing them. This year is a year for organizing and dealing with all of those remnants, even if the correct answer is to pitch the project. Organize, get rid of things that do not contribute to happiness and productivity, add only things that do.

My major goal for the year is twofold: make more art; support more artists. I’d like to encourage everyone who reads this blog to adopt the same goal. Bring something into the world that is new, that never would have existed had I not laid hand to it. The second one is crucial. There would be no art if there were no support for artists. If you can, try to buy more books, or jewelry, or prints. Visit a museum, gallery, see a play, hear live music. If you have no money to spare, like so many right now, there are other things you can do. Request your local public library to buy a book by an author you like, so that lots of people can read her work. Write a book review for your blog, or Amazon, or GoodReads. Tell a friend about something beautiful you saw, or read, or heard. Support doesn’t require money, though that’s the easiest approach. Your time is valuable too – word of mouth is a powerful tool. Tell someone that their work inspired you. Most authors, musicians, painters, photographers have web pages or blogs or LJ accounts, and would love being told that their work touched you.

Then go out and make something of your own.

Postscript: I honestly did plan the larger part of this post before I saw Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s wish. He says much the same thing, only more elegantly.

3 Comments on “Well then”

  1. #1 Sally
    on Jan 3rd, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Isn’t your to-do list really a set of resolutions?

    I think I might appropriate your suggestions (or at least link to them). and really, you have said it as eloquently as Boss, just not in a suit!

  2. #2 Aleta
    on Jan 3rd, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Great approach to the new year. I am also much better at the shiny new ideas than the completing things part of life. This is also a focus for my year. Thanks for these words. They affirm much I’ve been thinking on and inspire me to act in ways I both want to and need to in the coming year.

    Happy New Year!

  3. #3 Marjorie
    on Jan 4th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I think you’re very eloquant and elegant. Even if you didn’t type in a Tuxedo or weild a chainsaw;-)

    Of course, one of the great things about supporrting artists is that it is a two-way thing. You get the pleasure of reading the book / looking at the picture / listening to the music as well as the warm glow of supporting someone in making, or continuing to make, beautiful things.