Crystal Ball, Retrospective

driftwood cast ashore cradles a bubble of time encapsulated

driftwood cast ashore
cradles a bubble of time

The year is waning, about to wink out like a dying star, soon to be replaced by a new bright young one. As many people do, I go back and check my resolutions to see how I fared this year. For years I’ve kept a journal, not every day but I figure when I’m too old to do anything but rock in my rocking chair and read, there’s enough to be able to live it all over again (and maybe edit it a bit!). It’s useful for figuring out practical things, like how long it’s been since we bought the fridge, or what the name of someone’s husband was that I met briefly three years ago and suddenly need to remember again because they’re coming to dinner.

It’s useful for charting progress, or in some cases, the lack thereof. I looked back at my entries for this time last year, and while I was startled at some of the similarities (a feeling that the season had gotten out of hand, being verrrrrry tired of eating goodies), I also realized how much I’ve done this year that is new and different.

Last year at this time, I wanted to publish at least one more comic book. I’ve done two, one of them a graphic novel. I resolved to start a website/blog, and that is what you are reading. I planned to up my visibility by going to conventions and expanding my internet activities. Check! I even accomplished some things I had no idea would happen when the year began, notably recording a new album with my band. But lest it sound as if I am bragging, I will admit that I did not succeed in making my work hours any more regular than they have ever been (though the work still gets done, so maybe they don’t need to be), the studio is still not tidy, and, uh… I confess… I didn’t lose weight again.

In all of my art endeavours this year, this blog has been a great motivator. This is my 199th post, and I’m planning number 200 for tomorrow, just to finish off the year on a nice round number. It’s given me some extra deadlines, during two drawing-a-day challenges, which led to some art I’d probably never have gotten done. I’ve met some kindred spirits through it and had some great conversations. I say things here that I would never mention in my rather introspective private journals, which I also continue to write.

Best of all, I get to put up pictures. You can’t see them, but when I scroll through my media files, I’m astonished at the amount of art I’ve put out into the world. Having them appear on the screen in a post makes them look somehow official, like putting a frame on a painting. Seeing how far I’ve come is the best incentive I can imagine to make more art, and aim to make even better art.

What I’m getting around to here is to recommend blogging as a way to stimulate your creativity. It doesn’t have to be fancy and It doesn’t matter how many followers you have for this purpose; it’s the daily or weekly exercise of putting your work “out there”. What counts is the regular additions, making layers from the past to the future.

Hold that thought of personal archaeology. While I was reviewing last year’s year-end entry, I came across this curious oddment:

Journalling is all about time. Trying to snatch bits of life and pin them down outside of time, fossilized for future paleontologists. Some of it is actual bones, and some of it is, well, coprolites. Which some people still find interesting to study. Which just goes to show… something.

Tomorrow: I invite you all to witness me making a fool of myself making resolutions, for the first time in public!

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