a reflection on reading & writing in 2016

2016 has been full of many challenges, personal and otherwise. But I’m not here to reflect on what many are calling the worst year ever through the large scope. I’m here to focus on a few smaller things in the thick of it all.

This year I felt like I really got on track with my reading and writing again. I didn’t meet every goal, and certainly didn’t accomplish everything I set out to do– but it was a beautiful year nonetheless.

Take a moment to step away from the craziness of the outside world, and focus in on your little bubble. If you did any of these things, you deserve an extra glass of champagne (or sparkling cider in my case), or a few extra chocolate covered strawberries– or whatever you use to celebrate the new year, get extra.

YOU WROTE

It doesn’t matter if you only wrote a sentence, a page, a chapter, or a whole book. YOU WROTE. Give yourself some serious pats on the back. This is more than so many do. We probably can’t count how many times we’ve heard, “I’ve always wanted to write, BUT–” or, “I have this great book idea, BUT–”

You didn’t give in to that BUT. You made it a priority to get something down on paper (per say).

YOU READ

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t finish the book yet. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t make it past page one. You picked out a book and decided you were going to read it. Despite all the other distractions in life. Despite that to-do list that could be clogging up your brain. You decided to take the time and READ.

“How do you find time to read?”

“I want to read, I just don’t have the time!”

These might seem legitimate when they’re being said, but the only way you HAVE time, is to MAKE time. You decided that reading was a priority, and you sacrificed something else that might not have been necessary to the HERE and NOW (or some dirty dishes, or dusting, or whatever) and chose, instead, to take time to do something that is important to you.

And reading IS important. Just as important as writing. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

YOU CREATED SOMETHING

An article. A Lego castle. A painting. A story. A poem. A new recipe. An old recipe. A work project.

Whatever it was, you created something. You took something out of nothing, or something old, and made it brand spanking new and all your OWN.

THAT IS AMAZING.

YOU FAILED

 

You cannot fail at anything unless you TRY. If you failed at something, that means you took the first step and tried.

You queried a bunch of agents and got rejected. You created something that ended up not working out. You literally took a test and didn’t do your best.

Failure is a beautiful part of life. It is what makes us human, what makes us risk-takers, what makes us artists. There is no life, no art, no beauty without failure.

Remember that.

 

Despite all the bad, look on 2016 with love. You’re still here, still breathing, still fighting– and you can only hope that 2017 will end just as well.

 

HAPPY (almost) NEW YEAR!

 

Also, on a more personal note: thank you for following and encouraging and being here for me. This blog was a new project of 2016, and I can’t wait to see it continue to grow in 2017. God bless.

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trackback thursday: birth of the american civil rights movement

rosa_parks_bookingOn December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back section of the bus.

Because she sat down and refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, Parks was arrested for disobeying an Alabama law requiring blacks to relinquish seats to whites when the bus was full. African Americans were also supposed to sit at the back of the bus, which Parks refused to do.

Her arrest sparked a 381-day boycott, by African Americans and others involved in the Civil Rights Movement, of the Montgomery bus system. It also led to a 1956 Supreme Court decision banning segregation on public transportation.

Parks and her husband were active in the Montgomery Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). While working as a tailor’s assistant, Mrs. Parks served as chapter secretary. Later, she advised the NAACP Youth Council. Denied the right to vote on at least two occasions because of her race, Rosa Parks also worked with the Voters League to prepare blacks to register to vote.

Rosa Parks became known as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” honored with awards around the world.