What Kind of Year Has It Been

If you know me, you know I like to wrap things up. Give me tidy little bows. To use an example that I'm sure would make me wildly unpopular among film buffs, I can't appreciate a Coen Brothers' film because I don't think they end well. And sure, I get that a lot of times the non-ending they always pull is the point, but I don't really like that point. That's off track though. Today, we're going to wrap up 2014. We're going to give it a nice bow and then we're going to leave it behind. We won't need it anymore. We can talk about what we learned and take those things with us as we cross this threshold into this New Year, but the past is and will remain the past. It is no longer us.

But what can we take with us? We're packing up, moving out, getting a new place. What do we want to load into our cars and unpack to keep for another year?

Here's some of the things I'm bringing along:

Comic book format. This is the year I first tried writing this style and I love it. Came up with multiple drafts of five issues of a long-form story, a second draft of a first issue of another ongoing series, and a few shorts. One of the shorts in particular, whoa, I can't wait to show you.

Conscious decisions. Probably more of an ongoing thing than a 2014 in particular thing, but I'm learning that things don't happen until we decide to make them happen. You want to be a better artist? Work on it every day. You want to get over some past hurt? Work on it every day. We aren't handed much of anything. Show what's important to you by reaching out for it.

Meaningful does not equal negative. I think I'm really good at putting meaning into, or taking meaning from, bad experience or thoughts. They have meaning for sure. But so does happiness. So do all of the good things you can see and hear and feel. Invest in those and you'll get a much better return.

The importance of people. This year provided me much more clarity about who is important and how I feel about them. I met someone who is constantly changing me for the better and brings the warmth of sunlight into my life. I feel more invested in my close friends and family than ever before. And yes, it was also a year to let some people go. This is just as important as drawing people closer. See "conscious decisions."

Why I do it. It's been another year of, if I look at statistics and those types of things, no notable success with writing. No huge spike in blog traffic, no editors pounding down my door to get me to write for them. It's also been a year where I have a lot to be proud of. All these words haven't written themselves. I've put down the groundwork for a lot of things, even if they can't be measured quantitatively yet.

That's what I've got. The rest, give or take, is staying behind me. 2014 can have it. I've got a New Year to face.

So do you.

Let's see where it gets us.