Looking towards 2018, or, the Role Balance Plays in Approaching Your Writing Goals

Here we are, in the last three days of 2017. 

It's putting it mildly to say this year has had its ups and downs. For as many tragedies as there were, there were also causes for celebration, if only in personal lives, if only behind closed doors. 

At the Mors Tua Vita Mea workshop I detailed in my last post, faculty advisor Giancarlo DiTrapano posited that some of the best literature strikes a chord in its opening sallies, and then sustains it throughout the piece. No matter how the characters, the plot, or the narration shifts, that chord resounds and gathers strength as the page count grows.

Andy Wu's mash-up video above, featuring the pop hits of 2017, encapsulates this metaphor for me.

Notice that no matter the contents of the video's "chapters," the same emotional tone is sustained and explored throughout the "Perfect Struggle."

This sustained note (and your approach to writing goals) should be all about balance.

If you've ever sung along with the radio, then you know this balance on a personal level. Your breath is finite. If you don't measure your inhalations and exhalations, you'll never keep up with the singer. (This is also a problem if you try to sing every part in "Bohemian Rhapsody," but I digress.) 

So, as you make champagne toasts and New Year's writing goals, keep this metaphor of balance and sustenance in mind.

Don't forget that you're only human. You need to sleep and work and enjoy time with friends just as much as you need to write. You need to take care of yourself so that you can produce your best work. (Besides, without these experiences, how will your frame of reference grow?) 

Balance yourself between the digital and the physical worlds, between pixels and atoms. Between public and private spaces. Between reviewing the work of others and spending time on your own.

May 2018 be full of balance and sustenance for you. May you feel strength and power in the words that you write.

Best of luck, and a Happy New Year to all!