Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Resolution 2017: Mission Accomplished

Back at the start of the year, I decided to make a resolution. I don't usually make
New Year's resolutions, because I know that usually, I can't follow through. I give
up after a matter of just a few short weeks. This year was different. I was going to
do my best to write something every single day in 2017.


In my first article for the year, I wrote: "Plus, by informing my viewing audience
about my resolution, I have forced myself to follow through on my resolution.
I'm going to feel like an idiot if I don't follow through - that's just how I am."


Some days it was easy, and other days it was almost impossible. I would be on
my way to bed, exhausted from the long day of work, and my brain would remind
me Have you written today? And I would groan and stumble over to my computer
to add a few paragraphs to my next article.


The pinnacle of the year of writing had to be the WELS Worship Conference posts
in June and my European vacation back in June and July. Writing never gets
any easier than when you're experiencing something truly special. Both the
Worship Conference and the giant European vacation were amazing events
that were begging for me to write every night. I would sit on my bed wherever
I was in the world and write all the cool stuff that happened that day. I was
incredibly exhausted on some nights, but I knew that I just had to write stuff
down - if I didn't I would forget something in my sleep!


I loved getting messages about my blog posts, too. I didn't get comments on
the blog itself, but in conversations with people they would mention they
enjoyed my posts. Naturally, many of them were talking about those vacation
blogs, but there were other posts, too. One person completely broke down
my recent The Last Jedi blog on Twitter, providing some good counterpoints
to the points that I made.


Aside from this blog, I put together some musical compositions, as well.
One of my favorites was a violin descant for the hymn "By Faith." This
hymn is a new one to our church, but we've had a very talented violinist
play the melody a few times with the congregation. She was going to be playing it
with me as the pianist, and she said she was a bit bored with playing
just the melody. So a few hours later, I sent her my descant after
coming up with it during that morning's Bible Class. (Don't tell Pastor.)
She loved it and has used it a few times since.

This video doesn't have any picture - only audio.



I also composed a piano piece based on a new song, "Christ Begins."
My school was singing that for graduation in June, and I decided to try
my luck at a composition based on that song. I only really had the first
part of the song in my head, but the rest of it took a bit of playing on the
piano to get down. One of my favorite parts ended up just being
something I randomly played as I was thinking of a way to transition
between stanzas of the hymn!



In the winter I really enjoyed writing some short stories, though as
the year progressed (and I went on vacations and started counting
down to The Last Jedi) my writing turned away from them. I enjoyed
the chance to explore genres that I normally didn't write and expand
my writing even more than usual.


Even with the constant writing, I did leave a lot of potential articles on
the cutting room floor, either because I didn't have enough to write a
full article or I was just too tired to think of a way to complete it. For example,
I just attended my first bowl game ever - the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa
Clara, CA. It was a great experience, but I just couldn't figure out a way
to make it a full article. So I'm not writing it.


There were a few days where my resolution didn't get followed,
although they were few. I consider a failure of a New Year's
Resolution to be when a resolution is started, and then unceremoniously
dumped after the first month and never taken up again. At least
when I forgot a day, I picked it up again and kept going.


Thank you, readers, for helping me to follow through on this
resolution. Because I made it public, I was pressured to follow
through (just like I thought I would be) on the writing. I wrote short
stories, compositions, blog posts, letters, journal entries, and
more in these 365 days of 2017. To my delight, I found myself
improving in my writing over the year, and I hope that this
improvement transitions into more writing opportunities in the future!


Don’t be surprised if I don’t post anything on the blog in the
month of January - I’ll be taking a well-deserved break. But
February already promises to be full of exciting events, including the
return of the Winter Olympic Blurb!

If your 2018 New Year’s resolution is to get better at something,
remember that practice makes progress. The more you do that
resolution, the better you’ll be. It won’t happen immediately, and
don’t give up if the improvement doesn’t happen right away. Keep
at it, and suddenly it will be December 31. With confidence
you can announce: Mission Accomplished!

My name is Claire Nat! You can follow me on Twitter @CeePipes, or follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/blurbmusings. Check out my blog for other articles!



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