By Kat Dodd
Celebrating the New Year is often about embracing the future and reflecting on the past. We either embrace the lessons learned from the past year or leave them behind happily while we happily go towards the possibilities the future brings. As writers, we often imagine the future and reflect on the past ourselves when we put put pen to paper or type our imaginations into written record. However, I believe some of the greatest stories and poems written focus on the present moment for the author or the present moment imagined by the author as you read along.
Yes, the future does bring hope along with it and the past helps us learn from our mistakes. In the same sense, writing about the potential future opens the imaginations of readers and the past helps us understand some of the present actions and situations in fiction. Yet, nothing can bring a better personal and environmental awareness than embracing the present moment fully both as a writer and an individual. We use our personal perspective within life itself in everything we imagine as writer, no matter what topic we are attempting to entertain the reader with. Therefore, finding inspiration when it seems to allude you can be as simple as taking the time to be mindful of your own life itself. This is how we not only focus on those introspective perceptions that form some of the best works of literature, but how we find inspiration even when it seems as though we lack great movement in our own lives or the world around us.
I am not a Buddhist even though I am telling you that mindfulness is the key to becoming a better writer and enjoying life more in general. However, the most meaningful times in our lives are the little moments we meditate on and our interactions with everyone we meet, not just the most important people to us. We do not have to meditate in the traditional sense or go into a trance to "smell the roses" so-to-speak or find something new everyday that just might inspire us in every way. If we can achieve this, there is no limit to the inspiration we can find in the now.
I think that the best thing we can do to embrace the New Year is not simply to reflect on the past and look forward to the future by attempting something traditional like a New Year's resolution after enjoying an indulgent party. Instead, we can embrace the idea to enjoy daily life to the fullest and absorb everything around us as writers. We still want to make a promise to ourselves to take advantage of the New Year but we want to look at that more as an opportunity to make the most out of life instead of correcting what we see as our past mistakes both as writers and individuals. In the present is where we truly find the future in ourselves and everything we do.