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Make 2016 An Opening For Yourself

I’m blaming my writer’s block on the holidays – too much energy spent suppressing my opinions on issues I know will spark a debate with one relative or another, or finding myself in the middle of a family drama teetering on the edge of a swirling, downward spiral.

Of course, it could also be the overconsumption of carbohydrates.

In looking for inspiration, I started reading best- and worst-of lists so prevalent this time of year. One of my favorite daily reads is Literary Hub, an online service that compiles original content and excerpts from journals, bookstores, publishers and non-profits. Their “10 Most Read Stories of the Year” includes “Ten Rules of Writing,” by author Amitava Kumar.

Write every day, have modest goals, turn off the Internet – he suggests using the Freedom app -- and make time for exercise. These sound a lot like New Year’s resolutions.

One of Kumar’s sources of inspiration was V.S. Naipaul’s autobiography, in which the first sentence portrays writing as “an opening in time or a beginning … with movement and rhythm, a history of repeated striving, and of things coming together at last…”

As this New Year gets under way, we have that opening for new beginnings – both as individuals and as members of society. If we pay close attention, keep informed and honor our sense of personal integrity, maybe some of our more specific and traditional resolutions will come a bit easier.

And now that the holidays are over for a while, there are no more excuses for not getting on with it and writing!

I’m Paula Garrett, and that’s my perspective.

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