At the end of 2014, I completed a series of exercises by Ali Edwards, to discover my “word for 2015” – a sort of mantra, to try and inspire me throughout the year. That word was “EXPLORE”.
So, did I ‘explore’ in 2015? And if so, how? Well, perhaps not in the most literal sense – there was no beating through jungles or trekking through deserts – but happily, by having the word in my mind throughout the year, I think I made quite a few decisions with exploration in mind.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Exploring new writing styles: I’ve tried my hand at April’s National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) a couple of times now, but this year, I came across Poetry Month Scouts, from the Found Poetry Review, which set a different task each day, based around found poetry. Having only known a little about this before, I jumped in, and am so glad I did – I learned a lot, and came away with thirty new poems, about half of which I can definitely develop, and have already started doing so.
- Exploring new places: Not quite the ‘back of beyond’, but thanks to trips away, I got to know some new places better, and reconnected with the glory that is Paris. Spending a week there back in June, we explored new areas, revisited known ones with fresh eyes, and generally felt a better connection to the city than any of us had done in years.
- Exploring opportunities: This is the big one. Submitting my novel back in spring is clearly the best thing I have ever done, writing-wise, and has also given me opportunities to explore other avenues, including this blog. So, great stuff all round! And seeing this link, with all those lovely flags, makes me feel extremely lucky and proud.
- Exploring new skills: In August of this year, I ran my first writing workshop, and I loved every minute. Definitely something I want to keep exploring.
That was 2015, what about 2016?
Well, having gone through the exercises again, my word for 2016 is “CHALLENGE”. I like this, and it ties in nicely with ‘explore’, which I’ll not be leaving behind entirely. And I already have a couple of challenges in mind to test me…