It's Christmas Eve and I'm home with my family for the holidays. Sitting here in my old bedroom has given me an opportunity to reflect, not only on this past year, but also on life in general. I know I've banged on about it a few times in my blog, but 2011 has proved to be a blessed year. Don't get me wrong, I've had more than my fair share of hardship and low points—I've avoided broadcasting much of that online—but on the whole it has been counterbalanced with a healthy dose of things going well for me in my creative life.
Last year I had a bit of a health scare. Not my first, for that matter; for the second time in a twelve month period I was faced with life threatening surgery, which thankfully I made a full recovery from. It marked a turning point for me in many ways and helped me get my priorities straight. This year I've lost weight, improved my sleep (not dramatically, but enough to make me feel better about managing my insomnia) and my general fitness and stamina has improved. I have more energy, more drive, and I feel happier. Yes, there's still room for me to do better, but I've made significant advances that even this time last year seemed impossible. I still have days when I struggle and feel down, but I now see the bright side to many of my problems—even those really difficult financial ones. My mental health is in as positive a state as my physical fitness.
Why mention all this? I guess I made a connection in my reflective state. Things going well for me creatively has improved my general happiness, and being happier has helped motivate me to improve my health and wellbeing, and that in turn has helped boost my creativity. I find myself in a cycle of artistic happiness, one that has without a doubt been fuelled by my commitment to The Artist's Way programme. The rude awakening I had last year forced me back into action; I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started trying to get somewhere again.
Julia Cameron talks in the The Artist's Way about simply turning up to the page, and making a point of doing so every day, no matter how difficult. That is working for me right now. No matter my mood, I aim to write my morning pages every single day, and when mornings don't work out, I write in the afternoons or evenings. It's not always art: hell, it's more often than not a ramble about the crap I've gone through during the course of the previous day, but the point is I do it. I try. I write every day. I turn up to the page.
I don't intend to blog over the holidays, so I'll wish all friends and readers happy holidays now. Here's to a creative and successful 2012—and to keeping trying.