It’s one of those cliches we can’t seem to let pass.
New year, new me. New experiences. New life.
When it comes to creativity, so many of us make promises. We’re finally going to do it this year. Or we’re not going to let it slow us down this time around.
This doesn’t work for everyone. Not everyone believes a new year means it’s time for a reset.
But many do. Many need it; crave it; thrive because of it.
Some people just need to start sprinting forward without looking back. Abandon all those old, unfinished projects they just don’t want to work on anymore. Forget all their mistakes and shortcomings and unachieved goals. Start fresh. Start again.
If that’s what you need — and doing so isn’t going to set you back, stress you out beyond rationale, or obliterate your career (unless that’s what you’re going for, in that case, go you!) — there’s nothing wrong with that. For a lot of people, the New Year is the time to begin anew.
But that also doesn’t mean you can’t still appreciate where you are, where you came from, all you actually have accomplished up until this point. Because chances are, out of your past have come amazing things, even if they haven’t always felt amazing.
Don’t use a fresh start as an excuse to run from both the good and bad elements of your past. You can embrace the new and still cherish the old. You’re probably never going to reread that terrible first draft of that book you wrote last year. But you can still keep it on your hard drive. Remember all it meant to you. Appreciate all you learned from the experience.
And just because you’ve decided not to work on that book or blog or other creative project anymore doesn’t mean all that time you spent on it was a waste. Chances are, you’re actively choosing to let it go because you’ve learned everything you can from it. If you have nothing more to gain, there’s no reason to keep holding on. It served its purpose for you. It’s OK to say goodbye.
Now it’s time to press on. Wherever you’re heading, whatever you’re planning on doing next, run toward it with newfound enthusiasm. Remember that you have grown, that you are a better version of you now than you ever have been. You have stories inside you. Ideas guiding you. Chances awaiting your courage. Opportunities hoping you’ll accept and embrace them.
You can do this. Technically, you really have nothing at all to lose.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.