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I want to set myself up for success in 2015…not failure and self-loathing. So I am revising my New Year’s resolution. It is, therefore, serendipitous, that one of my favorite authors, Deb Harkness, posted the perfect option today.

My original resolution was to write half an hour everyday…rain or shine…brilliance or crap. I thought I could stick to it…a half an hour a day is not much…and I write this blog every day…it should have been quite manageable. But almost two weeks into the New Year and I find that I’ve only stuck to my resolution one day…January 1st. This doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on creative projects, but I also haven’t been free writing in the way I intended. Rather than ignoring this fact, forcing myself to stick to an ill-fated plan, and berating myself until I finally accepted defeat months down the road, I’m facing reality and revising my resolution now (since I still like the idea of having one).

Today, Deb Harkness posted the Nebraska Humanities, “12 Humanities Resolutions for 2015.” Not only did it look like fun…akin to, but more writerly than my former, “drink more champagne” resolution…I also thought it would compliment this blog very nicely. I don’t feel too badly about this change in resolutions, since I will be doing lots of writing with the upcoming NYC Midnight Short Story competition and other contests I’m entering. So here you have my revised 2015 New Year’s resolution…and I’m not even behind!


Other than revising my resolution, I’ve been reading off and on throughout the day…skimming today’s issue of Sapling, reading from Daily Rituals, and catching up on articles on brainpicking.org. I just finished reading an interview with filmmaker, Werner Herzog, on the subject of “No-Nonsense Advice to Aspiring Filmmakers and Creative Entrepreneurs.” The entire interview is worth a read, and I have included a link to it below, but I especially enjoyed the description he gave of his ideal film school, based on his fervent belief that all creative work should come from personal experience, as opposed to learning. He says:

You would be allowed to submit an application only after having travelled, alone and on foot, let’s say from Madrid to Kiev, a distance of nearly two thousand miles. While walking, write about your experiences, then give me your notebooks. I would immediately be able to tell who had really walked and who had not. You would learn more about filmmaking during your journey than if you spent five years at film school. Your experiences would be the very opposite of academic knowledge, for academia is the death of cinema. Somebody who has been a boxer in Africa would be better trained as a filmmaker than if he had graduated from one of the “best” film schools in the world. All that counts is real life.


I think the revision of my resolution is very in keeping with Herzog’s ideas about creating from experience. I’ve created a new resolution based on past experiences of failure. This year is not about failure; it’s about being open to success…in whatever form it comes…even if it’s not how I expect.