A Creative Year In Review

It’s still a while before December, but the presence of the coming of the next year – and the ending of the current one – is something that can’t be denied. And sure, a lot of people are looking forward to 2015, but some like to look back and evaluate themselves. What did I do? What did I not do? Three-hundred and sixty five days sounds like a lot of time, and it’ll probably be overwhelming if you try to look back and see how many of those days were spent doing nothing. And doing nothing is okay, except it’s a little questionable if nothing is done over a rather long stretch of time.

Looking back is important, though. Self-evaluation counts if you want to do something different. And most of the time, the New Year means ushering in a “new you,” although that doesn’t always have to be the case. People change over time, but forcing change isn’t going to cut anyone a good deal.

Let’s see. Before the year ends, there are a few things you could do, in order to help yourself formulate what you can do for the next year. Especially if creative growth is your thing.

  • Look at your work over the past year, and see how it evolves over the few months, and how this corresponds to the things happening in your life. If you’ve been consistent in creating something – whether literary, visual, aural, or in whatever medium, really – there’s bound to be slight changes over the course of your work. Whether this is improvement on your part or not, only you can decide. If you’ve still been writing the same way or about the same thing as you did several months ago, you might want to think about that. Your muse gives you an inexhaustible fount of things to write, but writing about the same general subject might be stale.
  • Look at what new things you’ve gotten interested in. A year’s bound to expand your interests, right? See how you’ve incorporated these things in your creations, or look at how your new interests have inspired you in many ways. A good year means a good haul when it comes to what you’ve written, drawn, or done in general, and if your new interests are things that help you creatively, then that’s positive.
  • Look at the things you’ve worked on before Compare them, especially, to what you’ve done this year, and see how you’ve grown – or not grown, because that’s possible (and not something to worry too much about) – and if there’s anything you might want to improve and if there’s anything you might want to make less of.

I’ve been talking in rather vague terms, but I can’t really talk anything specific, especially since the type of advice I’m trying to give can be applied to pretty much anyone and anything. The thing is, though, it’s important to take time to have a quiet period of contemplation, to think about your art and to think about what you do. Looking back might even help you spark your creative drive and work on something new and do something remarkable. And maybe before the year ends, you can create something wonderful, as a last hurrah for the year.


Jillian is an English Literature graduate who loves reading science fiction and fantasy, and is a big fan of J.G. Ballard. She is obsessed with coffee, video games, and rottweilers, and keeps herself busy by writing and walking around a lot. She's currently reading Jeanette Winterson and a lot of YA literature.

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