I stopped doing resolutions for the new year a long time ago. I could never keep them! I would certainly *think* about doing said promised resolution, and then I would find a reason why I didn’t need to do it. And then I would feel all bent out of shape and shameful for not following through with it. I suppose the key factor is having a desire to do the resolution in the first place!
2017 was blissfully chaotic for me. A new home, a new baby, and a book deadline! Don’t ask me how I did it, because I’m not entirely sure myself. I accomplished so much, and yet there is still so much that got left behind in all the hullaballoo that involves a newborn baby, a dining room-turned studio, and a half unboxed home.
So throughout this past year, I keep finding myself in this overwhelmed state, where all I crave is just a small bit of peace, quiet, and my own creative time to do what I want. Everyone keeps saying, “The best way to sell your book is to make more books!” and “Always be working on the next project!” and “Keep those submissions going out!” That is all very sage advice, and probably exactly what I should be doing.
But what I really, really want to do, is have some selfish, creative, me time.
I want to pull out all my paints, my inks, and my barely touched pastels, and draw (...or even trace! Gasp! The horror!) some silly fan art of a favorite Disney character, and just BE in the art. It has been too long since my college days, when I’d come home with paint all over my pants, or in my hair. There is too much pressure to create something perfect... to create the next big thing. I just want to play with the materials like I did when I was little. I want to delve in and explore, and see things with fresh eyes and a new perspective.
I know I ought to plan a regular time to do it. (Once a week! Twice a month! Butt in chair!) I also know myself and my domestic responsibilities, and that it isn’t going to happen that way. What is going to happen, is this little ember of creativity that is glowing will one day start to burn brighter, and then all of a sudden it will ignite and burst into a flame. And at that moment, I will take hold of my little creative fire and run it to the currently unfinished basement I now call my studio, and I will put that fire into something wonderful.
So, I guess that’s it! That’s my resolution: to play like a kid again.
To be spontaneous. To be creative. To keep that creative soul burning bright.
I think, for once, I’ll be able to keep this resolution.
I’ve got a good feeling about this one.
Melanie Linden Chan
MOTH AND WASP, SOIL AND OCEAN: REMEMBERING CHINESE SCIENTIST PU ZHELONG by Sigrid Schmalzer; illustrated by Melanie Linden Chan
Tilbury House Publishers, February 6, 2018
Available for Pre-order now!