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Vocal-izing 2024

Renewed resolutions for a New Year

By Ellen StedfeldPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 3 min read

New Year's resolutions are a touchy subject for some people - resistant to setting unrealistic goals, and the unpleasant weight of added expectations, aiming for changes that may never happen. Are you setting a new course for yourself, or should focus on developing who you already are?

To me, this is all the same, really. However you word it, the start of a new year (along with birthdays and new endeavors) stirs an awareness of the passage of time. Past, present, future. Considering how the year before has played out, and what the next one will be. This may lead us to reflect on our daily habits and broadest goals, perhaps yet unachieved. To examine the elements that shapes our identities, perception, and self-worth. Choosing an intentional approach to contend with these thoughts full of disappointment/excitement, opting to renew these vows to ourselves yet again... or for some, to not engage in the tiring over-hyped practice of making resolutions.

But personally, this is where I lean into being a joiner, an optimist, and sucker for stuff like this - seasonal reasons to ponder deeply and find the fun in it. I enjoy tackling this thought exercise, then challenge myself to put the results into action.

Perhaps I can say this because I've developed a positive approach towards unmet hopes and trying to fulfill visions for the future, while being at peace with the present, and pleased with its progress. Throughout the year, I am continuously striving towards big creative goals, but due to unforeseen opportunities and inevitable limitations, I'm making them scalable to fit various situations, and focused on enjoying the process of creation.

Vocal has been an invaluable part of this process, allowing me to fabricate short stories in ways I never have before, develop and share scenes from epic novels I love but worry I will never finish, generate joyful poems and stretch my limits with wild experiments, trick myself into doing the things I truly want to do... with just a few achievable deadlines and the pretense I could win something from it. At the end of the day (or year in this case), what I really win is my growth as a writer, and I'm looking forward to another exciting round of that!

So far, it has provided me with: A reason it has to be done TODAY, a place I can point people to ACTUALLY READ my writing in public, mini-wins like when I whip up a banner image within minutes or accidentally invent a new digital art technique, the PERFECT PROMPTS for having "Eureka!" moments in my ongoing projects, making me download super helpful apps, PRINTABLE SAMPLES for my art portfolio, and one of the BEST places to browse interesting undiscovered writers as we play in the same sandboxes. Like all the things I most love, it is both a deeply personal practice and delightfully communal environment, full of intriguing variety, and open for the world to discover and be welcomed into.

What am I looking forward to? Other than the official upcoming Challenges of a nonsensical alphabetical poem and misplaced item's pov, my next seasonal self-assignment is being overly enthused about Valentine's Day! Raiding my closet for red, pink, and hearts, eating leftover chocolates, having fun griping about the heartache of being single. Sure, a meaningful romance might be nice. So would publishing a novel someday. Why dwell on that in the meantime? Actually, to match the occasion, I'm working on a treatise about all my characters' deliciously complicated relationships. Maybe by saying that here, myself or someone else will actually hold me accountable! Oh yeah, and there was that poetry collection of silly lost loves that I always wanted to finish writing... where did that go....


About the Creator

Ellen Stedfeld

Perpetually immersed in drawing, illustration, and creative experiments, at live events and

Community arts in NYC/Queens -- LIC Arts Open festival May 15-19th 2024

Love participating in challenges to motivate new work!

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