How to Start Off a New Year

Are you like me? Will you continue to write 2015 as part of
the date for the first three months of 2016? Sometimes it’s difficult to ease
into a change, even a good one.
Here at 49 Writers, we’re pretty excited about all of the
events and classes and projects we have in store for the writers across Alaska.
In January, we have the Resolve to Write events in Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, and Homer, and the beginning of our new
year of workshops all around the state and online (registration opening at noon on January 4). In February, we’re starting out with Danger Close: Alaska, an Anchorage CrossCurrents event and an incredible in-depth workshop opportunity with
award-winning authors Elliot Ackerman, Benjamin Busch, Lea Carpenter, and
Sherry Simpson (registration open NOW). Mid-month we’ll host an event with the mind-bogglingly amazing
poet Marilyn Nelson at the Anchorage Museum.
We’ll continue to put together blog-posts that educate and
celebrate Alaskan writers and support folks who are creating amazing events and
opportunities for writers. There has never been a more fertile time to be a
writer in Alaska, so many chances to improve our craft, share our work, and
celebrate each other.
As we move forward into 2016, let’s all consider the reasons
we write. They are diverse, and each reason lends itself to a path forward: the
best way to reach an audience, the craftsmanship you need to develop to move
forward in a certain genre, the comrades who will support you along the way.
Terry Tempest Williams wrote in Red: On Passion and Patience in the Desert, “I write to make
peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red in a world that
often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write
to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue. I write to imagine things differently
and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change. I write
to honor beauty. I write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act
of improvisation. I write because it creates my composure. I write against
power and for democracy. I write myself out of my nightmares and into my
dreams. I write in a solitude born out of community. I write to the questions
that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that keep me complacent. I write
to remember. I write to forget… I write because I believe in words. I write
because I do not believe in words. I write because it is a dance with paradox.
I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in sand. I
write because it belongs to the force of the moon: high tide, low tide. I write
because it is the way I take long walks. I write as a bow to wilderness. I
write because I believe it can create a path in darkness…. I write because I am
not employable. I write out of my inconsistencies. I write because then I do
not have to speak. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to
what I have seen. I write as a witness to what I imagine….I write because it is
dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to
touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient
we are. I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.”
This year, I hope you all make time to write, because your words
are important and precious.
take care,
Scroll to Top