Art and Life Successes in 2020

Topics: creativity
12 Days of Christmas image Hedlund

Goodness. I think this will be the third year I have done the 12 days of Christmas with Julie Hedlund. Usually, I start off strong with this, join the 12X12, and then limp along the rest of the year. It’s something of a tradition. I’m not sure I like the limping part, but every year I get a bit more out of it and it does give me a sense of picture book community.

Here is the language Hedlund uses for Day 3 where we list our successes for the year:

Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year.  Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2020.

And here are my successes:

I won’t be able to stick to just writing and illustrating for this year though. Too much happened that matters to me around my vocation with words and art.

  1. I survived. (That seems like a bigger thing than normal.)
  2. I figured out how to mostly homeschool my kid and even enjoy it most of the time. On top of that, he seems to be doing well and we still love each other.
  3. I finished a picture book manuscript that I COULD submit.
  4. I have 30 plus ideas for new picture books from StoryStorm 2020.
  5. I used NaNoWriMo to create more than 5 new PB drafts.
  6. I drew almost every day. The art held me up, I swear.
  7. I decided to commit to pastels at long last.
  8. I found Domestika and Flavia Z Drago’s picture book class which I love and am using to fully develop one of those PB ideas.
  9. I blogged. Sporadically. But I did.
  10. I learned to weld.
  11. I did so much and learned so much with my teaching day job that there is absolutely no way I could ever list it all here.
  12. I worked my way through most of a 200 hour yoga certification course.
  13. I was able to find joy and connection through my art and loved ones almost every day.
Yoga Sketch

Maybe I keep doing the 12 days because I do love Epiphany. Of all the Christian holidays it is my very favorite. There is something about the quiet of kings bowing before a baby and his mother on that 12th day that resonates with me. It’s also the day a Dalmatian found me in church which I still think was pure magic.

I wish you all a deep peace and the occasional magic like that whatever your successes or losses this year.


Three Kings Bowing

About the author: Karrie Zylstra Myton is a blogger, essayist, and aspiring author who writes for the wild joy it brings on the best days and the hard lessons she learns about life on the worst. After crafting stories in the ridiculously early morning hours, she chases her two sons, cuddles with cats, and laughs with her husband about how crazy life can get in middle age.

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