I‘m usually not one for new year’s resolutions, but I’m entering the first year of my adult life without any kind of solid plan, which is freaking me out to no end. (The first of January isn’t even the *proper* new year, because everyone knows Chinese/Lunar New Year is what actually matters, but I will admit there’s a significance to writing “2017” instead of “2016” on the end of dates). I’m excited, too, but it’s all very foreign and murky and oh god so I’m retreating to one of my safe places, which is making lists and pretending that I’m organised. Without further ado – this is what I have resolved for myself in the next year (though I mean, many of these are just good things to do every year):

  • To keep the faith – in myself, my dreams, and my friends.
  • Be brave, be a role model.
  • Be kind when kindness is called for – but at the same time, be feisty and fiery when required.
  • Continue to work on the cultural imposition that is feeling like I will never be good enough. Also imposter syndrome.
  • To care less about what my parents think of how I’m living my life and what I’m doing with my life.
  • Work on managing my anxiety in social situations, and also before I get to said social situations.
  • Remember to take time to step back from the almost inevitable chaos that will engulf my life – to relax, to revel in the silences, and to recognise my own achievements.
  • Write more. Procrastinate less. (I have a feeling this will become a recurring theme in years to come)

Writing wise, I have some loose goals – I’m still waiting on replies for fellowships and the like that I’ve applied for, so it’ll depend on how busy I’ll be! I’ll be spending a lot of time focusing on memoir, as well as essays that allow me to use my university-honed research skills for good. I might also take a peek at creative non-fiction. In any case, here are some things I’ve resolved to work on:

  • Writing more freely about sex, sexuality, and the ways in which my Christian upbringing has affected the way I approach the world.
  • Submitting and pitching as much as I can, even if I never hear back, or it seems too out of reach.
  • Learn to distinguish between plain shitty writing and something that’s just difficult to write.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for advice, or to let something rest if need be (and learning to recognise when I have reached this point).
  • Get back into the swing of reading regularly for pleasure (which seems strange, but I have literally just spent the past twelve months reading for my thesis).

Of course, I will continue to work on and expand Pencilled In, and I look forward to uncovering more and more amazing Asian Australian artists. It’s going to be an amazing year, I just know it. I’m already looking forward to Jaipur Literary Festival Melbourne, and beyond excited for National Young Writers Festival – I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for me.

Oh – I’m also going to start writing letters and cards to people this year, so if you’d like to get in on some tiny handwriting goodness courtesy of me, DM/PM/email me your address and I’ll put you on my missive sending list!

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