Life · Writing

Finding the magic in January.

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I struggle with January. Like, a lot.

It’s cold, Christmas is over, everyone seems to be really into fitness&health all of a sudden and did I mention it’s cold? It’s the month of fresh starts that seem suddenly stale two weeks in. It’s the month of tube strikes, and promised snow that never materialises. It’s the month of spending AGES de-icing the car and wearing dressing gowns all the time because it is so damn cold.

But if you strip away the post-Christmas sadness, and the freezing temperatures, and the News Years Resolution pressure, then January is just another 31 days. So here are my three tips for finding magic in the first month of the year.

(1) Set reasonable goals.

There’s this whole January thing where everyone sets wildly unrealistic goals like “I’M NOT GOING TO DRINK WINE,” or, if you’re me, “I’M GOING TO WRITE A BOOK & EDIT TWO MORE.” (It didn’t end well.) The key, IMO, is to set realistic, achievable goals, and to not beat yourself up even if you don’t achieve them. I do this using my super cool diary:

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(2) Self care.

That leads on nicely to my next January tip. Self care. Although it’s important year round, I find myself particularly in need in the winter. So read a book, run a bath, put on a facemask and do whatever it takes to make you feel good. You deserve it. I saw Rogue One last week with my family, and it was just the BEST.

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(3) Make some art.

My final tip is one that I have borrowed from one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman. Every year he writes a New Years wish, and every year I try to take it to heart for January. My favourite is this one:

may-your-coming-year-be-filled-with-magic-and-dreams-and-good-madness-i-hope-you-read-some-fine-books-and-kiss-someone-who-thinks-youre-wonderful-and-dont-forget-to-make-some-art-write-or-draw

Make some art. That phrase speaks to me. Whether your art is drawing, or writing, or crocheting, or playing guitar, or practising your breaststroke–do what you like to do. Work hard at it, have fun with it, and celebrate your successes. Especially in January, make good art.  

How do you find the magic in January? 

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