Saturday, January 2, 2016

Looking Back, Looking Forward

So it’s 2016. Such a strange number, two-zero-one-six, isn’t it? 2015 looked more, I dunno, square? Like, more secure, more stable, more planted. Maybe that’s just because it’s more familiar. Yeah, maybe that’s it.

Before I say hi to the one-six, I’m going to have a look back at the one-five and see what past me left behind for present and future me to reminisce about.

Right off the bat, in regards to this blog, I wrote the most I’ve ever written in this blog in 2015 than I have in any other year. That’s something to smile about.

But, of course, most of that writing was only done in the first half of the year. I sky-dived straight downwards in the second half. I was supposed to write short stories weekly from July onwards, but I only got one done. Some months went by with no posts at all. So it’s not all rainbows and sunshine for you there Anwar. You can definitely work on your consistency. 

It’s not that my goals weren’t realistic (at least I don’t think so). I’ve shown that I am fully capable of writing consistently when I want to (and sometimes when I didn’t even want to either). I think it’s more like I just let go of myself after Ramadhan. I just didn’t bother getting back up on the horse, like I said I would. I shifted my focus from writing consistently to, I don’t know what really. Something else. I just stopped. So this year, don’t stop. Continue.

I also wrote some rap songs. That’s good to know. I now have 15 original songs up on my Soundcloud page, and as a critic of my own work, I’ve seen a slight improvement in the quality of work I’ve been producing from the start of the year towards the latter part of the year. 

I’ve even performed some of those songs on open mic stages and to anyone who was willing to listen. That’s another plus point for yourself, Anwar. Who would have thought that a year after I went to the poetry workshop in the 2014 Georgetown Literary Fest I would be performing my own pieces for the 2015 Georgetown Literary Fest. For that I have to thank Ksatriya for taking me under his wing and giving me a space to grow in. I am grateful that our paths crossed.

This year, I want to start writing more thematically. I want to create more complete works, that have contexts of their own. So less standalone songs and more sets of songs that go together. Having Kendrick Lamar as your main influence does that to you, I guess. 

I also launched my very first physical book in 2015. Wow. I’ve always wanted to author books. And hopefully this is the first of several, if not many. I’m grateful that I have had the opportunity to be published, and I hope that I shall have more opportunities to produce better works. I really want to improve upon myself as a writer, and hopefully that first book shall be viewed as the first and lowest step to other pieces I’ll work on in the future. 

I also managed to get a column in the only newspaper I read, The Star. Sure, it’s in the R.Age section, and it’s a monthly thing, but it’s always been a dream of mine to one day write for that paper, so it feels wonderful to have done that. I need to up my writing game, for sure, to keep up with the high standards I’ve always viewed The Star columnists to have. Hopefully I am able to bring my A-game in all my pieces for them so that I can continue writing for them for a while.

2015 was also a year of good friendships made. I grew close to several people that I now behold dearly in my personal life. Some had to move away by the end of the year because of work purposes, but I am forever grateful that we were able to be as close as we were for the time that they were around. Some continue to be close, so that’s a relief. Some have, from the very start, been long-distance, but through the miracles of Twitter and EnglishJer, we are able to remain close, and meet-up from time to time and grow even closer. 

And by the end of the year, I got married to my best friend. It felt pretty natural, really. I never thought there would be a different outcome from us knowing each other. It’s just that now, I can call her my wife, and I can call myself her husband. Might seem weird, but I’ve always felt that we had always been married, as early as after a month of knowing each other, so the pernikahan didn’t really freak me out that much at all. It just felt like this “finally” kind of feeling. And now we have the rest of our lives to spend together. I think this whole business of being a husband warrants a whole other post, so I’ll save it for that one.

So I’m coming into this year with a few things going and several goals to head towards. I’m going to jinx it all straight from the get go by listing some of those goals here:

write 5 blogposts a week
use one of those blogposts as a rough script for weekly videos to be uploaded to Youtube on Sundays
read every day for at least 20 minutes
make monthly(?) local book review videos
make two rap songs a month, publish them on the 7th and 21st of every month

And I think that’s that. Here’s to a bigger and better 2016, for all of us, one hopes.

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