This past year I decided to keep a list of all the new things I did in 2016. If I'd never done it before, no matter how mundane it may have seemed, it got a spot on the list. My hope was that the list would motivate me to step outside my comfort zone and keep me from falling into a rut. I am prone to ruts. Like most people, I prefer to be comfortable, to stick with what I know. While comfort isn't a bad thing, it can lead to stagnation - a situation I hoped to avoid. The world is a wide, mysterious, dark and lovely place, and I've barely scratched its surface. Doing something brand new, for the first time, seemed like a good way to dig a bit deeper.
In that spirit, here are all the new things I did in 2016. I hope to have an even longer list at the end of next year.
- Camped at Lake Waccamaw for New Year's Eve with Nathan and the dogs.
- Visited Atlantic City for my sister's bachelorette party.
- Camped at Morrow Mountain State Park with Carson and Mel of Local Color fame.
- Visited Cape May, New Jersey for my sister's wedding.
- Spent two weeks in Vermont for a writing residency.
- Rode the SkyWheel in Myrtle Beach.
- Visited (briefly) Savannah, Beaufort and Datwaw Island for Lucy's bachelorette party.
- Starting using a Diva cup and became its number one fan.
- Met Roxane Gay at UNCW.
- Gave a Maid of Honor speech at my sister's wedding.
- Saw The Residents in concert in Carrboro.
- Started budgeting with YNAB and paid off $12K in credit card debt.
- Guest-hosted a podcast.
- Voted for a woman for president of the United States of America.
- Hosted a breakfast taco baby shower for a dear friend.
- Won a fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center.
- Wrote a second novel, this one without any help from an MFA program.
- Ghostwrote a medical book for a bunch of money.
- Wrote a piece of fiction that was part of a museum exhibit.
- Served as a panelist during UNCW's Writers Week.
- Published in MonkeyBicycle, The Boiler, and Necessary Fiction.
Did you do anything new in 2016? I'd love to hear about it!