Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Writer's Reflections on 2011, a year full of personal revolutions

Odilia Rivera-Santos

I discovered the importance of interacting with writers who are truly focused on getting an audience for their work and having difficult conversations about exploring new avenues for creative fulfillment. A friend told me to say yes to creative work even if it's outside of my comfort zone. It seems like a reasonable idea, which could only make me a better writer.

"I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive." - Henry Miller
2011 was a year full of challenging transitions, disappointments, unrealistic expectations and very profound spiritual work which has left me feeling deeply grateful for all I have accomplishment despite the setbacks. It feels as if I fell off a cliff, dusted myself off, hoped myself back into the ring with a new determination and more sophisticated muscles. And I was reminded of Henry Miller and his sense of desperation as he grappled with writing and supporting a wife and child. I have no spouse or child to support, just a hanging-out-at-coffee-shops habit. There is a sense of liberation when one sees what one must feared happen only to discover it was not the end of the world.

I cleared some emotional debris, shook some people loose who were just vampires attempting to siphon out what they could and continued to write and believe in my writing. I am only reading other people's work on Fridays. I may never read the entire European or African or Latin-American or Spanish or French or Caribbean canon, but I will certainly write a tremendous amount of stuff; some of that stuff will remain stuff and be quickly recycled and some of that stuff will be great.

My online writing community
I have met some wonderful people online this year who have been very supportive of my writing and even organized poetry readings at which I happily participated and met great people. I am finishing up some monologues for a show in January entitled In and Out of Character, Women Speak, which will take place at The Organization for Puerto Rican Artists at the end of January.
I am also writing poetry on human rights, immigration and work for an event at Symphony Space in May of 2012, featuring five other poets to be accompanied by Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra.

2012 will be a great year for me as a creative and as a human being among human beings.
And according to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

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