Best 9 photographs from Instagram @juliabarnickle
My Best 9 photographs from 2016 on Instagram (@juliabarnickle)

So we’re at the start of another year, and I have the opening lines from the John Lennon / Yoko Ono song “Happy Christmas, War Is Over” playing in my head, as I do at this time every year.

“So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun.”

So I decided, for a change, to take an inventory of what I’ve done in 2016, because it’s easy to forget what we’ve achieved unless we take stock.

A few days ago I counted how many films I’ve made this year: 50. That’s nearly one a week! Just over half were made in November, for the Make Films Daily project – mostly using archive footage. I’m feeling very proud right now.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ve also made quite a lot of art this year. I don’t have an exact figure, because several canvases are still a Work In Progress (WIP), and until they’re finished I don’t count them. But I’ve finished about 8.

And I’ve been writing a lot more than in recent years – perhaps not on the blog, but in my Morning Pages, a tool I picked up from Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way”. I did them regularly a few years ago, but then stopped for a while because they didn’t seem to be going anywhere. But that’s not the point of them.

You do the Morning Pages to get out of your head all of the things that are niggling you, so you’re not carrying them round with you all day. And sometimes, just sometimes, you might have an idea that you want to capture. So I’ve been writing the Morning Pages every day since mid-July.

Now, this might all sound like a lot of “doing” rather than “being” – but the truth is that I’ve wanted to be more creative for several years, and more specifically to become a film maker, artist and writer, as well as a photographer. And in order to be a film maker, artist, writer and photographer, you have to make films, make art, write and take photographs.

So that’s exactly what I’ve been doing – and shall continue to do in 2017. 🙂

I also did more travelling in 2016 than I have for years – despite being housebound for 3 months while I recovered from brain metastases… Visiting Venice and Berlin for the first time was truly amazing – as was having the opportunity to practise my German with an old friend I hadn’t seen in 24 years.

Since the brain mets, I’ve felt less confident when I’m out and about – although my confidence and my ability to walk in a straight line are improving gradually each day. Travel is a part of me, and has been since I first travelled abroad as a teenager, so I’m looking forward to more travel in 2017 – perhaps at a slightly more relaxed pace!

On 20th December 2014, for December Reflections, I wrote:
“This year was full of contrasts; full of opportunities to practise gratitude and receiving, and letting go. A year I wouldn’t want to repeat but probably will.”

Apart from the final three words, I feel the same way about 2016.

2 thoughts on “Farewell 2016 – Hello 2017

  1. It sounds like you had a successful year if you managed to get 50 films created, write every day from July on, took photographs, and went traveling all while having 3 months of housebound recovery time. I’m glad that with time things are getting better for you, and I sincerely hope that 2017 is filled with more creativity, inspiration and less houseboundness than 2016 was. Happy new year! 🙂
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  2. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you Mandy. Yes, when I looked back over the year, I realised that I had achieved a lot – which, in itself, is quite an achievement for me, because I don’t tend to remember what I’ve been up to! For the past couple of years, I’ve kept a diary of my travels, photography, film making and painting – and, of course, I have the blog as well, as proof that I’ve done something!! 😉 Happy New Year to you too – and I hope you find some more interesting books to read!

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