Creative Writing

Five Creative Challenges for 2017

Open up to the possibility of everyday adventure.

The birth of a new year is the perfect time to extricate yourself from the drudgery of daily existence and recommit to a life fully lived. But resolutions are banal and seldom kept—nagging little dictums that often leave you feeling more guilty than empowered. Instead, open up to the possibility of everyday adventure and test your determination with these Creative Challenges.

The “Ostensibly” Challenge
On Jan. 1, roll a pair of dice to determine the number of times you can use the word “ostensibly” in 2017. If you exceed that number at any point during the year you must roll the dice again. Now you must say “ostensibly” that many times per day until Dec. 31.

Invent a hobby and dominate it
Devise a new pastime that no one’s ever done before: gluing snail shells to dustpans, crafting dioramas of every crime scene from CSI: Miami, jumping over a walnut the most number of times. It doesn’t matter what hobby you choose; the important thing is that it’s so obscure that you’ll be the undisputed best at it. The inner knowledge of this accomplishment will help you move through the world with the grace and majesty of a champion. (The walnut thing is taken, 
by the way.)

Attainable affirmations
Each morning, stand in front of a mirror and prepare yourself for the day by repeating a series of humble, realistic affirmations. For example: “I could probably make a good risotto” or “I can tell when things are purple.” The key is to keep it modest; this will protect against self-flattery and the inevitable disappointment that comes from ambition.

Resist calendric hegemony
Did you know that other cultures use an entirely different calendar than the traditional Gregorian one preferred by the Western world? Refuse to limit yourself to a timekeeping method forced on you by some imperialistic pope in the 16th century. Not only will this demonstrate your global sophistication, but you’ll be able to celebrate with a rager in every month of the year, from the 11-day bacchanal observed by ancient Babylonians in March to the drunken sex-magick orgy of the neo-pagans in early November. Party like it’s 5099 (Kashmiri)!

Swear jar
Every time you swear, put a quarter in a jar. When the jar is full, use the money to buy a fancy embroidered jacket that reads “#1 Motherfucking Swearer.”