One of the most common and beneficial exercises that many people do at the end of each year is to write a wish list for the following year. And to check the validity of the list of previous year.
For my part, I have been trying for some years to do this in literary form. Not lists, but sentences. A narrative.
I invite you to do the same: describe, in the fanciest possible way, at least three scenarios from next year.
One very dark scenario, where you imagine the worst: where every imaginable disaster would happen to you and to the world. By getting caught up in the most relentless gears.
A very rosy scenario, where everything would go as smoothly as possible, in terms of health, love, new life too, if that is your secret dream.
And finally, a voluntarist scenario, describing what needs to be done so that the year is as close as possible to the pink scenario, for you and yours, and so that your projects move in the right direction.
The black scenario helps to identify threats and make the necessary resolutions to avert them.
The rosy scenario allows you to dream of the wildest ambitions and crystallize them in words and in a story.
The third helps to bring the dream closer to the believable and to create the conditions for its realization.
For this literary-realist exercise to be really interesting, it must be done in the most literary way possible, taking care of its style, using rare metaphors to describe a situation, a person or a feeling. To mark the respect that you owe yourself. And your desire to make the next twelve months as intense as the most successful novels are. And that you want to live them as you might want to devour a great fiction story.
Each text need not necessarily be long: one page is enough; describing projects as well as the means to accomplish them, failures as well as successes, routines as well as surprises, loves as well as sorrows.
I invite you to ensure that these stories accumulate year after year. You will see that rereading them is an extremely salutary exercise even if it often leads to nostalgia, anger sometimes, or self-mockery.
You can keep this exercise to yourself or share it with family and friends. Or even make it public on social networks. Everyone has his or her own relationship to the world.
You will see that, the first time you do it, this exercise seems almost impossible, because imagination gallops very quickly, without reality being able to reach it, and when it gets involved, the concrete flattens the imaginary, puts it on the ground and destroys all momentum.
A successful life then appears: the one that would be as little as possible crushed by the constraints of reality. Because one has managed to master them. Just as one masters a style. Through work, originality and authenticity.
Which is also undoubtedly the purest definition of a work of art: to sublimate reality by working on oneself.
To last even beyond your own life, your own ills, your own words.
My editorial for the Journal des Arts