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As calendar year 2022 winds to a close, here are some things I have noticed this season: friends and family gathering together more frequently, people traveling for vacations, and folks going out to the movies again.

Do you sense it, too? That life in general has recovered some of its vivid color? And that our own—and our community’s—creative focus has reawakened?

Call it a holiday gift. (It is!) But renewed spirit has also been a trend all year long. Read or re-read these 10 favorite quotes and stories from Kites Tales 2022 to see—and to get ready for a “trending terrific” 12 months ahead. 

  • “Try not to lift the pen from the page or stop the keys from clacking. Do your best to apply the rule of ‘No judgment’ from improv. It’s so easy to stop ourselves, but today give yourself permission to dream big and play wildly.” —Jorjeana Marie
  • “Community and friendship are not simply by-products of being a writer—they are the ultimate reward. While you are working on your manuscripts, remember to connect with others and find joy in the process.” —Barbara Bietz
  • “Put yourself and your work out there.” —Emily Asaro

  • “Listening to real people can train you to acknowledge when your own dialogue is unnatural—and ultimately make it better. … For instance, once I worked on a show about up-and-coming rap artists, each of whom had a distinctive way of expressing himself. Instead of saying ‘I had a really rough time during my career’ (which is factual, but dull), Beanie Sigel said, ‘It was like going down a cobblestone street—on a skateboard.’ It’s a line I’ll never forget!” —Toni Gallagher
  • “WARNING: Watch out—incredibly absurd ideas are about to escape from your mind! Go get ‘em!” —Jorjeana Marie
  • “We’re creators. We don’t have to do anything, and we are armed with the magic ‘What if…'”—R.S. Mellette
  • “Having an open dialogue with other creators will not only strengthen your craft, but will also open up a world of possible solutions that you may not have been able to find on your own.” —Jessica Chrysler
  • “While I can sometimes find it a bit lonely working all alone on a manuscript, I appreciate the opportunity to get weird, to get personal, to write about things that I’m honestly not sure anyone else will relate to.” —Britta Lundin
  • “A lot of times, we overthink opportunities that present themselves, when all the universe is asking for is a response.” —Faith McClaren
  • “There are infinite paths to publication, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box and if there’s something you want to do that seems crazy to everyone else, do it. It could be the thing that opens a door that leads to something beautiful and unexpected.” —Victoria Fulton
Artwork by Emily Asaro

If you have any favorite quotes about writing, illustrating, and the creative life, please share them in the comments below!

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Photos by Tairon Fernandez and Bich Tran respectively on Pexels.com; final illustration courtesy of Emily Asaro.