As I looked back on the movies and books I really enjoyed this year I noticed a common theme: they were made for children and young adults. From the final Harry Potter movie to The Muppets to The Hunger Games, these all had children included as part of the intended audience.
While I may have enjoyed young adult films and fiction this year, I must confess that my own writing and art isn't always the most accessible. Ever the English major, I sometimes relish a bit too much in big words and obtuse phrases. Sometimes the theme of a work can't be accessed if the language and phrasing is distracting. What makes The Hunger Games such an amazing series is that it is able to deal with harsh dystopian themes in a way young adults can relate to.
As I move into the new year, I am resolved to be more genuine and accessible in my art. As much as I would love to emulate the dense poetry, arthouse cinema or verbose fiction I often read, I think it will be an intriguing experiment next year to ratchet down the ambiguity and obtuseness next year and see how I can push themes, metaphors and imagery to the forefront.