The more I read books that really resonate with me on some subconscious level, the more confident I feel in my own writing.
Think of it-- we can do whatever we want.
I just read Anne Carson's "Glass Essay" and realized a lot of my prose was secretly poetry via the sentence. Then I panicked at the distinction. Then I remembered that it didn't matter. The titles supplied by others don't change the writing at all.
As I edit, I pull some of it into broken lines. It looks more like traditional poetry that way, though still sentence-based for the most part.
I became worried that it would all need to look this way. Then I reminded myself that it could look however I want. So I started leaving some in the standard prose form.
Reading Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I strongly felt the lack of real plot. A boy has a key and wants to see what it goes to. But it isn't so much a quest as a curiosity. What are important are the details. People and pretty situations-- lovers building museums to each other in their homes. Living at the top of the Empire State Building.
Even the telling of stories within a story and purposeful run on sentences. Sections with red marker. Sections with missing words. Line breaks. Photographs. Lines printed over other lines. Invisibility.
There really are no rules to writing. Isn't it lovely?
I don't make New Year's resolutions. I've said this before. The Earth rotates around the sun and a circle has no start. January 1st is an obscure choice, a random end and beginning to the circular path. My orbit has been beginning in September with the book goal. I'm abandoning the 52 books per year goal because I far surpass it each year. This isn't vanity, it just is. Making goals that you know you can easily achieve is like cheating at solitaire.
But if I did make a new resolution, which can start today because it's as good a point of start as any, I'd tell myself to stop being so self-conscious with my writing. If it is crap, it will stand out as such (i.e. "endless sky"). Otherwise, it can't be that terrible. Everything is coming temporarily out of my scrap parts bin; all writing will be treated as salvageable for the time being.
Least importantly but still noteworthy, I will stop worrying about my comma placement. I know I overuse commas. The truth is, I put commas where I want you to pause. It is a poet's mark. Comma= short pause, period= longer pause, paragraph break= significant pause, section break= stop for a second and think before proceeding to next section!
Therefore, I will continue to overuse commas in all creative writing. And try to love my words more.