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This time of the year seems to be filled with canned sayings of positivity, good intentions, and general improvement. Most of the time these slogans come from companies trying to sell you something or people who start the new year with the best of intentions but who give up after two weeks because being a better person is hard.

The only people I trust to give genuinely heartfelt words of kindness are the ones who dole them out all year-round: fortune cookie fortune writers.

Throughout 2018, I saved the fortunes that didn’t wind up covered in soy sauce. Other than refusing to join the modern world in the use of the singular they, I didn’t find much room for improvement and they turned out to be positive in nature. I also noticed that all of these fortunes turned out to perfectly describe a few of my friends here at The Prompt and the pieces that got me hooked on them as writers and people.

Confidence begets confidence.

Kelaine “The Human Fortune Cookie” Conochan is the most disgustingly positive person I’ve ever had the pleasure of receiving an email from. The world is legitimately better because of people like her. I can only hope to be filled with that level of optimism one day. Perhaps that day will be January 21, 2021.

Recommended piece: What If You’re Already Good Enough? And Other Questions That Keep Me Up at Night

If you can’t accept losing, you can’t win.

N. Alysha Lewis confided in me, several times, that she was distraught over the increasing number of rejections she received regarding essay submissions. I advised her to learn and grow from each rejection, and eventually something would come through. Being that I’m always right about everything, Mrs. Lewis received a byline and accompanying paycheck a few weeks after taking my stellar advice. (You’re welcome.)

Recommended piece: The Impossibility of Winning with Impostor Syndrome

He deserves paradise who makes his companions laugh.

Dennis William had the unique honor of making beer shoot out of my nose while I listened to his piece for the first episode of The Promptcast. Getting me to genuinely laugh is difficult enough, but to make a beverage almost ruin my laptop is an accomplishment.

Recommended piece: An Incomplete and Growing List of Literary Porn Parodies I Am Working On

In all matters of opinion, you always say it better.

I would be utterly lost without Jillian Conochan to help wrangle “volunteers” for The Promptcast. I truly envy how well she can put together an email and entice people into producing cravable content. Plus, that GIF game is on point. Seriously, if I wasn’t part of The Prompt, I would still follow the Twitter for the GIFs alone.

Recommended piece: Cosmic Coincidences for the Chronically Late: The Box of Chocolates Incident

Don’t be over self-confident with your first impression of others.

In my first interaction with Scott Snowman, I told him to melt. I don’t remember all the details, but I believe he sided with N. Alysha Lewis in one of our classic #TwitterBeef social media feuds. Since then our banter has held the same level of sass, but I’ve come to learn more about Scott and appreciate him for the gem he is.

Recommended piece: Through a Glass Darkly: Lifting a Mirror to See Yourself

Be broke or be wealthy, but never accept mediocrity.

Josh “The” Bard always puts out high quality content and I usually measure some of my own work against his. His “Stitch in Time” piece from the #ExplodingTheMoment prompt perfectly captured the essence of a moment that I could never put into words. It’s one the handful of pieces that I use as a benchmark to ensure my own work measures up.

Recommended piece: Exploding the Moment A Stitch in Time

Greet your friends with open arms and happiness will come to you.

Nothing could summarize the community that is The Prompt Magazine. I can’t help but be happy when I interact or collaborate with other Prompters (Prompticioners? Promptificaters? I don’t remember if we settled on a name). Everyone is so welcoming, positive, and happy that I walk away from every meeting with a renewed sense of energy and ambition—two things that are rare for me to come by.

This year has been an intense rollercoaster for me.

I’ve felt unbridled joy and been stressed to the point that I broke out in hives, but—thanks in large part to The Prompt and everyone involved—this year is ending on a high note. As we ring in the new year, I raise a glass to everyone who has contributed to The Prompt in some way, be that writing or reading, and give a heartfelt cheers.

Recommendation: Be Part of Something Bigger Than Yourself

Your lucky numbers (that appeared multiple times in the fortunes) are: 54, 43, 14, 44, 32, 34, 18, 5, 17, 40, 41.

Ryan Fay

Ryan is an editor and semi-pro author with life goal of having enough money to buy the cool things people make in DIY videos.

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