Once again, it is January and we have another chance to make the most of the year ahead, month by month, season by season. This year, I’m trying something different – no resolutions. I have a standard set of resolutions that, sadly, simply require minor amendments in December to ready them for the New Year. Often, it just means changing the year at the top of the page. For those of you who have read my novel, BEING ANTI-SOCIAL, you’ll recognize this routine in Chapter 18. From the main protagonist, Mace Evans:
“I have a standard list of annual resolutions that receive the appropriate level of disregard, since good resolutions, as Oscar [Wilde] says, “are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”
Needless to say this is autobiographical.
This is quite a challenge for me – not to have documented aspirations and goals broken down into sub-sets with monthly and weekly actions for each; I do love planning. But now that I’m 50, perhaps I have come to accept that this annual process can be abandoned in favour of a more laissez faire approach to getting things done ie without the personal accountability that comes from a written document. Although, anything I declare here in this blog will keep me accountable and I know some of you will take great delight in that.
As usual, my obsession with nutrition and exercise will continue. But again, in my wiser older years, I realize there is no need to resolve this – it’s a fundamental part of who I am and explains decades of exercise journals I started at the age of 22.
I have a book to write this year. It’s titled REWRITTEN and I’m really excited about the story and concept. Once again, it is completely different to my previous work.
I’m also planning a different approach to writing this story. Usually, my first draft process is highly disciplined, traumatic and obsessive; it hurts – a lot. I don’t do anything else but write from 8am to 6pm every weekday, and the weekends are used for catch-up if I failed to meet my weekly goal (words written). I have to fight the constant urge to do anything else; to leave my laptop and not return. I eat a lot of chocolate. I don’t exercise. I don’t go anywhere. I check emails once only first thing in the morning and that’s the limit of my connectivity. This time, however, for REWRITTEN, I’m going to try something called ‘balance’. It’s an unfamiliar concept requiring me to incorporate writing into normal life so it is not to the exclusion of all else. I’m afraid. I fear the book won’t get written this way, let alone finished. I fear I’ll lose momentum or I’ll waste precious time constantly re-acquainting myself with the flow and the story’s voice, where I’m at and where I was going.
However, since this is a new year and I’m now committed to doing ‘life’ differently, this is how it will be for the next two months, with no daily word count required – just a pledge to write something for an hour each day. If my blog post in March is about a secluded villa in Bali, a laptop, bikini and chocolate, you’ll know things didn’t work out as planned.