January 2, 2007

Jumping to Contusions with New Year's Resolutions

Right, so the holidays are finished. Everyone has consumed far too much of everything, groaned their way through meaningless conversation and sweaty hugs from pungent relatives otherwise forgotten. So now what? Back to work? Same old thing? Or is this the new era of [insert name here]?

I realized, a long time ago, that I failed at every single New Year’s resolution I ever made. They were always losing battles to begin with: stop cussing for a year, memorize the Bible, no more awkward, longing gazes at attractive girls too old for me in high school. That sort of thing. But now, whenever New Year’s rolls around, I feel a void. Am I supposed to be making active changes to better myself as a person? After all, 2006 was a bust, so now I have to begin 2007 with some element of evolution in mind, progression and such?

In writing, there is an endless amount of growth required. My biggest issues are complacency, distraction, and often self-defeat. I find it easy to talk myself out of writing for the day simply by assuming that I will not get anything accomplished to begin with. Lack of seeing the big picture, really. And I doubt I am alone in this. It doesn’t even have to be about writing. Any artistic project outside of the realm of every day work can take a back seat to flicking on the television and watching Seinfeld reruns.

So, in the spirit of wanting more from myself, recognizing shortcomings (and there are many), and wanting to be disciplined enough to push past them, I’ve stolen my resolutions for the year from Ginny Wiehardt’s writing suggestions posted on about.com, a decent resource for fiction writers if you can get past all the damn ads.

Top Ten Resolutions for 2007.

I figure the odds are in my favor. With ten resolutions to work with, even if I fail at a few of them I can still make the passing grade, yes? Nothing like setting my sights as high as possible (that’s sarcasm, folks).

What about you other writers? Any resolutions you have that are missing from this list?

1 comment:

Ken Dyck said...

Hey, now. I wasn't pungent the entire holiday visit. ;)

As for resolutions, I know where you are coming from.

For me one of the main problems with New Year's resolutions is that they are too big.

The usual outcomes are: 1. feeling completely overwhelmed by a resolution and consequently never getting started on it (eg. write a book) 2. starting on a resolution only to realize it was a stupid idea (eg. giving up chocolate), then either grudgingly continuing even though I hate it or feeling like a boob for breaking a promise to myself, or 3. simply not having the will-power to carry it through.

I'm not making any New Year's resolutions this year. I prefer to spread my resolutions throughout the year. Little ones. Stuff that I can commit to.