I Resolve. Not too
Here's the thing, it's a new year. Two Thousand and Ten. Amazing. But shouldn't we all be gliding around in Jetsons-like, super cool flying cars? And whatever happened to the moving sidewalks we all thought would be commonplace by now? Besides the ones at airports, I mean. And weren't we supposed to have ended war, found the cure for cancer and colonized Mars by now? You'd think after two-thousand years, well maybe someday.
Anyhoo, no discussion of the start of a new year would be complete without some mention of the R word—Resolutions. Personally, I don't make them, although if you hop on over to the Christian Fiction Online Magazine you can read my Stranger Than Fiction article in which I do actually make a resolution. But you'll have to read it to uncover this secret. I got to thinking about it the other night and realized that the reason I don't make formal NY's resolutions is because I am resolving to change one thing or another all year long. My life is, as it turns out, one great big promise to become a better person, lose weight, spend more time with the family, write a novel (oh, I did that) write another novel, (check, did that too) exercise, read more books, play less video games, spend more time with the Lord, take a course, stop bouncing checks, you know all the stuff we really, really want to do but quite often fall short. This, my friends is not our fault. It's in our DNA—especially if you are a writer.
From just a simple jog around the blogosphere this past week I have come to the conclusion that writers make more resolutions than any other profession. I mean think about it, it would be pretty scary if your brain surgeon resolved to make cleaner incisions in the new year or if the chicken inspectors resolved to look a little more closely. But writers? Well writers are a special and strange breed. I think it's because we pretty much work alone and that makes the possibility of screwing up a whole lot easier. No one is watching—not really. So we can resolve to write 5000000 words a day and if we fail? Who knows? But yet writers do make lots of resolutions this time of year. For instance, I read where one writer is resolving to "write tighter," "use less adverbs", (uhm, try none. See an adverb—kill it--mostly) Another author vowed to carry a notebook wherever she goes to write down all those tidbits of genius that strike like lightning in the middle of a foil, or while standing on line at the market, or in the shower but don’t bring a Sharpie into the shower with you. Trust me. Then there is the very popular "Update my blog EVERY DAY." Look, this is just silly. No one can update their blog for 365 days without missing one. At least no one I know can do it so don’t even go there. Just resolve to blog semi-daily or when the muse gets off the elevator and you're covered. Less pressure. Another writer has vowed to stop procrastinating. This, my loyal subjects is impossible. Writers MUST procrastinate. It's in the bylaws. Because you see, procrastination for a writer and say a dentist are two very different things. If the dentist doesn't take that goopy stuff that hardens out of your mouth in time, well that's an issue, but if a writer doesn't show up at the keyboard on time, well, that's okay, because writers are ALWAYS writing. Always. And this is often a problem, especially for me since I tend to play out scenarios in my brain so often that sometimes it's hard to know what's really going on and what I'm making up. So don’t resolve to NOT procrastinate—it's part of the process. Unless of course you have a looming, gargantuan deadline staring at you, then you might want to put down the Xbox controller and beg the muse for words.
So there it is, my discussion of Resolutions, particularly for writers. What about you? Did you resolve to do anything differently this year, better this year? I'd love to know and then maybe I can bug you about it for the next 12 months. Wouldn’t that be nice? And oh, the picture? That's my grandson, Cedar. It's totally gratuitous and has nothing to do with resolutions except that if I could resolve anything and make it happen? it would be to see him and his brother, Lemmy and their parents more often. But they live in Colorado and I'm in Pennsylvania. Uhm.