I like New Year’s resolutions. They give me something to aim for. Except I don’t think of them as rules to live by. That would be way too boring. And I’m not really the kind of person who likes tons of rules. I know they have their place, but why add more than you need? So I like to think about my New Year’s resolutions like hints, or even better, like trial runs.
Adam and I sit down every year and make a short (or sometimes longer) list of resolutions and then test them out over the course of the year. If they help, they are added into the permanent rotation of new life guidelines. If they suck, they are quickly tossed. (Okay, not always quickly tossed. My need to feel justified usually keeps me trying them for at least a week past when I realized that the resolution wasn’t making my life better.)
This year I made 5 resolutions. Most of which I’m not telling you. But one of them is relevant to this blog. Write everyday. No matter what.
Now let me tell you, the only part of this writing resolution that was easy was writing it down on my New Year’s list. Sure the first five days were great. It was like a honeymoon. I was excited to see a new blank white page in front of me those first few days. The cursor was rife with potential and discovery. And then I hit the seven day itch. I was busy, then I’d get home and be tired, then I needed to make supper, then I needed to digest supper, then I needed to watch some t.v., play some video games. Then it was late. Everyone has the flu. I should get to bed early. It’s careless of me not to go to bed right now. BUT you know what, the fact that I had written that resolution down on my list, and that I am a fairly stubborn person when I promise myself something, made me sit down to write.
Has everything I’ve written these last ten days been gold? Of course not. But there has been some gold. And it’s also taught me a bit more about my writing self. What time of day I do my best and most proficient writing. What time of day the ideas are at their most prolific. It’s also reinforced that idea that everything you write doesn’t have to be amazing. It just has to be written. Then you can look at it a day later, a week later, a year later and decide what to do with it. And lastly, it’s also taught me that I don’t have to work on the same project everytime I sit down. It can be healthy, and much more fun, to mix it up a bit.
But the coolest thing is that now, ten complete days in, I’ve started to notice a difference in my writing again. It’s like exercise, you hit those plateaus. And last year I hit a writing plateau. But sitting down and putting the work in everyday this year has restrengthened some old writing muscles, and pointed out some awesome new ones. It’s actually pretty cool. And this is one resolution I plan on making a permanent guideline. At least for this year.