Monday, December 31, 2007

As the New Year Approaches...

Only one resolution this year; only one that matters, at any rate.

This is something I've written about before, which is irritating and, frankly, embarrassing. In the past, I've found the will to change things I didn't like about myself, and that's something I've taken great pride in. However, in this particular regard, I seem to have hit a wall. It's frustrating, particularly given that it revolves around an issue I consider central to the core of my own character.

I consider myself a writer. However, in reality, I am not a writer. I have not been a writer on any consistent basis since my college days ended nearly eight years ago. Sure, I blog (occasionally), I keep a journal (occasionally), I do some other things here and there. As far as developing a routine or maintaining any level of output, forget about it. I resolve to change that each year, and last year I made my frustration with myself public. No real change. I attacked it with a frenzy for a short time, then fell off again. Business as usual.

Why do I have such a problem with this? I honestly have no idea. I love writing, love the creative fire and the feeling that takes over as it begins to fuel itself, love even the mundane task of putting pencil to paper or fingers to keys. The problem likely, and sadly, is simply one of time and false priorities. There's always something else that takes precedence, even if it's something as pointless as sitting on the couch in front of a football game I have no vested interest in, or another Futurama or Family Guy rerun. Yes, that's sad, and I hate putting it out there for everyone to see, but I can't deny it, and it does no good to hide from it.

Well, that's coming to an end this year, one way or another. I'm raising the stakes. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I plan to prepare and submit at least two stories to be considered for publication in calendar year 2008. If that does not happen, I will stop referring to myself and thinking of myself as a writer of fiction.

I don't care if the stories get picked up or not. It's just a way of quantifying my progress, of setting a goal and a deadline for myself. My real goal is just to develop a routine, to actually settle myself in for the purpose of writing, and then doing it. As individual projects coalesce, I'll probably set more concrete and immediate deadlines for myself, as that's the way I operate best--with a specific goal to shoot for. In fact, let's start now. I have one story in draft form that I like quite a bit, which probably needs some pretty heavy revision but, at its heart, is worthy of submission. Let's say I'd like to have that one ready to go by January 31. That'll give me eleven months to get just one more written, revised, and ready to go, and there's absolutely no reason why it should take that long.

So here we go. I'm done exhorting myself, and ready now just to get started. There should be some occasional tidbits available on my fiction blog for those of you who may be interested, and I'm sure I'll have some things to say about my progress (should there be any, of course...but, even given my previous difficulties and false starts, I finally feel pretty confident on this front) on this blog as well. One way or another, I'm not writing another post like this one again.

No comments: