Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. I just looked at my New Year blog post last year in which I resolved to:
- Write for at least two hours every morning
- Resume ‘morning pages’
- Do all my teaching admin in the afternoons
- Restrict time spent on twitter to 2 half-hour sessions a day
- Take one or two days a week off
- Write a blog post about writing, reading or food once a week
Reader, I failed. Miserably. In fact, the level of failure is so great that I’m surprised I’ve got the nerve to admit it to myself, never mind confessing it to you lot. So before I make a new list of ‘intentions’ as Isabel Ashdown has so wisely called them in her New Year blog post, Good Intentions for 2013, I want to look at what went wrong:
I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I’ve come to the conclusion that if I fail at the first one, I’m doomed to fail at the rest. The problem is that if I’m not progressing on my novel, I feel guilty about doing any other sort of writing – bang goes number two and number six. Naturally, if I’ve not worked on my novel, I can’t possibly take a day off – bang goes number five. Number four was just unrealistic. I should have realised that Twitter just doesn’t work like that. Some days, Twitter is packed with interesting links, blog posts etc which I know I won’t get around to reading if I don’t read them immediately. And sometimes, I just need the virtual banter that Twitter provides. That leaves number three, and I almost managed this one, but if I wasn’t working on my novel and if I was spending too much time on Twitter, the guilt would creep in again and so I’d do a bit of teaching admin just so I could feel I’d done some work.
So this year I’m going to concentrate on my novel, and I’m going to change my aim slightly. Instead of ‘write for at least two hours every morning’, I’m changing it to ‘work on the novel for at least two hours every morning’. This will hopefully stop me from beating myself up if I’m not actually writing. I’m struggling with RSI in both arms at the moment, so typing is a huge problem anyway and my time could be just as valuably spent doing some planning and thinking about where it’s all going.
Hopefully, if I can stick to this one ‘intention’ some of the others will follow naturally, but I’m not going to set myself any other firm targets this year. There will be blogging and there will be Tweeting, but maybe not so frequently. Finishing this novel is the most important thing, so if the other things happen, that’s great, but if they don’t happen, then they don’t and that’s that.
The coming year is going to be busy but also very exciting. Not only will I be finishing my second book, but my debut novel is coming out in May, and I may well die of excitement! Also, we’re moving house. We’re not going far, only a mile or so up the road, and the house we’re buying is only slightly bigger than the tiny one we’re in now, but it’s near to some nice little cafes and some lovely dog-walking areas, and the most important thing is that it feels right; it feels like a house I can be creative in. What’s more, I get the bigger study this time!
So for me, it’s a new year, a new house, a new routine, and a new approach to work. I intend to have a productive and guilt-free 2013.
Here’s to a happy, creative and fulfilling year for all of us!
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