Sunday, 16 May 2010

Fess Up Time

So in the long tradition of new year's resolutions, mine has gone by the wayside. Yes, I was going to stick to a schedule. Yes I was going to give up TV. Yes I was going to write one book at a time and Yes I was going to write plot summaries and stick to them.

The result: No, no, no and ah... oh yeah. No.

I know the year's not over and all that but come on. I know when I've bitten off more than I can chew. My 2010 plan is simply not going to work. In admitting this I take my inspiration from Caitlyn Nicholas, who earlier in the year abandonned her ambition to complete a uni course in creative writing because despite her dream to do it, it just wasn't working for her situation. These are the kinds of decisions we have to make, especially when we have families to consider. I struggled with 'The Schedule' for a couple of months, realising I was stressing myself to the max and consequently not writing anything fresh or interesting, just the drivel that results when you try and force out a daily word count for the sake of it.

So I took March off. Which turned out to be expensive because we bought a house! I did not allow myself to write a word, jot down scene ideas or plot summaries... I simply wasn't allowed. It wasn't until then I realised I've never actually taken a holiday from writing. I've had a lot of days/weeks where I haven't written anything but in my head I was always thinking I should be doing it, or that later that night I might give it a shot. In March (which I dubbed 'The Month of Me'), I had to read and watch movies without rearranging the plots in my head. I went on a word count diet--I wasn't allowed to rack up any words at all.

I think I could actually feel my brain sighing in relief.

Since then I have started messing with a couple of manuscripts but I'm not putting any pressure on myself to finish anything right now. Moving house is enough for me to cope with at the moment. Five months after my initial declaration that I was going to become a super productive writing machine, I'm reassessing my options. I am going to write, and I am going to finish something this year (that is one goal that was non-negotiable!), but what and when? I can't say just yet.

So am I the only one who dumped their new year's resolutions or what?



  1. I respect you and I respect this post Sami! As mum's and writers we often put too much pressure on ourselves!! Go you!!! I'm trying not to put the pressure on as well :)

  2. Hell no!
    I dumped the whole making them process years ago. I figured life was too short for me to spend it worrying about not following through on what amounted to often stupid goals. Instead I look back at the year that was a celebrate everything I DID achieve the previous year. Much better way to ring in the new year.

  3. Thanks Rach :). Good luck with your own good intentions.

    I don't usually make them anymore either RC but thought I needed to give it a shot this year. I'll know better next time!

  4. Its not that our intentions/resolutions are bad though, its just that we've all got kids and the damn things are so incredibly time consuming :) and we're caught in this endless conflict between the needs of our family, and our own need to write and therefore achieve.

    Masses of respect from me as well for making the tough decision, I know its not easy (and I also know what you mean about the relief once you've made it). I tell myself that there will be time, later. That when the kids are older and more independent then we will have the space, both physical and mental, to achieve the things we dream of now.

    Hugs :)