Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’

Apologies for my lack of presence here; like many of you, I’m up to my ears in holiday fun. Eggnog, presents, family, Swedish smörgåsbord delights, and the ensuing fallout has me busy, busy, busy! I’ll be around the site off and on for the next week and back in force after the New Year. In the meantime, let me leave you with this terrific quote:

Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you ­finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die.
― Anne Enright

It’s applicable to writing, of course, but substitute “do [fill in the blank with your own white whale]” for “finish this book” and it may also be useful for those looking ahead to the new year, and related resolutions:)

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Iain M. Banks Cancer: Author Announces He Has Only Months To Live.

Scottish writer Iain Banks said Wednesday he has been diagnosed with late-stage gall bladder cancer and has just months to live.

(updated) For his personal statement on this, see his website. This is a tragedy for those immediately involved and bad news for anyone who enjoys good writing.

For writers thinking about what comes after this, visit Neil Gaiman’s post on writers and wills, both standard and literary.

Neil Gaiman’s Journal: Important. And pass it on….

Writers put off making wills (well, human beings put off making wills, and most writers are probably human beings). Some of us think it’s self-aggrandising or foolish to pretend that anyone would be interested in their books or creations after they’re dead. Others secretly believe we’re going to live forever and that making a will would mean letting Death in a crack.

Others make wills, but don’t think to take into account what happens to our literary estate as a separate thing from the disposition of our second-best beds, which means unqualified or uninterested relatives can find themselves in control of everything the author’s written.

Neil’s post is from 2006 and applies to the U.S., but it’s a good place to start. No, I haven’t done this myself. Yet. But I will. Soon!

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I’m fiddling. I have several stories in progress, some of which are really quite close to completion, or should be. Except that I’m fiddling. I’m spending way too much time trying to get it “right” and not enough time trying to get the work done. Because it’s never going to be perfect.

Parkinson’s law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

What I really need is a deadline.

Perhaps I should decree March my personal “Short Story Finishing Month,” or ShoStoFiMo. Yes, that should do nicely.

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And I quote:
JOHN BAIRD: “Canada will never become a safe haven for zombies, ever.”

This country is great:) I don’t know about you but I’m feeling much safer.

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photo by Jayt74 on Flickr

photo by Jayt74 on Flickr

2012 started well but ended with a bit of a fizzle. And by fizzle I mean a wave of illness, death, and generally unpleasant travel schedules. So apologies for not being around here since the holidays. The good news is that there are still people to care about, there is still useful work to be done, still delicious food to make. Here’s to 2013, eh?

And on that note…

I pride myself on not making resolutions, not at New Year’s, anyway. But here’s the thing: I’m starting to think that maybe I should.

Why? It’s simple, really. Raised by a couple of nontraditional types (they eschewed the “hippie” label but certainly shared some defining characteristics) I generally scoff at traditions. Well, not Christmas and Easter and watching Star Wars with giant bowls of popcorn, obviously, but the other stuff. The traditions that seem designed to weigh you down rather than buoy you up, that help you feel like crap when you realize you’ve fallen short.

Honestly, that’s what New Year’s resolutions always seemed like to me: an opportunity to fail and then have to spend the rest of the year wandering around in a haze of guilt, regret, and inadequacy. Like a minor but well-established branch of several major religions I can think of, actually. No thanks, right? True enough, as far as that goes. But if you look at it as a convenient time to check in, to catch up, to re-evaluate or just to ask yourself the questions that generally get lost in all the frantic day-to-day, well. That seems to be something else entirely.

So. I’m still not going to vow to lose ten pounds a week or exercise constantly or only think thoughts worthy of a nun, because that’s never going to happen. I reject the tyranny of “should” and “must.” But I will spend at least a few belated moments checking in, to see if what I wanted last year is the same thing I want now. And if not, then what? Then I have a whole new year to figure out what comes next.

Here’s to mid-course corrections, and to staying on track!


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