This absolutely isn’t a New Year resolution. It isn’t. It just happens to start on January 1st 2019 and finish on December 31st, that’s all. I just need to kick myself into gear and write more, so that’s what this is all about.
Two years ago I decided that I need to read more. When I was younger — about a thousand years ago now — I used to read constantly; I’d constantly have a book in my hand or be laying in front of the fire, kicking my feet in the air, working through the Dune series — best sci-fi books every written. Fight me.
But three things happened around 2008 which stopped all that.
First, my son was born; second; the iPhone was released; and third, well, just life happened — work, school plays, making dinner, work, the need to sleep etc.
Children, if you’re not aware actually take up a hell of a lot of time. So much so that personal development time isn’t at the top of the priority list, and so, time for reading quickly becomes switched out for time for sleeping.
I also did a study of how often I use my smartphone and was a disturbing number of hours just scrolling through nonsense, but I’ll write much more about that another time.
So, two years ago (which also happened to fall on January 1st, but which was also not a New Year’s resolution) I’ve read every day making my way through an average of a book every two weeks. It would have been more but David Copperfield really messed up my stats.
No more TV, no more smartphone or social media, just reading. And it worked. Two years and 58 books late, I’m back in the swing of things.
Anyway, on to this year…
Tucked away in various Word documents I have secreted around 200,000 words; short-stories and half-started novels which have never seen the light of day. True, most of them should probably stay that way, let alone be published on this dark corner of the internet, but some of them I like, some of them I even think might be pretty good.
My problem is that I never seem to finish anything, or get tied up in other stuff like walking the cat, watching my son’s school play, eating, work, or sleeping. So, this year I’m determined to what I did for reading two years ago for my writing.
I resolve I’m going to do:
One: Write a blog post every day
In a former life I ran a technology website, and for a good three years I wrote and posted articles daily. That was great fun, and I loved the writing process, but the pressure of having to produce solid content (I really hate that word) everyday, do research, and worry about stuff like SEO, how the audience would react to the title, and pushing it on about a hundred social media platforms, just sucked the life out of it.
So, this year, I’m going to do the enjoyable part of it, the part I loved doing — the writing.
I’m not going to worry about length, or focused content, or even whether anyone is reading and sharing it; I’m just going to write whatever takes my fancy.
Most of the posts will probably be book related, so if you’re interested in science-fiction, a mild obsession with Phillip K. Dick, and a creeping interest in Junji Ito comic books, read on.
By simply writing more I want to:
- Get over the “fear” of writing — worrying about how people will react to it, whether what I’m writing is any good. I’m just going to write.
- Develop a routine where I sit down at the keyboard every day and knock out a few pages.
- Force myself to do things which I might otherwise not in order to have something to write about; 365 blog posts needs 365 ideas.
Two: Write 1000 words towards a story, and focus on one at a time
Here’s the big thing for me. I love writing, I’ve no idea if I’m any good, but I enjoy the creative process, and it puts me in a good mental space. I could spend the next year writing another 200,000 words to add to my collection of Word documents, but that’s not going to achieve anything.
Instead, I’m going to focus on one story at a time and actually finish some stuff which is worth sharing. Which leads on to number three…
Three: Publish six short-stories on Amazon
And there’s not much point doing this unless I have a goal to achieve, an end point to reach. So that’s where publishing comes in. I’m going to self-publish my completed stories on Amazon.
So, that’s about it. If, by some quirk of fate, or Google’s SEO, you’ve reached this page and got to this point, thanks. I’ll probably be on the social medias, linked at the top of the page, or you can drop your email below if you’d like me to update you. It’s more for my own motivation though!
See you tomorrow…