I don’t think we reference Say Anything enough. You know, as a species. In general.
Anyway. It’s almost the end of the year, and I’m thinking about the year to come. I was never a big resolutions person, really, as all the resolutions I seemed to hear about involved giving things up, or cutting things down, or some nebulous form of improvement through suppression.
Six years ago, I decided to start spending more time trying to write things. It was fun, but I still kind of dicked around with it. I finished one novel that was really one third of a novel stretched out over seventy thousand words, a bunch of short stories that were aimless in both form, intent, and delivery, and…that was about it.
Two years ago – or close to it – I wrote myself a letter. It was inspired by Bruce Lee’s letter to himself, but tempered by a British sense of self-confidence and an echoing memory of the SMART acronym. I would write two novels, I told myself. The success of these novels was not discussed. I would write them, and edit them, and put at least one out on sub. Those were my criteria for success. I would write a dozen short stories, and I would write them with the aim of submission somewhere. I did not expect them to find homes, but I expected that writing them might teach me something, even if only about getting things done. I gave myself eighteen months as a deadline, and got to work.
By the time my daughter was born, eighteen months later, I had met my deadline. It was a lot of fun, and I learned tons about how I write and how I manage my time. I got more out of that letter – that decision – than I had out of half a lifetime’s wishful thinking.
So now it’s time for me to sit down and write a new letter. I want to write more (and better, besides), of course, but there are other things to consider, too. I want to bake more, and learn more, and run more, and climb. I want to see my friends more. I want to aim higher than just getting the words out, and see how far that will take me.
Have a great Hogmanay, all. See you in the New Year.