New Year non-resolutions

by , under life, writing

So it’s 2014. I’ve done all the 2013 dishes, not because of any resolution to do housework, but because they were there and I was awake and downstairs alone and thinking about writing.

I gave up making “classic” resolutions years ago, but I think it was only last year that I really gave up secretly promising myself that I would do more of X, less of Y, the obligate habit- and health-related stuff. I have little control over my health, and the only promise I must keep making to myself is that I won’t set myself up for guilt trips.

But there are a couple of things I really want to do, starting now, because January 1 is as good a date to start as any:

1. Blog more. I often think “I should blog about that!” and if I still remember it when I get home (because I usually think it on the bike, or in the swimming pool) it seems too futile to warrant blogging. But then a blog is for futilities! (Er, unless you read “blogger” as “person who writes influential things on the internet about current affairs”, which I am very much not.) Also, it’s good free-writing practice, and I want to get rid of the feeling that all my writing must be useful, another way of setting myself up for guilt trips.

2. Finish the expletive-deleted book. I thought I knew how Jilan handled Lyse, but it turns out from what my backbrain came up with while I was immersed in roughly 639750 liters of lukewarm water that it’s Lyse who gets to handle Jilan. Admittedly also vice versa, but it was a bit of a surprise. This was yesterday (New Year’s Eve) but I didn’t remember what it was until 21:49 and I didn’t see my way to finishing in 2013, so I resolved to put the whole thing off until 2014.

3. Publish the other expletive-deleted book. This entails getting the cover into shape (with lettering), sorting out the front matter, and figuring out exactly how to do the donation stuff and perhaps even the ISBN stuff. The text has been in its final shape for almost a year now. I’ve considered Smashwords or some other venue like that but I want full control, [expletive deleted]. When it’s set up the way I want I may offer other writers an outlet, too. (Only people I know and love the work of! I’m not a free publishing company.)

 

  1. Karin Margareta

    Good luck with all of these!

    I’ll try to remember what you said about futility. Something like ninety percent of my blog posts end in “meh, what’s the point”. But I have noticed in the past, that if I blog more trivialities, I will also blog more slightly less trivial things.

    • Irina

      Yes, exactly! Now, when I have something non-trivial, I tend not to blog about it because I feel it will make the blog too serious and ponderous, while if it’s full of all kinds of stuff anyway (it’s not a single-issue blog after all) it won’t give such a top-heavy effect.

      As for the writing, I’ve already done 2: FINISHED THE BLEEPING BOOK and sent it to beta readers. (Do you want it too? Just send a note!)

      • Karin Margareta

        You know, I’d love to
        read it!

        I’m afraid I’m not a very good beta reader, but I’ll make my best
        effort.

  2. Adrian Morgan

    On several occasions I’ve used a new year as an excuse to experiment with a change of blogging style, for example some years blogging more personal updates and some years less. It was also a resolution a few years back to respond to people who comment on my blog, though I lack a talent for doing this well. (I might sometimes sound inadvertantly blunt, replying to someone’s comment to acknowledge it without really knowing what to say.)

    This year … I really really need to go back into my blog’s archives and fix some things, clean out cobwebs, etc. I’ve been meaning to do this for ages. And, yes, I could do with writing some more whimsical posts, but I’d feel more comfortable about that if I didn’t have the feeling of a bigger task hanging over me.

    My least favourite aspect of blogging is choosing the categories/tags under which to file a post. I always find this a burden, and accordingly, my cleanup plans include dramatically simplifying my system of categories and applying the new set to archived posts.

    In order to have time to do this, I need to cut down on my Internet reading. I need to know when to NOT follow a link, and maybe even leave entire linkfests alone sometimes. This is hard for me. I’m an addict: I fear missing out on something fascinating.

    • Irina

      “used a new year as an excuse” — spot on.

      I think I’m on the opposite side with tags and categories: I changed to wordpress partly because I found the Blosxom system of category trees too restricting. Now when I reread something and it turns out that it belongs in another category as well, or needs another tag, I can just add it. (Same with the virtual shelves on my ereader: I love the ability to put a book on more than one shelf.)