So here we are a month into 2015, and those New Year’s resolutions written in the journal, on the note pad, or tattooed on the biceps have started to lose their luster. I have long suspected the NYRs often fall by the wayside in February because they were too lofty, too vague, or too easily ignored, perhaps all three. What seemed like a brilliant idea for self-improvement in January has lost its glamour by February and suddenly seems as much fun as prepping for your colonoscopy. So this is the month where the big decline begins. People stop clogging the gym club schedules, stop weighing in, and even stop eating their five fruits and veggies a day. And writers stop writing.
The Babylonians started this mess. They vowed each January they’d return borrowed items and repay debts. Oh to have a Babylonian living next door, returning all those borrowed cups of sugar and the Weed Wacker. And during medieval times, gallant knights vowed to renew their commitment to chivalry, so no road rage in the middle ages.
This brings us to making resolutions to write creatively. What a grand plan to vow on January 1 to write a complete novel by years end that will mesmerize agents, wow publishers, and shoot to the top of the WSJ or NYT best seller list. What writer doesn’t face another new year with deep commitment and earnest enthusiasm but then ideals start to sag in the middle? Best to start by analyzing what is getting in the way of my creativity. What motivates me to write? The Babylonians had good King Hammurabi creating a harsh system of laws which said they had to do stuff like work on the Hanging Gardens or the ill-fated Tower. And the medieval knights knew any jousting defending their principles could be their last. What motivated me in 2014 was finding a new critique group that sets deadlines. It’s that looming calendar date that gets me motivated – to research, to plot, to create, to put words on paper. Hopefully this will put me at “the end” by the end of this year.