Last year I took part in Dryathlon, a sponsored month on the wagon. I raised a bit of money for cancer research, probably made myself a little healthier, and managed to squeeze out two short stories (three, if you count the one that spilled a tad into February). I am never as prolific as that. In fact, I’ve probably only done three more decent stories in the subsequent year.
I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have succeeded in staying drink free for a month had I not committed to the charity that I would raise money for them in doing so. There were times when I could easily have buckled, but sticking to my well-publicised promise provided me with the motivation to persevere.
Now January is here again and whilst I don’t intend to commit to Dryathlon this time around, I feel like I should put something out there into the world that states a vow, so that my good intentions are not confined to my internal monologue, and then maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance I’ll stick to it. First and foremost, I need to make amends for the astonishing amount of food and drink consumed over the festive period, which I decided to combine with a complete lack of exercise. So number one commitment is to eat healthily and get in shape, fast.
The second commitment is all about writing. Last year was not a productive year (after January, of course). Various things such as moving house, a beautiful summer and long lazy afternoons in the garden, my new found loves of walking and American Football, and my general laziness, all meant that I didn’t get much done. True, a couple of my short stories have popped up on the internet in various places, but I need to do more. I started writing a novel in April (one that I had initially thought of in the previous September), but ditched it all a few months later as it stank. I re-started it, got great ideas for plot, characters, techniques, I was on fire.. For a few days. Unfortunately the quality of writing didn’t back up the ideas and having read through it all again this week, I’ve come to realise that once again, it stank.
Thankfully I kept all of the notes I made and I still believe in the story and its characters, I just needed to work out how I wanted it to be written. So I’ve been back to drawing board and flipped it around, started writing in the first person from the protagonist’s perspective and it seems to be clicking finally. I really hope that I’m getting it right this time, so this leads me onto my second commitment. A biggie this time. I will finish the first draft of this book, no matter what happens. Even if it stinks worse than a freshly opened packet of ham, I’ll finish it.
Good luck to you all with your projects in 2017.