New Year Promises

. I’m impressed by Christine’s New Year resolutions, and knowing her, she has the strength of will to carry them out. I, on the other hand,have learnt, after many years, NOT to make New Year Resolutions.

I used to make the usual ones – normally headed by ‘DIET!’ in big block Gothic lettering. I’d diet resolutely until about February, when I realised I wasn’t losing any weight, and gave up. (Turned out, years later, I’m a coeliac, and THAT was making me put on weight – no amount of dieting would have helped. All those wasted resolutions….)

And then there were the writing ones. Very similar to Christine’s – write a page a day, send off a manuscript a month. I made those last year. It would go fine for a week or two – and then I’d come home too tired to write, and skip that day, and the next day I’d have a class, and the day after that I was at the theatre, and before I knew it, I was out of the habit.

I’m not a resolution girl. In fact I’m a ‘break every damn rule I can get away with breaking’ type girl. Show me a habit of mine, and I’ll break it. Setting myself a New Year’s Resolution is practically ordering myself to break it.

So no resolutions for me. Instead, I shall make promises to myself. Therefore, I promise to:

Not berate myself for failing to write. Instead, I shall reward myself when I DO write.

Enjoy what I write – and if it feels like a chore, stop for the day. Writing is the most joyous thing in my life. I don’t want to resent it.

Have confidence in myself. Not criticise my work until I’ve left it well alone for a month, and can be detached about it.

And, mostly, I promise myself, no matter how hopeless, misguided, untalented and unfulfilled I feel, it will never, NEVER be as bad as it was in the past. Then I was never writing at all. Now, at least, there are words on the paper and stories in my mind.

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