Saturday, 2 January 2010

A Writing 101 Production - Part 3 Writing Resolutions

Resolutions are what you're supposed to 'make' at this time of year. New Year=New Start and all that.  Losing weight, being a nicer person, taking out the stress, going green. Laudable and excellent things, I'm sure, but it all makes me all a bit grumpy, really. Extremely grumpy and wanting to bite all those new starters in the bum, if you must know. But for you, dear blogreader and seeker-after-writing-wisdom, I will go to any lengths (some lengths? a few lengths? a length?).   Well, a bit of an effort, anyway. 

So...RESOLUTION (REZӘ-L-ŌŌ'SHӘN) from a writer's perspective....
And the interesting news, brought straight from a Chambers dictionary near you, is that nowhere can I find any actual definition reference to new starts.
There are:
 Act of resolving
 TV picture definition (Yep.  I resolve to fix that sometime.  Not.)
 State of being resolved
and loads of chemically-related bits which are all very well in their way, I'm sure, but not deeply germane to the subject in hand. (Which is writing, in case you'd forgotten that already, what with the New Year hangover and all.) And then there are these.
 Fixed determination
 Removal of or freedom from doubt

Now we're getting somewhere.  As a writer, I need a lot of fixed determination.  Writing a book is, to be frank, BLOODY EXHAUSTING.  No one believes this.  I mean, how tiring can it be MAKING THINGS UP for a living?  Well, let me tell you, at the end of a normal writing day which I've spent wrestling with a recalcitrant dragon (werewolf, owl or insert real or mythical creature of choice here), wrangling my stroppy teenage characters (like herding cats), killing people (entirely for the sake of my plot, you understand--I take no pleasure in it), or any of the thousand other jobs I ask my imagination to tackle I AM KNACKERED and my brain is mushed to baked beans. So yes, I'll take as much fixed determination as I can get to get the job done.  Apart from anything else I need it to combat the Horrible Procrastination Disease, which is the curse of all those writers who work on their own in a small, cold room and are tempted away from the task in hand by the siren calls of Facebook or Twitter, or the lures of a nice hot cup of Earl Grey tea and a strawberry shortcake biscuit. (Me?  Who said anything about me?)

As for removal of or freedom from doubt well, I could do with a bit of that, too.  Look into the secret places of any writer's brain, and you will see the Doubt Monster crouching, lying in wait, saying things like 'you know you're no good', 'they'll never give you a contract for that old rubbish', 'hey, let's have a look at the Amazon reviews--you need to know what awful things people are saying about your books', and similar gems of comfort and joy. Bad sales figures, a throwaway remark from agent or editor, a less than complimentary newspaper review (or no review at all)--all these things lead to doubts about talent and competence in even the most lauded prizewinning writer's mind. Freedom from doubt, even for a day, would be a blessing to any writer.  So I'll hope for it for all my writing friends, but I'm not holding my breath for it to happen to me any time soon.  (Hey, I'm a realist as well as a dreamer.)

This year, at the start of this new decade, I guess my resolution (and all the naggers in my house are going on and on at me to tell them what mine is), is simply this.  TO HAVE RESOLUTION (as defined above) IN MY WRITING  I'll let you know how it goes.  And how long it lasts....  Now where's my Twitter page and that cup of tea?


Stroppy Author said...

I hope you don't get so much resolve you stay off FB and twitter or I won't be able to talk to you! But good luck for the new year, Lucy - and you will write some fantastic things, of course, without a doubt :-)

Lucy Coats said...

Anne--surely by now you know me too well to expect me to stay off either for more than a few hours at a time! But thank you--I hope BOTH our 2010 writing careers are on a fantastic upward curve.

Miriam Halahmy said...

That's a good resolution Lucy and one that I'm sure you will keep up. The only NY resolution I ever kept was giving up sugar in tea. Mind you, it was a good one!

Lucy Coats said...

I did that one too, Miriam, years ago. It's about the only res I've ever kept for more than a minute. Sugar in tea now makes me feel sick, so worth it!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Brilliant post - but as Anne said, just don't stay away from Twitter or FB for too long - I'll miss you - I mean I need someone else to share tales of fany with!
As for your line about not enjoying killing people, pah, bah and humbug - I do so not believe you! Nicky xxx

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