Are You Resolved?

How many things did I plan to do and not get done in 2014? Lots. But I’m not going to dignify those missed targets by listing them here. Okay, I’ll admit to having let my blog slip into erratic intervals. Maybe I didn’t advance my work-in-progress novels as much as I would have liked. It’s also possible I spent far too much time on the internet.

Word count: 451                                                                                      Reading time: 1-2 minutes

A person can feel quite defeated by only looking at what didn’t happen, so I decided to concentrate on the things I did do:

  • Packed up part of our North Vancouver house to make it pretty for selling.

  • Completed the purchase of our Victoria home.

  • Sold the North Vancouver place.

  • Shipped most our possessions into storage and found temporary accommodation for the five months of renovations.

  • Led the Young Writers’ Club of North Vancouver until March, when I handed it over to the talented Lisa Voisin.

  • Launched my debut novel Lockdown.

  • Worked with builders and tradespeople through the demolition and renovation. Every day at the job site I sat at a folding table in the middle of the dust, noise, and disruptions, and wrote something.  

  • Travelled back to the mainland to read with the gracious Steven Galloway at the North Vancouver City Library.

  • Participated regularly (mostly by phone) with my critique group in North Vancouver.

  • Moved into the new home and settled in (this seemed to take forever).

  • Took a YA writing course at UVic, taught by the fabulous Robin Stevenson.

  • Attended meetings and seminars hosted by mystery writers, romance writers, and all-purpose writers.

  • Promoted my book through social media and local contacts.

  • Assumed the position of Treasurer of the Lynn Valley Literary Society.

  • Went to the Victoria Writers’ Festival.

  • Wrote twenty-eight flash fiction stories.

  • Read over fifty books and dozens of short stories.

Looking at things that way, maybe keeping a regular blog wasn’t such a priority after all. As Steve Jobs said, “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” If I’d tethered myself to regular blogs, maybe other important things would have gone.

So now I’m going to take my cue from the Roman god Janus, whose two faces look to the past and to the future at the same time. Much more might have been accomplished in 2014 but I laid the groundwork for 2015’s goals. I won’t shoot for too many though. Too strict an agenda can exclude the joy of serendipity and new paths that open before us.

As the year draws to a close, have you taken time to reflect with satisfaction on the things you did? What do you plan to accomplish in 2015, in writing and the rest of your life?

Photos from Wikimedia Commons: Red colour flowing into the waters of Sydney by Rajwinder Singh and Bust of god Janus, Vatican Museum by Fubar Obfusco

 

What do you stand for?

The renovations are over. Our home looks better than my most hopeful dream. My desk is planted in front of a bay window where an interesting parade of people passes all day long: monochromatic Goths, purple-haired Emos, aging hippies, teens in retro gear, girls on bikes in long flowing skirts, oldsters on walkers, and many people in various shapes sizes. Sometimes I just sit and stare.

In a true ‘every silver lining has a gray cloud’ way, this happiness comes at a cost: I never want to leave it. Contentment may be hazardous to my creative life. It may isolate me here with these physical comforts.

Einstein said that feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavours and human creations. That’s mildly comforting because I always long to write a better page, write a more suspenseful story.

Still I have this strong resistance to leaving my cocoon. I want to stay here and revel in the changes that I watched happen, nail by nail, inch by inch, for six months. So maybe I’ll sit down at my desk and open that novel that is slowly taking shape. If I do that, what will I bring to it from my protected shell of modern living?

What is that voice I hear? Could it be Henry David Thoreau whispering across the ether? How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.

It may be time to stand up and go somewhere. To walk on a different beach or take a bus downtown and recharge the creative juices.

Are you feeling dangerously content today? Or are you away from your desk, your laptop, or your notebook, improving your writing in other, less obvious ways?

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Photo from Wikimedia Commons: White Rock Lake Dallas Dock Feet by WroteOddly