Last year, I chose a rather big resolution for myself: to complete a first draft of a novel. I worked on it throughout the year, sometimes daily, others times going nearly a month without touching it while I focused on other distractions like getting married and buying a house. As the end of 2014 grew closer, I shifted into high gear and committed to writing several pages a day so that I could make my goal. Finally, on the evening of Dec. 29, I came to the end of my story and hit ‘save’ with a great sense of accomplishment and finality; I have written a novel-length manuscript with characters I have come to know inside and out, a story with little to no sense of a dramatic arc or clear climax, and a structure as loose and blobby as a pair of pantyhose filled with Jello pudding. But that’s OK because it’s a first draft, and someday I will fine-tune the structure and raise the stakes so that story emerges amidst the character work. I will chisel away at it like an Appalachian woodcarver who creates whimsical bears out of tree stumps. I’ll make it readable, which is a very important quality in a novel. But not this year; for now, I plan to set it down and let it marinate on the back burner of brain, let the juices mingle so I can tell which flavor notes arise out of it.
Also, I’m pretty damn tired of it at the moment.
In 2015, I want to focus on things that I put aside in the past year so that I could finish the novel. I resolve to get back to blogging, both on DWWP and on my personal blog. I am going to write every day, even if some days it’s just a few paragraphs. The important thing is that I make the effort to put fingertips to keyboard (the modern day version of pen to paper because my handwriting has gotten so terrible with neglect that it’s completely illegible). I also plan to cook more often and learn how to make healthy meals, because I owe my husband for the many nights he whipped up something incredible in the kitchen while I was pounding out pages on the laptop and downing a bottle of wine, for, you know, research purposes. I also resolve to do more yoga because spending all day on a computer is not doing my posture any favors. But most importantly of all, I resolve to continue enjoying all that life has to offer. To keep trying new foods, explore my neighborhood, visit new cities and states and national parks. Pet new dogs. Try new hobbies. Read more books. Start a karaoke club. To quote Ben Franklin, “either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” In 2015, I plan to take these words to heart.