Resolution(s)

It’s almost the time of year for resolutions of the kind no one keeps or remembers.  I can’t say making resolutions was ever one of my rituals, though beginning a new year is reason enough to reflect on the successes and failures of the previous year;  2014 was not my most productive writing period, so I feel a resolution or two coming on.

I’d like to get rid of some of the obstacles to writing I indulge in.  There are obvious ones, starting in my office with the games on the computer.  Bookshelves in every room on this floor hold another obvious distraction.  I resolve to play no game that involves words (farewell, crosswords and Scrabble) and to stop rereading my favorite writers (no more Jane Austen, goodbye Anthony Trollope).  I also resolve not to watch anything on television other than the news (easy).

Well, that liberates a lot of time, at least in theory.  In fact, what would happen would be a sudden access of housekeeping.  I’m not one of nature’s housewives.  However, a good spell of writer’s bloc will find me polishing kitchen cabinets or vacuuming spider webs from the basement ceiling at two in the morning.  Massive writer’s bloc might conceivably drive me to gardening or canning tomatoes.  So.  I resolve not to clean closets.

All of the above are essentially negative alternatives to writing. Positive alternatives are more powerful and frightening.  Volunteering public service, for example, can blot up weeks, even months.  It takes you out of the house, away from the nagging computer.  You meet interesting and admirable people.  You are praised and patted and told how wonderful you are, and all the time you are HIDING FROM WRITING.

The most dangerous alternative is learning another art form.  In my worst dry spell I took up water color painting.  I accumulated brushes and paints, handbooks, blocks of heavy paper.  I took lessons with a friend.  I met talented and likeable artists and produced a handsome portrait of my cat, Ethel.  The worst thing was I enjoyed painting.  Never mind that I wasn’t very good at it and never would be.  Never mind that I was HIDING FROM WRITING.

I resolve not to sit down at the piano.

Happy new year.

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4 Responses

  1. And don’t go near FaceBook or take up Sudoku or research just one more arcane tidbit that might be useful for the story. The thing is, once I get into writing mode it’s difficult to pull all the way out again to do anything else, so the world outside that zone just sort of slides by for the duration.

  2. Sheila, if I see you sit down at a piano, I’ll slam the lid on your fingers. (LOL)

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