Irresolute

One of the party-chatter subjects at a New Year’s eve gathering I attended a couple of nights ago was, “Do you have any resolutions?”

I came up with nothing, partly because last year I achieved one goal that always seemed to top my list back when I regularly made resolutions: bring my writing to a wider audience.

After sleeping on it, though, I came up with one: Keep writing.

My Google calendar contains a block from 8-9 every weekday morning labeled “writing,” just as it has had since last September. I intend to keep it that way. Sticking closely my daily writing regimen has propelled me through more than 30,000 words of my new novel in about six months. There’s a nice utilitarian, workaday feel to blocking out time for being creative.

Marking the passage of time, however, even with a rather arbitrary party and countdown, never fails to sharpen my sense of mortality. In this context, my 2012 resolution reminds me that I am, in some deep sense, writing against the void (I first mentioned this in my early November post about why I write). Looked at this way, my resolution is not so much a resolution as a statement of necessity. Given the role fiction writing plays in my life, I may as well have resolved to keep breathing.

Resolution also refers to what is supposed to happen to a plot at the end of a novel. All the bits of action and subplot are—at least in a traditional, plot-driven work—tied up in a satisfying way. Since I have a hard time with plot, maybe a better resolution for me would be: have a resolution.

On second thought (third thought?), maybe I’ll just get more exercise, eat less chocolate, and spend more time with my family.

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