This year I doubt I’ll make any resolutions. Why, you ask—okay, so you’re not asking, but you should. Maybe if I explain what happened the last time I created goals for the new year, I can show—not tell—you.
In 2010, I decided to make only two resolutions:
- Lose weight
- Write 1,500 words a day
Maybe not. Here’s the journal of my progress:
January 1: Ugh! I don't feel well. The champagne must have been bad because I didn’t drink that much. Really. At least I don’t remember drinking that much. I'll write 3,000 words tomorrow.P.S. The diet went well (I couldn’t keep a thing down).
January 2: I'm feeling great today, but my stomach growled like something from a Stephen King novel so I bee-lined to the grocery store. Since when do they put peanut butter cups at the checkout counter?
Back at home: I can't write until I work off the peanut butter cup. Okay, cups. I'm on the treadmill a really long time (at least twenty minutes). In an endorphin-induced burst of brilliance, I realize that 1,500 words a day is unreasonable and change my resolution to 1,000 words per day.
January 3: I complete two sentences and get up to pace as a plot formulates. Hey, at least the pacing is helping my diet, write? Eh, I mean right? I pace to the kitchen and have a brownie. Then I plot to change my resolution to 500 words per day.
January 4: It's 6:00 P.M. and I've used all my Weight Watchers' points on soft drinks and coffee with sugar. Did you know three packets of sugar equals only one point and three ounces of dull, skinless, roasted chicken has 2.5? I'm too jittery to write.
January 5: Finally I have an inspiration. Naturally, I’m at work, but what the hey. I pen 300 words anyway. Yay! Later that afternoon, my boss is ticked because my presentation isn’t ready. I spend the night doing my day job.
January 6: I have writer's block. I think the cottage cheese is the cause. Maybe some nachos would help. After 200 words, I decide to change my resolution to 300 words daily.
January 7: My diet goes well until I start to write. I so need a cheeseburger for inspiration. Now that it's no longer cool, maybe I'll try Atkins.
January 8: I smack my lips as I inhale another bowl of Weight Watchers soup. Don't you just love canned tomatoes and carrots! I try to write but give up because I have too many adjectives referencing shades of red and orange.
January 15: I yell at my daughter when she brings over bratwurst for dinner. She snarls, “Chill, they only have 250 calories per serving. I read the label."
After some careful calculations, I decide I can have two wieners if I don't eat the bread. (Is this Let's Make a Deal or what?) After dinner, I throw the bratwurst package away and discover that there are six serving in a single bratwurst! Who publishes that fiction? I start a story about a bratwurst conspiracy and easily exceed my word count goal.
January 22: I decide to abandon the diet and concentrate solely on writing. I write a meaty story with a lot of spicy details entitled: "The Blob That Ate Greensboro.”
January 29: I do some quick calculations and determine I need 5,000 words to meet my monthly writing goal. I have three days—I can do that, right?
January 31: A whole month and only 3,000 words. Plus, I've gained four pounds. I feel bulimia coming on—must be the cottage cheese. I don't know why, but I scream.
January 4: Nope, this isn't a typo. After my screaming awakened me, I realized I'd had a Bobby Ewing experience (okay, so I’m showing my age). For you non-Dallas enthusiasts, I'd experienced a month long dream. Well the dream didn't last a month, it just seemed like a month because…oh never mind.
Thanks to my Ghost of Writer’s Present, I have another chance. Don't let this happen to you. Avoid New Year's resolutions. OOPS, my bad. I meant to say, "Don't let this happen to you! WRITE!"