Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reading and Writing Resolutions

I love resolutions so much I make them twice a year: at New Year's, then again in June, on my birthday. Sometimes I keep them and sometimes I don't, and I often think I should give up the whole stupid idea of self-improvement, but I'm helplessly drawn to new goals and new visions of my life. So, this year I want to fill in some awkward gaps in my reading. I'm thinking of Jane Austen (I'm so tired of not getting the references) and War and Peace. People say that new translation is pretty great.

As for writing, I don't know. I've had trouble finishing things for a Very Long Time; a reasonable goal would be to finish anything. But -- is finishing anything really the point? Writing for the sake of writing -- why bother? If I don't have anything worth finishing, anything that drives me to finish it, maybe I should just shut up. It's not like there aren't enough books in the world. I've seen them!

So maybe a better goal would be something like, Find a story that makes me want to finish it. Good luck with that, I tell myself.

Anyway, do you do this?? What are your goals, resolutions, reasons for not doing resolutions, or what have you?


Sung said...

I've never been much for making any sort of proclamation on the first of year, mostly because I think making a single day a harbinger for the next 364 days will end up disappointing me. Guaranteed.

Having said that, I hope to hell that I finish the first draft of the second novel, something I said last year!

- Sung

rmellis said...

I hope you do, too, Sung!

Anonymous said...

good luck, Sung.

I'm gonna try to be a more serious writer and not get distracted by random crap on the internet. Ha!

5 Red Pandas said...

I'm skeptical of resolutions because people rarely stick with them. That said, I berate myself mentally at least once a week. My goal is to finish the novel I'm working on. I can see it, I just have to do it. If I can hone my focus even more, then I'll be happy.

My reading resolutions are always the same- to read more non-fiction, which I rarely do, unless it's in short magazine or Internet form.

Rhian- I think searching for the idea that drives you to write is a great plan. After you've been writing a while you probably want to feel like you're writing with purpose. There are many other cool things to do in this life (though writing will always be a primary temptation/pleasure for you).

Hope said...

I make a set of 3-5 fairly ambitious resolutions each year, and one of them is always related to writing. I think last year's involved sending out two submissions per month, which never happened. This year's resolutions include finishing and rewriting three short stories, rewriting the novel I haven't touched since June, and writing a poem per month. I never have to make any reading resolutions because I am always just awash in books and magazines I want to read, of all genres.