Happy New Year!

I never quite saw the point of marking the passing of the year – after all, it’s only meaningless numbers on an arbitrary calendar, which could quite easily end or begin somewhere else. It’s not a real thing in the way that a solstice is a real thing – measurable and with observable consequences.

Now, however, I feel like I’m starting to get it. A change from one year to another is an opportunity to stop and take stock, to look back on what you’ve achieved and to decide what to stop doing, and what to do more of. An arbitrary change over it might be, but the chance to put down the old habits that aren’t working and turn in hope to new behaviours, that just might make a difference? That’s a valuable thing.

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As usual, it’s taken me longer than anyone else to see the obvious, but having seen it, I feel quite good about it. So here are some things I’ve learned in 2011 and the resolutions that result.

The main thing I learned during 2011 was the value of persistence. Despite the occasional day of having a blow-out, I persisted in my diet and I lost weight. Despite the occasional day where I couldn’t practice, I practiced my whistle every day I could, and I learned how to play it. Despite the occasional week when I couldn’t write, I wrote every day that I could, and I finished 190K words.

So, my resolutions for 2012 are pretty much more of the same: Keep watching the weight, learn more tunes so I can play for the Riot as well as Coton, and write at least 200K words.

To the end of writing 200K words, I’ve signed up to the getyourwordsout community on LJ http://getyourwordsout.livejournal.com/profile

I subtracted the number of weeks in the year when I can expect the school holidays to interfere with my writing, and came up with 40 weeks in the year when I can hope to write. So to make 200,000 words, I need to write 5,000 words a week for all 40 of those weeks – which seems pretty manageable. But of course there will be weeks of illness and other stuff, so I think I will try to do 2000 words a day (10,000 words a week) when I can, and see how that turns out. I often get less time than I hope for, so I want to make sure I fill the time I do have as productively as possible.

I’ve been somewhat inspired (or challenged, maybe?) by Dean Wesley Smith’s blog to approach writing in a more business-like way. His recent posts on the value of not giving up have made a lot of sense in the light of 2011’s modest successes. So maybe, health permitting, my main resolution for 2012 is to work just that little bit harder, and to keep going. I feel like I’ve learned a useful lesson in 2011 and this year’s work is to turn it from a new insight into a habit. It’s way past time that I acquired a work ethic, after all 🙂

Good luck to all of you in your new, and continuing, endeavours!

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