Save us from Dry January
Or - why must we make resolutions?
I’m not an exponent of dry January – not because I’m weak-willed or borderline alcoholic (though the latter at least may be true) but because January is a dark, long, tough month and far from the ideal time to be setting yourself challenges that will only make it more miserable. I have a good excuse as there are so many January birthdays in our family that any sort of prosecco-denial would be positively rude, but it is an excuse I embrace wholeheartedly.
It seems to me that Spring is a far more sensible time to be flushing out your system or, indeed, to be setting yourself things to achieve. Somehow, though, it is hard to resist the blank-page shine of a new year, ripe for the filling and so, although my January will not be dry, I am certainly making some resolutions for 2017.
One is to engage more fully on social media and to make my own website more interesting, though given I have the webtech abilities of a caveman that might be tricky. Still, at least it should be a steep (and no doubt at times desperately frustrating) learning curve.
Another is to look over my back catalogue and rescue some old MS from the metaphorical drawers into which I was all too ready to despatch them on the slightest negative comment. Why is it that it’s easier to write a whole damned novel than it is to find the courage to send it out? That has to change - it’s time I got a few more rejections under my belt!!
A third is to write some new books. I have some very exciting ideas cooking so this one doesn’t feel like any sort of hardship. Watch this space…
Are these cheating resolutions? They are all things that will be time-consuming and at times tricky but that I will basically enjoy. I am not planning on torturing myself by eating insects or drinking my husband’s home brew. Neither am I planning on ‘stretching’ myself by writing sci-fi or poetry (big weak points for me), or ‘improving’ myself by going to the gym or, watching worthier TV or, indeed, giving up alcohol. My resolutions are all more or less things that I ought to be doing anyway – so are they cheating?
I hope not. And I don’t think many people resolve to do things vastly outside of their usual spheres as the whole point of making resolutions is surely to try and fight our way closer to being the person we ideally want to be? Resolutions are less new challenges than a solidifying of current ones. The very act of writing down what we want to achieve and, if we can, of putting a deadline on it, is half the battle.
My resolutions, such as they are, are now typed up and stuck on the wall above my computer. They leer at me every day, daring me to ignore them. Their deadlines almost audibly tick, urging me to action. Refusing to do them would now seem an act of treachery rather than just laziness and that, I suppose is why we make resolutions. They are a way of pinning our own colours to our own mast and for that alone they are worth a lot.
Dry January though – no thanks. Cheers!
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Hope to see you soon - Joanna