I don’t actually believe in New Year Resolutions. I think they are just something that you set up for yourself so that later on in the year or the week, you can look back on yourself as a failure or as someone without determination or will power.
When I was quitting smoking I would feel that way. I would stub out my last cigarette on New Year’s Eve, walk about free and clear on New Year’s Day and then go into a store on the 2nd and without even thinking, buy a pack and light up as soon as I walked out of the door. Can you say loser?
I believe that if there is something that you really want to do then you wouldn’t have to set a certain date in the year for it to start happening, you’d just do it. However, this year I may have found something that I might be able to get my teeth into.
A few years ago, I bought a book by Ernest Hemingway called Garden of Eden. If I can remember correctly, it was about an author, his wife and a girlfriend that Hemingway started writing in the 40’s. Then Hemingway put the book down and picked it up again 10 or 20 years later to finish it. I guess he must have filled his time with big-game hunting, bar hopping or electro shock treatments. Anyway, so I get to about a third to halfway through the book and it changes suddenly. I don’t mean it evolved into a wonderfully new and welcomed direction. I mean that the entire flow and style of his prose had just for no reason changed. It was the same story and I didn’t like it.
I figured that this must have been the point that Hemingway picked up his story again. And recently I thought, that’s how I write but without the excuse of a 20 year vacation. You see, I have never really been proud of anything that I’ve written. I’ve been pleased with one or two pieces, but I will always go back and think there may have been a better way to have approached something, to have made it even better.
Also, I don’t often edit my stuff once I’ve written it, and to tell you the truth there isn’t much of a proofread either. I may change a word here or there once it’s published because I’ve noticed I’ve either missed something or misspelled something else. Nevertheless I’m usually just so glad to be done with it; I will just throw it out there as is. It’s like sex for me, it may not come out to be the best that I’ve ever had but the sheer joy of ejaculation will more than override the fact that I didn’t suck on this titty here or grab a hold of that butt cheek there. But like Hemingway’s novel, I'll drop ideas midstream and not head anywhere, and that probably isn’t good enough.
So this is it. This will be my resolution for the year. Even though I know that writing for the computer is different from writing for print, I will start to edit my pieces more. I will try not to bring up ideas that are dropped halfway through a paragraph or sentence. I will try to develop a steady flow through my work that will go from beginning to end. The spelling thing, I’m going to let go, if Word can’t fix it before it’s published then you’ll have no chance of me catching it.
So there it is, my first and only resolution for 2009: To try to write gooder.