New Year’s Resolution

New Year’s Resolution

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. It’s always seemed a little silly to be setting myself up for failure that way. You see, I am inherently resistant to change, even for the better. I have my routines, and I am comfortable within them. Change of any sort disrupts that comfort. I don’t consider this a beneficial trait by any means, but I understand it. Besides, changing it would require, well, change.

There are times, however, when a thought or circumstances prompt me to overcome my natural inertia. These usually work out in the end. I’m hoping this one will, too.

There was a discussion recently at regarding the following statement from Stuart M. Kaminsky, “If you can’t write one page a day, meaning 365 pages a year, which is a reasonable length novel, then you shouldn’t be doing this”. (Post here.)

It seems to have drawn a negative, or more precisely, offended reaction. I’m not really surprised, given the phrasing of it. “Who are you to tell me I shouldn’t?” is an understandable, possible natural, response. Even more so, I think, in a field like this.

I didn’t really share that response, however. I do see where they’re coming from, and I even agree with some of the points they’re making, but I think they’re coming at it from a different angle. Yes, there are many different ways to write. Yes, there are many different obstacles to overcome in order to do it. Yes, it may even sound a little like a “get out of my sandbox” comment. Well, that is, unless you consider that it isn’t saying you must write one page (and only one) per day, but that there’s a problem if you can’t.

I’ll admit, I agree with the person who pointed out that one page a day is not a lot to ask for. (Especially when a definition of one page is still — double-spaced and in Courier font — accepted to be about 250 words.) When I read the “can’t” in that statement, I didn’t think it was telling people how to write, but telling them what they should be capable of if they intend to do this for a living. One page a day is certainly a low bar for the bare minimum required.

I will also admit, however, that I do not do this at the moment, not on my own projects. That’s the part that has been bothering me since the conversation started. I am not even doing what I consider to be the least possible output required, the lowest possible number that I think I should be capable of.

So here is my resolution: I will write at least one page a day for 2008. (Yes, I will be using the 250 word guideline.)

Now that I’ve said that, I suppose I better do it.

5 Replies to “New Year’s Resolution”

  1. My two cents (for what it’s worth)

    As the only published writer (1 thesis, 1 paper) that I know, can I say something? (Like you’re going to stop me:)) From the people I’ve seen on various friends’ pages, it seems as though many people consider themselves “Writers” (with a capital W) and have this mystic notion about writing that the muse will hit and they will sit down and write and every word will be perfect. Not to knock posting your writing in a blog or your own web page (that has its purpose, after all), but none of these people have actually published anything. Writing is hard work. It involves sitting at a computer day after day, putting words to screen (or pen to paper if you’re like me). It involves rewrites. It involves edits. There is no mystery involved. It seems to me that most of these “Writers” think they are special because they consider themselves “Writers.” Merely sticking your two favourite males characters in bed does not a writer make. The ONLY way you will write anything of length (or publishable quality) is to put bum to seat and write. Then rewrite. The person you quoted is absolutely right. If you can’t write at least one page per day, you will not make a living as a writer. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    Before you hit the reply button to yell at me, please note that I don’t include you in the afforementioned group of “Writers.” 🙂

    1. Re: My two cents (for what it’s worth)

      Heh, no yelling, I pretty much agree with that.

      Except: I’ve had three articles and one story out (two in Webzines, two in paper zines). I don’t count as a published writer you know? *pouts*

      1. Re: My two cents (for what it’s worth)

        In my defense, I didn’t know you’d been published! The only reason I mentioned I’d published stuff is because, as you, a fellow published person know, people who haven’t been published seem to think that everything that comes out of them is absolute perfection. You and I know that’s bollocks. It’s really a lump of shit that needs to be polished until you can see the diamond inside – and that requires a hell of a lot of polishing! I wanted anyone reading it to know I was speaking as someone who knows, not someone who is a “Writer” and is trying to squish everyone else’s dreams out of jealousy. I’d rather crush their dreams because they can’t spell!

        Incidentally, what do you think of a “Top Ten Hints for Writing” type list? I’ve got a few humdingers, personally:)

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