Jan 1, 2016

New Year Resolutions


To paraphrase Scarlett O’Hara: each year, after all, is another year.

These are my resolutions, they do not belong to New Year’s Day – and they are intended to last more than one day, so I am calling it New Year Resolutions.

Writers have resolutions, just like normal people. We set our sights on lofty plateaus, intending to break the barriers that have kept us from the best-seller lists, hoping for the Pulitzer prize winning, great American novel.

Then we take a deep breath, realizing that to achieve our dreams we have to do some actual writing.

In my case, I have several projects on the burners (even if some of those burners aren’t lit). This year I am going to push two collections of my poetry, a set of essays and two of my novels to the finish line.

To do this I resolve to spend at least two hours per day writing 3000 words. This might sound like a lot, but 1500 words per hour is only 25 words per minute. Since I type at about 50 words per minute, that should give me a bit of time to come-up with the words to type.

A lot of people tell me that they can’t think while they type, that they have to write it all out in long hand (why don’t they use short hand?), then type it in, correcting it as they go. Not me; when using a pen I write verrrrrry slooooowly. My typing is much faster and actually readable when I go back to look at it. For me, as a touch typist, I almost never look at the keyboard. Instead I watch the screen as the words appear as fast as I think them. I guess this means I’m a slow thinker, but the gist I’m trying to get across is that typing is an almost unconscious act for me and writing on paper clearly enough so I can read what I wrote is such an intensive process that it interrupts my thinking (what’s slower than slow? A full stop.)

So this year I’m thinking on the computer about:
  • Near Relations – a collection of poems about growing-up in the 50’s and 60’s
  • Snake Eggs – a short story that has grown into a novel with a hero that has Down Syndrome
  • Twilight Shadows – a collection of dark poems
  • Deliberate Acts – a novel about the post World War II evolution of the Naval Intelligence Service
  • Poems in the Attic – a collection of essays about the 1920s when my grandparents were falling in love and the poems they wrote down from various sources

Stay tuned to this station for further developments.