In which I look forward to the shiny new year

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So this is 2012. It seems perfectly resonable so far, although it was trailed as a bumper exciting year, what with Olympics and Diamond Jubilees and The End of The World. Compared with the spoilers the opening week could be seen as just a tiny bit dull.

To brighten up the boredom, it is traditional, at this point in the calendar, to take stock of one’s life and make resolutions for its improvement. Now, lots of people don’t hold with resolutions. They point out that you always end up breaking them by about mid-January and then you get downhearted and end up doing worse that you were before you made the resolution. These people think they are being mature and sensible, when actually, they are fools. They are allowing their experience to override their hope. Hope should always be allowed to win in these little internal debates. Hopeful people may be disappointed more often, but I suspect they are still happier overall, and they’re definitely more fun to be around.

So, supressing my inner Eeyore, I have made three resolutions for 2012.

1.  Get fit. Get thin.

I’ll not bore you with this one. If you’ve read the blog before you’ll have heard all about it here. If you’ve not read that already then just click back there, where it said here and away you go.

Being fit is good. Not having a heart attack when you’re 40 is good. Not having to buy a whole new wardrobe every year because you’ve gone up another dress size is good. Being able to walk up small hills without turning blue and making death noises is good. For all these reasons and more I’m very focussed on losing weight this year.

My aim is to get down to somewhere below 10.5 stone by summer, and (and this bit’s important) still be the same weight by the end of the year. I’ve managed the losing weight bit before. The big challenge this year is staying at a healthy weight once I’m there, but it needs to be done, and so it shall.

2. Get some writing (apart from this lovely blog) out there into the world

There are two parts to being a writer pursuing publication. There’s the writing, and then there’s the pursuing publication. Sadly, the two activities don’t really require the same skills. One is all about sitting in a lonely garret and trying to type more words into Word than onto Twitter. The other is about venturing out into Big World and thrusting your precious manuscript into the hands of agents, publishers, publisher’s cleaning ladies, agent’s manicurists, and any other poor sod who gets in your way. That part of the deal is all about covering letters, having a killer synopsis, networking and the truly horrendous sounding Elevator Pitch.

This year I’m going to be getting my increasingly svelte derriere into gear on both fronts. The novel-in-progress which has already been in progress for far too long will get it’s final spit and polish and will be winging it’s way out to be rejected by Easter. My second novel will also be completed and out there landing on slush piles by the end of the year. And finally, I’ll have written a first draft of number three before it’s time to get all Auld Lang Syney at each other again. Oh yes I will.

3. I’m going to learn to drive.

“Hang on!” Some of you are probably shouting (those of you who know me in the Real World TM and are also odd enough to shout at your computers without shame), “You can already drive.”

And the weird shouting people are correct. I passed my driving test in 2008, at a very respectable second attempt. Admittedly the first attempt wasn’t that respectable and did involve a certain amount of trying to pull away in 3rd gear, but no-one normal passes their driving test first time, so that’s all good.

Unfortunately, since then very little actual driving has occured, to the point where I now don’t think I’ve driven for over a year. This is largely to do with the driving terror. I properly detest driving to the point of almost being phobic about it. I get genuinely scared at the idea. If I think I might have to drive the next day I won’t sleep the night before. Add that fear to a lifestyle where I live within walking distance of a city centre, do most of my paid work in central Birmingham where it’s much easier to get the train, even if you like driving, and you end up with a girl who has never got over the initial driving nerves.  

This is silly. I know that I’m a perfectly reasonable driver. A little inexperienced, but still less scary that lots of other people who hop in their motorised vehicles without hesitation. So this year, I am going to get over the driving fear, even if that does involve going back to the driving lesson stage with all the irritation and expense that entails.

This, I suspect, is the resolution I’m most likely to break. The first two are things I desperately want to achieve. This is one I’d quite like to achieve, but mainly is something I think I ought to do. And I can be a pig-headed little madam – being told I ought to do something (even by myself) rarely works as a motivator. Nonethless, I will try.

So those are my resolutions. They probably should include something about increasing my amount of paid work, but I’m responding to the low levels of freelance work out there on the horizon by making a happy face and hoping something turns up. (Anyone looking for a adult trainer in the Midlands area and/or online, please do get in touch though… I can train on advice skills, managing volunteers, welfare benefits, employment law, social media, training skills…)

Any thoughts on my aims for the year? Any resolutions of your own you’d like to share? For example, you might want to resolve to stay up to date with lovely Alison’s lovely blog by following or subscribing. I think that would be a very good resolution indeed.

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7 thoughts on “In which I look forward to the shiny new year

    Juliet Greenwood said:
    January 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Get fit is good! Definitely the best approach.
    And good luck with the rest! Keep on writing – and beat that driving.

    My resolution was to have more quality time with friends, family and dog. And my garden. With a book to promote and another one to write? Hrmph. It’s my resolution for long summer days. Winter, I’ve decided, doesn’t count. 🙂

    Juliet

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    Clare Wartnaby said:
    January 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Good luck with all your resolutions, Alison. Your blog’s great to read and I shall definitely be after the books once they’re available! I share the getting published resolution. (I upgraded the resolution last year from getting an agent to actually getting the damn things into print. For me, It’s a question of whether it will be 5th time lucky. (5th novel currently out there being swept into recycling bins in the post-Christmas tidy up…) Each time I seem to get a tiny bit closer, but the increments are so marginal that I might be 95 or so before anything actually happens.

    I’m with you on driving. I do still do it when I have to, but have never liked it, and an annoying background voice always tells me that it’s sensible to think it’s scary because driving a massive hulk of metal at any kind of speed is highly dangerous. OK. Not helpful!

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      alisonmay responded:
      January 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      I think that’s part of the problem with the fear of driving – it does have a semi-rational element to it. Tricky.

      And thank-you for the kind comment about the blog. Very much appreciated 🙂

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    Rachel said:
    January 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    No-one normal passes first time? That would be me then! I did pass at 8 months pregnant (and don’t care if I got the sympathy vote!)…and have only driven with very small people in the car. OK, so they’re getting bigger now, but 11 years on I still HATE driving, Accept it – you’re never going to be like Jeremy Clarkson – and a very good thing too!

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    […] a truck through. I mean, YOU could drive a truck through them. I couldn’t obviously. I have driving-terror. The draft will also include characters who change their personality for no reason partway through, […]

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    […] get me in the mood for this I had a little lookie back here to see what I’d resolved last year. I won’t lie. It was a tad disheartening, because […]

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    […] probably do some writing. That’s pretty much what I did at the start of 2014, and 2013, and 2012. This year I’m going to take a different approach. Well slightly different. I shall still […]

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