A few short weeks ago I was riding high. I’d had a couple of poems published and a story up in a local newspaper (43 Habits You’ll Pick Up Living in Switzerland). I’d just completed a rough draft of my first novel and poems and even a few short stories were falling out of me all over the shop.
And now… I’m the kid after Christmas. It all just feels a bit jaded and useless. Where’s the confidence-bordering-on-arrogance? The joie de vivre for this writer’s life?
A few things I was looking forward to got derailed. After a few months of little to no drinking, I got a bit festive and the wine intake has crept up again. I kicked Facebook off my phone and I feel better, but it’s created space for loneliness — amazing how social media sort of causes but cures that. Which basically proves it’s yet another addiction. David Foster Wallace (yes, I am that wanker today!) gave what I think is the best description of addiction. Or, if you prefer, Homer Simpson – “Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”
I think I’m tired, it’s been cold and dry and dark but without the joyous surprise of snow. I think a few months of sitting still at my computer tapping out the words finally caught up with me physically and I’m feeling heavy, unfit and yuk. I miss my friends and my family. Even those who are nearby. I think finishing things and achieving things, while wonderful, does result in a bit of comedown afterwards. It can be hard to keep the momentum going, especially at this time of year when things are winding up.
But anyway, it’s inching towards 2017 now and I’m trying to look forward. Play it forward.
Last year’s New Year’s resolution was to make some small, incremental changes that would hopefully make a big difference to my / our lives and I think I’ve achieved that. (Interesting to look back actually – in 2015 it was about surrendering to my fate and a year or so before that it was Don’t Rush In Where Angels Fear To Tread… something I may have to re-examine given my furious forward-pace of work recently. Ha!)
So I think 2017 is going to be all about consolidation and possibly realignment – shaving off the excess to concentrate on the main game. I’ve put in some amazing groundwork in 2016 and I want to build on that. This means not getting distracted by stuff, no matter how important it may seem. And this is going to include saying no to paid work if need be, which is slightly terrifying when I think about my bank balance! Hopefully it’s all to the greater good though and the fact I’ve made this commitment to this Writing for My Life thing will eventually start to pay off, literally.
So I’ve come up with some more ideas – why not. And because this has worked for me in the past, I’m going to make it into a statement of intent. With SMART goals even (yes, I’m that wanker too today)…
In 2017 I would like to
- have a reasonable first draft of the novel by mid-year to give to early readers to feed back on
- (self-?) publish my novel by the end of the year. [I’m not sure how realistic this is – may need to be revised, depending on how well point 1 goes!]
- (self-?) publish a chapbook of poetry and/or publish or contribute to a book of short stories
- record more poems – let’s say 6. At least one every two months
- perform some poetry live to an audience at least once (eek!)
- make a bit of money off my creative writing (ie: non-journalism)
- get at least five pieces published in places that are not Claire-controlled: journals etc.
- complete A2.2 German (I admit, this was rather an afterthought!)
PLUS – I’ve also had an idea for this blog that I’d like to reclaim some of the travelogue stuff and so Himself, the kids and I are going to do a 26 Swiss Cantons in 52 Weeks challenge where we’ll visit all 26 cantons of Switzerland throughout 2017. I’ll aim to take at least one photo (if not a whole gallery) of each and do a writeup of something we saw or somewhere we went. We’re planning to go alphabetically but we’ll see how it pans out.
Phew – that should probably be enough for now. I’d better go get some rest before NYE ! Oh, and I’m hoping to do a year-in-review of this blog at some point in the next week or so as well… stay tuned. 🙂