I’m not much of a one for New Year resolutions these days (see this post for evidence). For years I resolved faithfully each January to get a short story published. It might have helped matters if I’d actually written a few. And now I have – written a few, and had a smaller number rendered in print, or distributed on somebody else’s website. I imagined for a long time that this would constitute some kind of breakthrough, when in fact it was just the first step on the ladder. And the only way to get up a ladder is to keep climbing.

So my resolution for 2012 is a simple one: write every day. No exceptions, no excuses. Including the days when I don’t feel like it, or I’m sick, or hung over, or travelling, or in a coma (though in that last scenario I may permit myself to take mental notes and type them up later). There need to be a few ground rules, clearly. It has to occupy at least half an hour every day. It can be original writing, it can be revising, or it can be editing. Thinking is fine too (thinking about what should go on the page, that is, not whether there’s enough milk in the fridge). But it can’t be making lists about what I should be writing, or tweeting, or hanging out at The Write Idea. Those are secondary writing activities and must be done in their own time. It can’t even be blogging, which is both the best and worst of all displacement activities. There must, in short, be focus. Even if it makes my eyes bleed. To this end I have already divided the year into Days When I Have Written and Days When I Have Not Written.

The score is currently 0:366. Happy New Year!

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