by Chris McGinty
It has been suggested that a writer should always be honest. This isn’t always easy in fiction, because you’re making up a bunch of not real stuff. The idea is that honesty must exist within the fiction. I could write an entire blog post, or if I’m being honest (which I suspect I’m supposed to be, since I brought it up) many, many blog posts on why not being honest can ruin your writing. That’s not really my purpose here today though.
I bring up the need to be honest, because I find myself once again at the beginning of a new year wishing that I didn’t feel like I was creating resolutions for how to navigate the following year. I hate that the start of a new year feels so symbolic to our society and by extension to me. I feel like new starts should happen as often as you need them. If a person were to decide near the end of November to start writing for the blog daily (whether or not they wrote anything worth posting, because they refused to get into a streak habit again) then; because so many things were going on, put it off until the start of the year, intentionally skipping the first couple of days to make it seem less like a New Year’s Resolution, but realized that it was going to look that way anyway, and then; got started anyway writing something that may very well count as a run-on sentence (even though run-on sentences are not defined by length, so this could still be grammatically correct) well, that person shouldn’t feel obligated to say it’s a New Year’s Resolution, but rather a resolve that happened somewhere near the start of the new year. At least, that sentence cleared the Microsoft Word grammar check.
I don’t know. I searched Creative Commons for “run-on sentences” and I found this and a picture of some random woman standing in her driveway. This seemed to have something to do with years, so here it is. I’m being all subversive and stuff.
“My 2015 one sentence journal, nearly all run out. 7/366” by jacquib19 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
My point is that my life fell into somewhat of a rut near the end of 2022, and something about the start of the year feels like the time to get back on course. That’s the part where I’m being honest in my writing. I should make adjustments to my life on a daily basis in small ways. I should make slightly bigger adjustments on a weekly basis. There shouldn’t be too many weeks that pass without tracking progress on goals and restating those goals. I’m saying that it makes no sense to wait until the start of a new year to make decisions that will improve your life. Daily and weekly resolutions can work incrementally rather than making a huge unattainable goal once a year.
The biggest mistake that people make with New Year’s Resolutions is that they create all or nothing goals. I know. I’ve done it plenty. The idea is someone says, “I’m going to give up smoking,” or, “I’m going to write every day,” and the first time they pick up a cigarette they become disappointed with themselves, which causes them to take a baseball bat to their computer keeping them from writing that day (I’m pretty sure this has happened at least once in the history of mankind) and that’s when they declare the whole Resolution a failure when it doesn’t have to be. They can still give up smoking during the year. They can still regroup the next day and get some writing done. All or nothing goals give the goal setter too many outs from making the improvements.
I’m not starting to write for the blog again out of any obligation to do something (mostly) but rather because I’ve had a lot of things that I’ve wanted to talk about for a few months now and I’ve been putting it off. I don’t want to obligate myself to post every day, but I do want to have some scheduled posts again. I always enjoyed having a workflow. I don’t need to be obligated to a streak habit to be consistent.
Chris McGinty is a blogger who got put off of New Year’s Resolutions entirely after the debacle that was 2020. He had so many plans that year and it just ended up being a shit show of a year. He hopes that 2023 will be a good year, but he’s more worried about having good days and good weeks.