Friday 1 January 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR! by Penny Dolan

Welcome back to an Awfully Big Blog Adventure!
Opening the New Year always seems rather like opening a new notebook with all those empty, inviting pages ahead, which may be why it’s one of my favourite times of the year, although not in the wild drunken party way. Necessarily.

However, unlike a notebook,a year can’t be put away for best, unused, just because the space ahead looks so perfect now. The months won’t stay blank just because no ideas seem quite good enough to fit, or because I haven’t decided whether to use it for writing poetry (again), or for listing positive thoughts or collecting happy memories or useful quotes or any other ideas that might fit the beautiful pristine pages. The days ahead will just go on and events will happen, and the year’s brand new pages will end up, no doubt, rather like most of my muddled notebooks.  
Yet right now – January 1st- this feels a fine place to start, so here are a few of my semi-resolutions:

A Useful Device. 
I have bought a new timer in my room, which means there will be no need to search the house when I next need it to kick-start some words.(I cannot tell you how easily all versions of these devices break apart. Make that a working new timer.)

A Decision about Time.
 I now have so many books on my shelves that I really want to read, as well as all the longed-for Christmas prezzie books, that  I have decided  2016 needs to be less screen time and much more time with paper pages. I intend to do more real reading for myself, not just catching-up with the more sociable Book Group titles.

A Mood-Saving Avoidance. 
The grey, gloomy dog comes visiting for any manner or reasons, so I have decided to stop reading comments that follow online newspaper articles. The bile-filled spite-babble fills with despair about the human condition. Enough is enough! In 2016, I am, as they say, not going there any longer. The news is often bad, often grievous, but some take a sinister delight in making it worse. I will keep emotions for where they are needed.

Not Going it Alone.  
Another decision I’ve made is that more action is required and not just with the word-count.  Working alone can end up quite isolating, no matter how comfy the trackie-bottoms are each morning. During the year ahead, I will put more time into “refilling the well” from out there in the world, no matter whether this means writing in a new coffee shop, visiting a museum or exhibition or gallery, walking round a new place, trying out some new activity or experience.
I mustn’t forget, of course, to make time for meeting up with good friends and enjoying their optimism and determination despite everything the years bring. Genuine networking, though I hate that word.

The New Old Resolution.  
I have decided to follow the post-it note I stuck near my computer last year, which may be a quote from Dorothea Brande or from Einstein or any number of others:
Yes, come 2nd January, when I get back to my desk, I will truly try acting as if I know what I am doing with this writing lark, and maybe the "acting" will become a kind of reality - and that's all, other than onward into those slightly scary blank pages of 2016!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year, and if you have any useful resolutions, do share them here.
Penny Dolan


Dawn McLachlan said...

Now those are some resolutions that I can actually manage. Great post and happy new year!

Lynne Benton said...

A really good and positive post, Penny. What a great way to kickstart the year!

Susan Price said...

Yes, great post, Penny - and, if it's any help, you can find an on-line timer here -

I know how easily actual timers can break - but this on-line one can't get lost and can't break. (Although I know sometimes people want to avoid the internet altogether.)

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Lovely reminders! Thank you Penny. Yes... this year I will read more as well. Last night I started "All the light we cannot see" moments before the London fireworks. Get a life... some will say!

ACT AS IF IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL seems a good way to go! A happy 2016 to all ABBA bloggers and readers.

John Dougherty said...

Fantastic resolutions, Penny, some of which I may well adopt myself!

I've also resolved to write something every single day this year, even if no more than a sentence. It's so easy for admin and school visits and so on to push the real work to the back of the queue; and I really need to get a handle on that!

Sue Purkiss said...

Excellent resolutions, Penny - I'm going to pinch some too!

Linda Strachan said...

Great resolutions and such a positive post, Penny. A good start to the year.

Thanks, John, the resolution to write something, even just a line or two every day, sounds like one for me and to do the writing first... and all the other writing-related things afterwards.

Nicola Morgan said...

Wishing you a fruitful and feisty year, Penny! xx