Shari Pratt’s 2015 Writer’s Anti-Resolutions
Being of unsound body (oh to diet and exercise – I fall down at both, relinquishing determined and repeated movement intended to help lose weight just as I open my mouth to eat,) and many would say of unsound mind (I may be a little crazy but there are others who wear that title better than I,) I hereby resolve to address the New Year of 2015 with the following Writer’s Anti-Resolutions, setting out a preemptive strike as it were against the possibility of success. No, no, against the probability of failure, but still yearning for success. Oh for crying in the sink, I just want to write and here’s how it’s not going to get accomplished.
- I hereby resolve not to turn on the TV, for while I have watched it often this past year plunking myself on a sofa so familiar with my rump that the cushions dip and groan even before I sit, using it as a tool to invite sleep even as I pretend to be writing, working, thinking, the fact is that I think very little in front of the screen, being mesmerized by its size and intrusion into the family room, also the pretty images and flashing lights, so I write almost nothing after a session with the remote, and remember absolutely nothing – not about any of the shows I supposedly watched nor anything I planned to write. I have noted however that many of the commercials are well and cleverly created, and am aware that someplace behind the cameras and costumes stands a writer who smiles at her part of that bitty witty creation. Not me, I am not that writer, but I give homage to that person. So carry on, Successful Commercial Writer, I will not be watching your work but creating my own. Maybe. But that remote – it fits my hand so well.
- I determine not to listen to anything that anyone in my writer’s critique group observes about my work. Though these kind folk have read my submissions for more than a decade, assigning hours of thought into finding something worth noting, I have cried too many tears over their comments and misunderstood their desire to assist me as a condemnation of my mastery at putting one word in front of the other and making progress toward completion of my work. Therefore I will continue to submit, I just won’t pay attention to the critiquers.
- I stand fast in my refusal to contact agents, either by query, Twitter Dee Dee, or personal contact at writer’s conferences. This is one at which I am bound to celebrate success as I have done so for many years now – you know, prayed for the attention of an agent and a contract with an editor while doing absolutely bupkes to generate interest in my work. I like this one especially as it exhibits my tendency toward sloth, at which I’m really good, but does not expose my physique, which is an embarrassment to humanity. Because did you know that if you finally get an agent or editor to pay attention to you, at some point you are going to have to submit a current photo of yourself? Now that’s just creepy. Not sending a photo, per se, but my photo – creepy. No one likes a photo of a woman with a turquoise face.
- I will not read any of the many books about how to write, edit your work, compose a query, get published, or effectively promote your book through social media (the thing to do these days) because I’ve collected lots of writing books in the past and have been very successful reading only a few of them while applying nearly none of their wisdom. Why start now to ruin such success?
- I promise not to despair over my work, either at the failures I perceive or those that others point out. Stamping my foot and shrieking hysterically has proven a resourceful approach to explaining misunderstandings in past years and I vow to continue in that vein. Stamping is after all a form of exercise. Chalk one up for two stones in one hand, one bird in the nest, or some colorful figure of speech like that. Where did I put that book on literary terms?
- I will not let my family read any of my work, despite that I want it to be my legacy to them. This one is easy to accomplish as they have indicated little interest in doing so anyway. They have jobs to attend and families to mind and toenails to clip – they’re busy, dagnabbit, too busy to read my stuff. The baby can’t even read yet. Besides, if I wanted them to read my work, I would leave it to them as my legacy. Wait…
- I swear not to use my friends, family, acquaintances, or anyone else I encounter as models for the characters in my stories. I value their fundamental privacy too much, their inalienable right to personal space, their God given freedom to choose their own adventure. Heh heh heh.
- I vow never to use any word I must look up in a dictionary or thesallus themorasor thesaurious – oh, whatever that big thing is. If I didn’t learn the word in fifth grade, I don’t need to use it now. Any word I can’t put my finger – er, computer key – on, I’ll just use the word thing. Now that works for me. Good thing, too!
- I shall remain stalwart in my objection to the comprehension and application of all things technical, digital, computeral, or modern. I am a Luddite, by golly, a bona fide, indigenous Luddite. Don’t even get me started with the differences between browsers. Until a week ago, I thought they were related to dog breeds.
- I resolve never again to create resolutions. Well, sugar plum fairies – how is anyone supposed to get anything done with an attitude like that?
Happy New Year, everyone. I welcome comments – really, I do. Just let me get my scissors – tissues ready…