New Year’s Resolutions

We all make them, but rarely take them seriously. We know this year is going to be more or less the same as the last. We want to make changes – lose weight, find a better job, stop smoking, whatever. But it’s more about wishing and dreaming than actual action. Even those who do tend to stop within the month and accept the status quo once more.

I want this year to be different. I want to make something of myself. I want to do more. Accomplish more. Be proud of myself as well as support the woman I love and maybe make a future for us both.

But how? I can’t just make a resolution to write more, though that should be part of it.

In terms of writing, I have a foothold – I have a book accepted for publication and so I need to focus on getting it done. I haven’t be given and editor yet so I want to press on that, get it done or at least in motion. I also have three other books to edit, which I should focus on this month. Hopefully at least one of the three will be good enough to publish once polished (I’m hardly optimistic enough to believe all three will be).

I need to find a North American agent as well. My first foray into that field has not yielded any results, which is a real downer. Not even an acknowledgement!

But that’s my dream. Writing will never be the bread winner of this household, I fear. Not without a lot of luck and a bit more talent. What can I do in terms of earning a paycheck? I don’t know what else there is to do. I’ve made a commitment to the bookstore I’m at, so I won’t be looking for another job for a while now. I am doing some commercial writing for Nita, but that isn’t consistent work (which can be interesting, though sometimes confusing and stressful).

Ideally I want to get paid to write – the problem is the only way to get paid to write is to write what people want on demand, which isn’t exactly satisfying. But that’s the real world, I guess. If you’re lucky the world will be interested in what you have to say. If not you’re stuck with people telling you what they want and you giving it to them.

Talking to Sharleen’s fiancee Nick and Nita’s husband Sudhir only reenforced this feeling. Nick is a graphic designer and Sudhir was a promising comic book artist and both know the realities of the industry. And the fields they know are no different really than book publishing.

What a depressing thought. It’s like the only difference between that and working at McDonald’s is one uses a spatula and the other a pen. There is no art, only product. Fries are up! So do you accept this reality, reject it, or co-exist with it?