by Karin Cox
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made the New Year’s Resolution to lose weight—or rather I can, because I’ve been making it every year since 2007. And yet, somehow, I’ve still found myself making the same resolution the following year, and the year after that. You can take this as irrefutable proof that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work, or that I am a lazy sod who sits in front of a computer for most of her day and wears a groove her favourite armchair, and you’d be right on both counts. But my point here is that sometimes, despite our best resolve, we’re all talk. A lot of us are always “gonna do” something, and yet we never do.
In few spheres is “gonna-do-itis” as prevalent as it is in the world of writing. Just about everyone I’ve ever met has admitted to having “a book inside of them,” which sounds remarkably uncomfortable if you ask me. Yet so few of them ever manage to extract that book from their … wherever it is … and actually put it out there where readers can enjoy it (or otherwise). Why is this so? I’ll tell you why: because we make excuses.
I’m too busy. I’ve got kids. I’ve got a fulltime job. I’ve got kids. I’ve got a disease (tip: gonna-do-itis is not a real disease). I’ve got kids. I’ve got books to edit (I use this one a lot, partly because it is true, but who keeps accepting the jobs? That damn editor in me is boycotting my writing dreams). I’ve got kids. I’ve got scissors for hands. Okay, Edward Scissorhands, I grant that it might be harder for you, and I’m very sorry for your affliction. As you were. I’ve got kids. I’ve got fleas. I’ve got piles of washing. I’ve got piles and I can’t sit for long on wet concrete writing with the nub of a blue crayon on the back of margarine lid—or however or wherever else you find yourself most creative. I find an armchair good, which is why I’m a fatty boomballa. You might prefer a treadmill. Whatever! Go to! My point is—I have a point!—writers who suffer from gonna-do-itis make a multitude of excuses to explain away dismal word counts. I do it. I’ve been doing it for years. “I was too busy today,” I tell myself. And yet, I somehow managed to maintain a lengthy repartee about monkey’s uncles in a Facebook group. Ah, well, that was time well spent.
The truth of the matter is that we just don’t find the time to put our bums in the seat (or on the concrete) to write. We plot, we plan, we talk about writing, we read books about writing, we edit what we’ve already written, we hang out in groups of writers hoping some of the starshine of successful authors will rub off on us and make us glow with writerly brilliance. But we don’t actually find the time to write. So, this year, my New Year’s Resolution was to “Write like I mean it.” And by that, I mean to stop calling myself a fiction writer and start being a fiction writer. To follow Cruxim up with its sequel, Creche, this year (not in four years’ time). To stop half-finishing manuscripts, and to stop having gonna-do-itis. To put actual words on actual (okay, so Scrivener is virtual, don’t be so pedantic!) paper. One word at a time. One minute at a time. And so far, it’s working. Kind of. But I’m gonna do it, I swear it!
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Genre – Paranormal Romance
Rating – PG15+ (some violence & swearing. No sex)