I have made two resolutions for the new year. The first is to stop drinking and the second is to take up running again. Both are going well so far, though I have to admit that I fully intend breaking the first one on my birthday at the end of the month, or possible on Burns Night (well he was a writer and all).
However, I didn't resolve to do more writing, even though I've done hardly any over the past couple of months. Perhaps that's because it's something too important to be treated in such a crass fashion. Or perhaps because it would be a resolution it would really pain me to break.
In any event, the arrival of 2013 has still forced me to think hard about my writing and why I'm doing so little of it. That's largely because this time last year I was getting well stuck into writing what would eventually be the first novel I have ever completed. And having completed it, writing had become such an important part of my daily routine that I felt bereft when I no longer needed to do it. As a consequence I found myself writing a flurry of flash fiction and short story pieces for competitions to fill the void, all of which culminated in me attending Dorset's first Storyslam, then joining Storyslingers.
Unfortunately, the failure to make any headway in competitions or to get my stories (including my novel) published eventually took away much of my early gusto (as a former journalist and business writer I was used to having my words immediately put in print, with no need to seek an outlet for them). This meant I was finding it difficult to generate both the motivation to write and also things to write about.
Then three things happened. Firstly, I received some strong interest in publishing one of my flash fiction stories from a website that appears to take its writing very seriously - a definite moral booster. Secondly, I remembered the many ideas for stories I'd noted while at Storyslingers meetings, which immediately removed the excuse of having nothing to write about. And lastly, after a gap of several weeks, we finally had the first Slingers of the new year. It was a very positive meeting that gave me the final kick I needed to get into a real writing frame of mind.
So here I am, all ready to write again. In fact I'm almost tempted to make another resolution..