Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's that time of year again...

by Michael Dymmoch

Already. Time to make resolutions and say good bye to the old. The year. The decade. Time to start anew. At my age, resolutions seem like a waste of effort. My bad habits are so deeply entrenched they seem like canyons. Most days. But I'm still hopeful...

When I was in college, I put off writing assignments until the night before they were due. Then I'd stay up all night to complete them. I didn't know I was a writer then. Writing was just something I had to do to pass. Writers were people inspired by God. Or genetics. Creatures driven to put words on paper. Individuals with something to say.

Years later, when I was hired to attend and report on meetings, I put off writing until my boss said he wanted the finished product "on my desk tomorrow." Then I'd stay up all night getting the job done. I still wasn't a writer. Writing reports was just something I did to collect my pay.

Then in 1980, I discovered that writers are simply people who write—me by that time. And published writers—authors, people I'd thought of as divinely inspired—were people who learn how to write well and persist at it until someone at a publishing house notices.

Thirty years (Thirty years!) and nine novels later, I can't imagine any work but writing. But I still seem to put off doing it until I can't any more. I still resolve to start sooner. I still procrastinate.

But I resolve to try harder. To start sooner. To write more and write more often.

Wish me luck.

And have a healthy, prosperous new year!