Resolutions. Jut the word conjures up the failures of years past, so why am I bothering to make a couple this year? Because among the failed attempts to exercise for an hour every day, make home cooked meals for the family every night and write a masterpiece, there have been a few successes that have moved me nearer to my goal. The secret has been to keep the resolutions simple and very easy. And I never call them resolutions; they’re goals.
A couple of years ago I managed to get back to doing yoga every day by setting a goal of 5 minutes a day. I could manage that, and if I did 6 minutes I was proud that I’d exceeded my own expectations. So, for 2012, I’m setting myself a couple of easy goals. First, keep writing my blogs. In addition to this one, I have one I do for the local online paper, and another one for my family and friends. I don’t want to write them every day – that would probably just annoy the readers. But I do want to make it a more regular activity.
Second – revise my novel into at least the ‘Slightly Better Second Draft’. I’m expecting this to be fun, so it shouldn’t be too hard to do, so long as I make the time to do it.
Third, I am going to stop using the word ‘very’. That doesn’t seem much of a goal, probably, but until someone pointed it out, I didn’t realize how frequently I used it in my writing. I checked the first five chapters of my novel, and sure enough, there were about 20 instances of ‘very’, many of them in situations where I could have used a more effective word.
For example: very large could be replaced by enormous or huge. Very happy becomes ecstatic, delighted, or thrilled. Very angry might be maddened, enraged, furious, threatening – no shortage of synonyms there. It might seem a small thing, but if it helps to improve my writing I’ll be very happy. Oops. I mean ecstatic, delighted or thrilled…
Happy New Year!