Christmas has passed, the trees are evenly lined up on the side of the road, and 2010 slowly breathes its last gasps. Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions. I am compiling a list and checking it twice and have even planned on sharing it this week with my writers group, but in the meantime, I wanted to share the one item I plan to stick to no matter what this year.
RESOLUTION #1: I WILL WRITE FOR AT LEAST ONE HALF HOUR EVERY DAY.
Writing is a job, and lately, I have been showing up to work late, or not at all. Some days I’m too tired, other days I prefer to come home and watch Netflix on Demand (which is like TV, except better, because it shows lots more Fawlty Towers). A half hour of writing is not unreasonable, and gives me time to do other things, like watch Netflix. It’s enough time to get excited and not enough to intimidate me.
I notice that in the past during these mandated half-hour stretches, I tend to goof off on the internet for twenty minutes and then write for ten minutes. Instead, I plan to take the Jonathan Franzen approach and disconnect the internet. My only worry is with my spotty technical knowledge, I won’t be able to reconnect the internet. Of course, that’s a 2011 worry.
If I can write a page in a half hour, and write every day, that’s 365 pages, or the equivalent of about four screenplays. That easily bests my grand total of zero screenplays from 2010. I just have to stick with the plan. I’m pretty compulsive about other things (read: Netflix) so I shouldn’t have too much of a problem with this—I hope.
What are your resolutions? Please respond in the comments.
And Happy New Years!
So, this post will be pretty short. I want to wish you a Happy New Years and to share a story and my New Years resolution, too.
My brother visited me in Los Angeles this fall and while there he insisted on seeing a friend from an old law firm. All vacation, while we were at Dodger Stadium, in the apartment, and out on the road, he would call and text in order to get in touch with this friend. Once, they planned to meet at a bar, but that plan fizzled. Finally, they agreed on a time, and the last night of his visit, sure enough, the friend rolls up in his sports car, walks to the curb, and has an awkward conversation with us for about ten minutes in front of my apartment. I asked if he wanted to come in and sit down, and he said he would rather not, and that was the end of the encounter.
Later, I asked my brother why after all of that time he insisted on meeting up with this former coworker. He said that he was tired of “not following through” on things. He had spent too much of his life turning people down, not following up, and missing appointments. It made me realize that I too hadn’t done such a good job of this either. There were relationships the past year I had neglected, ideas I had sent to bed, whole destinies I had just off-handedly rejected. And I realized I needed to make a better showing of things. You have to meet the former coworker. You have to be a friend. You shouldn’t flake out.
And for me this “following through” thing means I have to sell the screenplay. That is my resolution. I have to do what I set out to do; that is the reason I drove to California with my mom in the car in the first place. So, this year foremost among my goals is to be a screenwriter. This has always been my goal. I am not about to let go of it. Not this year at least.
My Brother and I Saw Crosby, Stills, and Nash at the Greek Theatre