Tag Archives: new year resolutions

I resolve to…

to doPhil: Since la Nolan provided some sensible advice on New Year Resolutions last week, I thought I’d better write mine down to see if they stick. 

1 – Do less work.

No, I’m not being lazy, it’s just that working from home in a job that is also one of my hobbies, the work can expand to fill the time available if I let it. Evenings, weekends, they can all disappear into a maelstrom of doing “stuff”. I need to be more disciplined – not just making sure I take breaks but when I am working, get stuff done. That means lots of planning, writing down clearly defined tasks and ticking things off once they are complete. I can be really focused, but can also drift hopelessly. More of the former and less of the later for 2019.

2 – Promise less

And hopefully, deliver more. Sometimes life can seem like an endless succession of spinning plates that you have to keep going. Jumping between projects is no way to deliver anything of quality and a quick way to disappointing everyone. I love the smell of a new project, it’s just that I’m hopeless at estimating how long it’s going to take me, or how I’ll fit it in with everything else. Better to say do a good job of a few things rather try to do everything and flounder. I’m even worse in my own time, there is a huge backlog of projects sitting in my store. Even if I gave up work completely, it would take years to work through them, but still, I’m “Ohh a shiny new thing” every time I go to a shop…

3 – Go out for more walks.

I’m not going to pretend that I’ll train for a marathon. That’s just setting myself up for a fall. I love walking and it’s good for me. I think I need to develop an appetite for podcasts to listen to as I wander.

4- Read more books.

I’m not too bad at this one so there’s a good chance it will stick. I’ve taken to my local library again in 2018 as I could be confident that I’d find books that suited my mood. There are some that come my way from friends and family, but if I’m not in the right frame of mind for them, I need to go and get the right book rather than not reading because I don’t fancy whatever is on the pile. I don’t really understand why, but if I have a good book on the go, I do seem to achieve more at the same time. Can anyone explain this?

5 – Read fewer magazines, or at least only those that I need to. 

It’s time to tackle the never-ending stream of magazines and periodicals that come my way. At a rough guess, I can see a dozen magazines a month. There’s no way I read all that lot. I need to flick through, read stuff that matters and bin the rest. That and cancel some of the subscriptions for publications that simply aren’t getting read at all.

6 – Sleep more.

Do I need to check Facebook just before I go to sleep? Probably not. Read a book for a bit until I’m properly tired and then get to sleep, that’s the best plan.  Things always look blackest in the depth of the night, so the less lying awake with my brain whirring away I end up doing, the better. Not just more sleep, but better sleep is on the agenda.

Hopefully, all this will allow me to write more novel – a project that I really care about and (mostly) thoroughly enjoy working on. I’m pretty sure a degree of flexibility will be required soon once the other half of this team gets back into the swing of things and we get back up to speed. I don’t want to get that look over the cake when I’ve not done my homework!

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Reading Resolution

Book PilePhil: The first post of the year is traditionally filled with the bloggers good intentions in the form of New Years resolutions. Why should I buck the trend?

In the past, mention of the new year on this blog has involved saying we will both write more. Let’s face it, that’s what every aspiring novelist says and if they manage to stick to this then it’s one big step towards losing the tag “aspiring”.

I’m feeling a big smug on this point however. Being self-employed and enjoying the sort of flexible lifestyle that allows for a trip to the gym at 8:15am AND working on a project at 10pm, I’m allowed to plan in some novel writing time into the schedule. Wednesday afternoons now involved a trip in to town and a few hours bashing the laptop upstairs in the Library. This is my fiction writing office so no “proper” work is allowed to intrude.

So, if I don’t need to write, what should I resolve?

Not to be published – all being well this is in the process of being sorted out (fingers crossed). Maybe to become as rich as Rowling, Brown and Archer from The Book?

No chance. For a start any income has to be shared with Candice so we’d need to sell twice as many as the others for me to become as rich. On the other hand my idea of a dream car is more Volkswagen than Ferrari so perhaps this isn’t such an issue. It’s not me with the expensive handbag habit!

Maybe I should resolve to make progress on Book 2, but even that is looking promising. We have a plan and at the moment, it looks like words will be written.

No, what I need to do is not write more, but read more.

The stack of books beside my bed has grown over the festive period thanks to a few presents. Since the givers have insisted that they want to read their presents after me, there will be pressure to get a move on too.

My problem is I tend to check e-mail and web stuff on a tablet PC and this has eaten some or all of my reading time. This isn’t deliberate, it just sort of happened. I like reading books. I know reading before sleep is better for me. Proper science studies have shown that this is true too. It’s a routine I need to get back in to.

So: In 2015 I will read more. I’ll tell you this time next year if I managed it. From my private island bought from book sales.

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New Year’s Resolutions anyone?

Candice : Though you will be reading this post on the 1st Jan 2013, I’m afraid I refuse to get up in time to write it so I’m writing this in 2012.

I’ve  had a nice Christmas break, hope you have had too? To  be honest there has been a lot of lazing around, but it has been much required.  I’ve managed to miss watching either “The Wizard of Oz” or “One of our dinosaurs is missing” but have caught some good Xmas telly and done some nice slobbing.  To make up for it I did do a 5k run at the gym earlier, it just about got rid of last night’s chocolate intake.

So, it comes to the time of year where you are reminiscing about what you have, and haven’t done, and if there is anything you can change for 2013.  I have to say, having been to the gym today I can already see what January and February are going to be like on that front – lots of people joining with great intentions and then failing miserably after two months.  That is the point I get annoyed as I’m like, ‘stop hogging the treadmill in your stupid shoes and outfit with price tags still on, and let us proper gym people who have been coming for last 12 months, get on!’

I’ve read my stars for this year, courtesy of the Sunday Times, and looked at making some resolutions, so here they are:

1. Write more

Well yes, that is obvious I suppose.  Nolan Parker seem to have gone through waves this year of major output and then nothing.  I have got a good excuse (Phil knows) but once I got back into it the other week I remembered why I like writing and need to find more time to do it.

2. Write more

Yes, this is a repetition of number one but there are so many other reasons to write more!  I follow Daisy Waugh, Sunday Times columnist, on twitter and she said something interesting the other day about tweeting feeling like a busman’s holiday.  Well writing can feel like that to me.  I spend all day facing a computer so coming home and turning one on feels like I never left, hence I don’t feel inclined to write anything evenings or weekends.  Well, if that doesn’t work I need to find another way to do it.

3. Write more

Yup, that one again.  I’m thinking repetition will make it stick. I saw a University friend of mine over Christmas.  He runs a theatre company so has managed to get the thing we all want, a job he really loves and get paid for it! When I explained I would be late over as I had to work, he asked if I had been writing, I said unfortunately not, it was the paying job.  Ah, I wish.

4. Write more

Oh yes and on that note, as least one of us has managed to get paid for it this year.  Mr Phil Parker, published author.  He’s done signings and everything!  This time next year, ‘Nolan Parker Short Stories Collection’.  There’s one to aspire to.

Happy New Year to you all and we look forward to amusing you in 2013!

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