I started this blog a year ago. It was a [Jewish] New Year’s resolution. The year before, my New Year’s resolution was to actually use the Twitter account I had set up. In both cases, the resolution is not so much about spending more time on social media, although that is a result of fulfilling the resolutions. My intention in making the resolutions was a different sort of fulfilment.
A year ago, as well as my first post, I published an about me page and a why blog page. In the latter, I describe a number of reasons that compelled me to begin writing a blog. The last but by no means least explanation is that blogging gives me an outlet to express myself through writing. Twitter often helps give me ideas to write about, as well as providing a way to find a potential audience.
My resolution was also to publish a blog twice a month. This I have done – except for most of July and August. In the last year, I also submitted my second completed novel to a number of competitions and started writing my third novel – except for a break throughout August.
Why did I stop writing this summer, in the 11th month of my annual resolution? The reason is simple and compelling. My second child, my baby boy, decided to come into the world at the beginning of July. With a new baby and my eldest, just turned three, also at home with us for all of August, I haven’t had much free time or me time. Understandable.
What’s less understandable or explainable is how I have missed writing the blog and the novel, and even the satisfaction of keeping up to date with my professional interests on Twitter (some of which I write about). I’m not paid to write. I have no external confirmation of having any talent for writing (mothers and husbands don’t count!). It’s only a hobby, no? One I share with innumerable individuals. We have creative thoughts. We write them down. But we are not ‘productive’ writers, no matter how much we dream. Some of us may become so, but they will be the exceptions. So, we write without deadlines and missing a month or two should not matter. But it does.
In my Twitter profile, I call myself a ‘semi-closeted writer’. Well, it’s time to come out of the closet. That’s why I’m changing my Twitter profile. Like so many followers I have recently acquired, I must acknowledge writing as a much more essential element of who I am. I feel incomplete when weeks go by without writing. I feel the same if I cannot read. Both information and stories need to go in and be let out. I will not be reduced to a milk machine no matter how much I love my baby boy and the rest of my family.
Cliché time: There are never enough hours in the day, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Therefore, my New Year’s resolution is to be more honest with myself about how important writing is to me, to continue to dedicate more time to it for the right reasons.
The teachings of the Jewish New Year are about ‘returning’ to what will make you a better person for yourself, your family and community and God. Taking care of my family is the most important thing in my life right now, but I also need to return to doing the things that make me a more well-rounded person. One who contributes ideas to her communities and shows by her actions the importance of reading and writing to her children.
Lofty ideals aside, the word resolution is about more than new promises to oneself anyway. It’s about resolving problems, restoring order, like the resolution at the end of a good mystery novel, my favourite genre and the genre of my last and current manuscript. My resolution is about restoring order and balance to the chaos brought about in my life by having a new baby during the summer holidays. I aim to restore that order by writing a few satisfying fictional resolutions.