Resolutions and Legs - Debbie Bennett

Resolutions. Don’t we all just hate them? It’s like we deliberately set ourselves up to fail. Start the diet. Do the exercise thing. Give up alcohol. And we start out from such an overindulged, lazy and alcoholic place that we convince ourselves it must get better and it can’t be that hard just to get clean, can it? But then we set impossible targets and beat ourselves up when we consistently fail to achieve them. January is too dark and cold and miserable to do much more than scoff all the Christmas leftovers while watching the latest must-see series on Netflix. Add to that the ever-gloomy news of pandemics and plan Bs, face-masks and lateral flow testing and it’s no wonder we’re all so bloody miserable, is it? 

I don’t do dry January. I like my weekly pub quiz nights accompanied by wine. I don’t feel the need to prove to everybody that I’m not an alcoholic – I know I’m not, and I don’t actually care what other people think. Diet and exercise? Hmm. Not a resolution, no, but I do want to lose the weight I’ve put on over the past 6 months or so. All my new post-weight-loss clothes are getting a bit tight. So I'm going to attempt to get a bit healthier - if only by not buying and eating vast quantities of mince pies and cake!

Last month I wrote about the Arvon course I did in November. At the end of that week, I came away with some solid groundwork and an opening to a new piece of work which had been thoroughly critiqued by a dozen other people. To be honest, I haven't as yet done more than skim-read the feedback. It's not that I don't want to read it, or that I'm scared of what it might say - it's more that I don't want to lose momentum by going off on tangents or changing too much. I'm not a draft writer and I'm happy with the piece I submitted, but I will look at and consider everything. Later.

So I'm over 7k into this now. Openings are hard. Finding the legs of a story is hard - never mind seeing if it can run. I don't think I'm racing yet, but we've reached a fast-paced walk. I know my main character, I'm feeling my way into her life and I know who my antagonist is. My biggest issue is that there's a strong Welsh connection - and I don't speak Welsh! Why do we do these things to ourselves? It's not like I deliberately do stuff; it just turns out that way. Write what you know. Know what you write. Pah.

Resolutions. I will finish this. Somehow. Ask me in a few months ...


Peter Leyland said…
Great to hear that you're running with the story from the Arvon course Debbie. I'm sure you can create a Welsh connection. My Liverpool grandparents retired to Anglesey and I always felt a bit Welsh for some reason. Traeth Mawr near Cemaes Bay is a place I remember. I always thought it was Chemists' Bay because that's how it was pronounced!

Good luck with it and keep us all posted. Happy New Year
Jan Needle said…
Welcome back to the typeface, Debbie! And a happy New Year.
Sarah said…
Love this - January is definitely the wrong time of year for resolutions.
Go with the flow and I hope the writing takes shape. I'm doing an Arvon online course later this month, otherwise I'll be hibernating! Lol x

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