Happy new year!

I don’t usually make resolutions at new year. Too often they get forgotten about. However, this year my son is keen on us making some as a family, and writing them down so that we can check our progress and put ourselves back on track if necessary.

I’m going to make three resolutions.

  1. Eat a healthier diet
  2. Write more fiction
  3. Read more paper books

1. Healthier Diet

What I would like to try and balance my diet better and avoid eating the sort of food that makes me feel sluggish, i.e. less fatty, salty and sugary stuff. More fruit and vegetables, perhaps a bit less bread and meat won’t go amiss either. I’m not especially looking to lose weight but that would be a welcome side effect.

Success criteria for this are that I feel that I have more energy and that I keep on doing it over the year. I will of course have the odd day of sweeties and cake, in moderation, when it’s my birthday and probably also for the other immediate family and close friends, but no more than one day a month.

2. Write More Fiction

I would like to write some new short stories, and submit them to publications. I also want to finish the second draft of Perfects and push it out to be edited professionally before it is published. This is an aspirational resolution though, in practice the OU course needs writing effort for the assignments, and it lasts until the exam in early June. So if I write fiction it will be in the June to September period (before the next OU course starts in October).

Success criteria for this will be:

  • complete (second) draft of Perfects in the 75-90,000 word range;
  • two short stories written for publication;
  • Revisions of Rounds and Hunting Nazis sent for publication.

I’d also like to keep on writing poetry, I did a couple more drafts when I was on holiday over Christmas, and if I keep working on it I ought to be able to submit some of those for publication too.

In context, in 2014 I wrote just over 50,000 words for this blog.

3. Read Paper Books

The last few years I’ve read about a book a week (excluding things for OU courses or work). I’ve increasingly moved from reading paper books to using my kindle. In general this isn’t a problem, except that I have several hundred unread paper books on my bookshelves (not an exaggeration by the way). Also all the new books I get from other people are on paper, not electronic (until Amazon work out how to gift ebooks).

So I need to keep reading the paper books. I estimate that I need to read about 20 paper books this year (as a minimum).

Here’s what I read in 2014. Only 11 out of the 51 were physical books (although I had physical and digital copies of four of them where I read the ebook version).

Success criteria: read 20 paper books (or 5 more than I acquire, whichever is higher).