Instead of resolutions, I like to clean up my space. It's a kind of starting over, a new beginning, and a second chance to do better. So, what surrounds me, whether physically or mentally, that needs to be removed?
#1-Clean out the refrigerator. Case in point: that little dab of bean dip in the square bowl, no one is going to eat; the month-past-due single carton of yogurt; the two limp carrots, now trying to re-sprout; the four bags, each holding about 1/2 cup frozen vegetables, now frozen into a solid mass I never got around to using; the 1/3 package of six month old Chinese noodles which now taste like cardboard; shall I continue? No, you get the picture.
#2-Thin out your closet. I once read a column by a fashion consultant that claimed any article of clothing in your closet that you have not worn for two years, should be given to Goodwill, or perhaps burned. She claims you will never wear it. (I have reservations about this...I have found a couple of sweaters stashed toward the back I hadn't worn for five or more years...and now I'm wearing them.)
#3-This is related to #2. Please, by all means, get rid of any article of clothing with shoulder pads!
#4-Like clothing, throw out old make-up. For one thing, foundation and mascara, especially, become contaminated with bacteria and can cause eye infections. Besides, this is a very good time to take advantage of the new "look" in make-up, whatever it might be. If you don't use make-up, then disregard this advice.
#5-Writing supplies- This one I love! First, go through all your pens and pencils and throw out all that skip when you write, are dry, are ugly, have Super 8 Motel or Weir's Insurance written on the side, and anything else that generally doesn't make a mark that is pleasing. Me? I prefer a fine-point pen, like the Roller Ball pens, and if I can find the Super Fine, then I'll grab those. I'm very picky about this, but still...there are those others I really should use. But no...this is New Year's and I get to throw them out.
#6-Stupid story ideas and old partial manuscripts-my files have many such items, and I know in my heart none will ever turn into The Great American Novel. Now is the time to delete all those so I won't stare at them and wonder...how can I make that plot work? Out, out it goes! No, wait. Maybe I was a bit hasty. Perhaps I'll just create a new folder titled "Manuscript Dump." That way, when a good idea does come....yes, that's a better idea.
#7-Throw out or consolidate notes- old sticky notes or single note sheets scattered in various places on my desk must go. Useless newspaper articles, quote of the day, all kinds of words on paper that mean nothing. I do have one spiral notebook that I keep a running list of things to do that concern writing or promotion, and that system works well for me. However, I cannot break myself from scribbling these nonsensical notes. Out!
#8-And while we're at it, let's throw out our negative thoughts about our ability to be a good writer, or our jumbled thoughts about the possibility of changing genres, or maybe even our sense of failure...or at least, our sense of not accomplishing as much as we would like.
New Year's Day gives us a good re-set point, a do-over, or a back to basics routine.
New Year's Day gives us a chance to look ahead...not back.
New Year's Day gives us a chance to Delete old thoughts, old feelings, and old failures.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas