Tackling the new year

I’m not a great fan of new year’s resolutions because I think they’re asking for trouble and disappointment, but there are some things I’d like to accomplish this year (in addition to the big fat sales).

One is to go and see this exhibit, Marketing Shakespeare, at the Folger Shakespeare Library. The exhibit opened in September. It ends on Saturday so unless I can scoot off from work early tomorrow, I must go Saturday morning. The exhibit is of Shakespeare-inspired artwork from the fashionable Boydell Gallery (1789-1805), plus tchotchkes and Shakespeare souvenirs. The illustration below, courtesy of the Folger, is a colored engraving of As You Like It from 1800. One of my resolutions, were I to use the term which I’m not, is to go to more stuff–I live near Washington DC where we have all sorts of amazing free museums and exhibits, yet the amazing thing is I hardly ever go to any of them. I’m not alone–living here, you take it for granted that the museums will always be there, and if you miss an exhibit, you’ll be able to catch something equally good the next week, or month.

But this is also tied into my other resolution, which is to put the joy back in writing. I tried Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way technique–I even have the books somewhere–but anything which requires me having to get up early is doomed. One task she suggested, of which I approve highly, is to take yourself out on cultural expeditions, and that’s something I plan to do much more. And if it has some weird side benefit of cranking up my writing and enjoyment level thereof, well, I’m not complaining.

And what else for 2008? Well, obviously, much less of this sort of thing (yum). But I’d rather concentrate on the positive–on giving and enjoying rather than denying. And hopefully writing will be one of the activities I’ll enjoy. I must say I like it well enough once I’ve got going, but getting going is the problem. One technique I use is to absolutely ignore word/page count and just write; you can always format later. There’s something very seductive about the getting ready to fix starting to prepare to …[insert your favorite procrastinatory phrase]… write; no wonder so many people claim they’ve always wanted to write a book, happy in the knowledge that they probably never will.

What are your new year’s resolutions (if any?)–or whatever you want to call them?

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