2.3 Pre-New Year’s Resolutions.

Some intentions I am considering before making the full commitment to New Year’s Resolution.

Write for two hours every day. Exercise my writer’s mind.  If my mind is a total blank, sit in my Writer Place for an hour and write some words even if they are crap.  Email doesn’t count.

Read for two hours every day. Read books written by friends, recommended by friends, or writers getting a lot of buzz–like Stieg Larsson.  Read magazines, The Sun, The Atlantic Monthly, as well as some magazines I’d like to write for, currently that is RV and travel magazines.   Read some of the great blogs and forums on-line.  I read Alon Shalev’s blog (http://leftcoastvoices.wordpress.com) every day.  Alon is one of the few activists who is neither sarcastic nor hysterical, thus he is readable and suasive.  Nathan Bransford’s blog (http://blog.nathanbransford.com), until recently a literary agent, currently a commentator for CNet.  Great insights for the writers and wannabees. The forum, LinkEds&Writers group on LinkedIn.com

Is there a blog you are faithful to?

Hike/bike for two hours every day.  Walk in Nature, cycle at lollygag-pace around some rural town, inhale, meditate, and get the good cardio thing going without having to think about it. Keep a bike log.  Aim for 120 miles every month.  Follow good bike-riding weather around the country.

Fuss with the coach for an hour a day.  Houseclean, tidy, put away the clutter, fix something.  Show the Jolly Swag some affection lest she get bitchy.

Park one day for every day I drive.  Find something new at every stop:  a new place, a new person, a new prompt to think and write about.

Never spend all day driving even if I am in highball down-the-highway mode.  Three or four hours max.   When just cruising, start the day by looking for the next stopping place, thirty miles seems about right.  Hmmm how about this for a sub-title of the blog.  “Seeing the country one zip code at a time.”

Avoid cities unless there is a damn good reason.  The only good reason to go to a city, or one of the ‘burbs it overran, is to visit someone interesting who has a 28’ driveway.  Imagine, a year without setting foot in a city.  Lovely notion, eh?

Get to my 50th state, North Dakota.

Once a year play bridge with real people.  Preferably with someone I know (are you listening Patty, Wally, Robbie?) or a pickup partner at a tournament.  Is anyone doing the nationals in Toronto this summer?

Learn how to become a real bookdocker, to be out of sight and self-contained for a week at a time.  Learn how to find where to boondock.

Blog twice weekly.

Be faithful to the C7, my critique group, pay my dues so they will be there for me when I am ready to publish.

Do have some resolutions forming in your mind?  Writer’s goals? reader goals? cyclists’ goals? hiker goals? travel goals,? ACBL goals?

When I’ve written 500 words for the blog, stop writing.

20 Responses to 2.3 Pre-New Year’s Resolutions.

    • allevenson says:

      Interesting. WordPress says 498, MS Word says 501, and your counter says something different. Whoever checked word counters against each other? Do they use different algorithms?

  1. Anne Fox says:

    Terrific article right here. Anne

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Al. It’s so important to receive feedback and some positive reinforcement.
    I believe in setting goals in all aspects of our lives. Not that you have to complete each one, but you can hold yourself accountable.
    Often the journey is as important as the destination.
    Safe travels,

  3. Debby Frisch says:

    On your way up to North Dakota, you might pick up Garrison Keillor’s A Christmas Blizzard. It’s set, mostly, in Looseleaf, ND, and apart from being killer funny, it also deals with serious stuff.
    I enjoy reading your words, Al.

  4. karen wittgraf says:

    I guess I am making little resolutions to myself all of the time and never follow up. But, wishing is kind of like a resolution, so here are my wishes: I wish to be more confident in my writing. I wish to stop blaming myself for things I can’t control. I wish to throw my head back and laugh until I cry. I wish time would stand still. I wish to contribute to others’ happiness and to quell my sarcasim and annoyance with those around me. I wish to leave this remote Alaskan village called Gibbon, Minnesota….and, I wish to be loved.

  5. alan stowell says:

    Is any of that equivalent to sailing on to the next port?
    I hope not!
    You have been my “sailing guru” don’t want you to go off to the next truck stop!!

  6. vikki williams says:

    Hi Alberto,
    Loving your comments, travels, musings, philosophical sojourns….Been crazy busy for last three months..escaping to Kauai for a week after which you can expect a serious and heartfelt reply to your new life serendipitous meanderings.. ( I am in awe! ) Vittoria

  7. I couldn’t read the Alon Shalev’s blog because the printing is too small. Your blog is easy to read.

    I like your New Year’s resolution ideas. As for me, I’m going to give up some blogging because it interferes with writing time and drawing time. I’ll keep on doing Psychology
    Today for sure and cut down on the Word Press one. You might enjoy this one this week:
    It’s about creativity and what I love. – Liz

  8. Al,

    Stay true to the clean and tidy. Fix something at least once a week, and write and write and write. We have a saying at Sun Pass Ranch “Keep it Western” look for us at sunpassranch.com One of our goals is to write a blog about the ranch and western life.

    • allevenson says:

      Michael, I quite like the idea of a blog about Western life. I think you will enjoying writing it and will have a core of interested readers from the start. You do not need to aim for anything fancy or ambitious. I suggest you pick a level and stick to it for a few months and then review. I know how busy your life is, 250 words once a week might be a manageable goal for now. You might also think about alternating with Patty authoring the posts. Google’s blogspot and WordPress have simple templates. If you would like to dialog about how to think about what you want for the blog or some editorial critique of your first few postings, let’s converse directly via email.

  9. tanya grove says:

    You’ve got a long, ambitious list of possible resolutions. And they are all excellent. Now, I don’t doubt your ability to do them all, and I’m all for setting high goals, but you might want to cut yourself a tiny bit of slack. Of course this is your pre-resolution list, so you may already be considering cuts and adjustments. Right now you’ve committed seven hours out of every day—and that’s not counting any driving time or meals. That doesn’t leave much leeway for following whimsy, meeting new people, visiting friends, or being open to any adventure that takes more than a few hours.

    My suggestions? Maybe keep one of the rigid time guidelines, e.g., write 2 hours a day, but be flexible with others. Maybe you read a total of 12 hours a week, but you don’t have to read any set amount per day. Same with the Jolly Swag, who no doubt needs attention but might be happy with five hours a week rather than an hour every day. I like your goal of 120 bike-miles a month because it gives you the flexibility to ride in good weather when you’re in places you want to bike.

    But you are definitely an inspiration, Al. Maybe I’ll actually have some resolutions this year…

    • allevenson says:

      Tanya, you divined correctly that my intentions will stay flexible. I think I was giving myself some guidelines and rations. Nor was I talking about 7-day weeks. I like to look back on a month and see that I averaged a couple hours a day for this and that. I am not rock stone committed to anything on a daily basis although the item that is most likely is Nap.

  10. Dave LaRoche says:

    Nothing like organization to staunch inspiration, schedule to stomp creativity, planning to supplant progress. When open to traveling, one might remain open to taking it in, let the senses dictate the path and your pleasures. Your hitch-hiker story was the best, and I assume not the product of an organized pursuit.

  11. Aw, don’t make any resolutions, Al. Just drift, dawdle, and delinquenize. The thoughts will come whether you want them to or not.

  12. Colleen Rae says:

    Nice agenda Al, but I agree it needs more flexibility. As I remember you are very flexible with your pursuits.
    I agree with Elizabeth W. that blogging interferes with my ‘regular writing,’ so I quit blogging.
    My NY resolutions are flexible too: Get up in morning, drink 2 cps of hazelnut coffee, have breakfast with my partner, then write for 2-3 hours. The rest of the day is open to whatever.
    BYW, I recommend reading the trilogy of Steig Larsson’s, three very excellent reads. Girl with Dragon Tattoo, Girl Who Played with Fire and Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
    I’m enjoying reading about your travels, musings and your blog very much. Keep on truckin’, Al.

    • allevenson says:

      It seems what I wrote about setting aside time for reading, writing, and getting outdoors sounded like a rigid schedule. Colleen, David, Lucille, and Tanya took me to task for apparent inflexibility. I accept their critique of my fuzzy expression and thank them for it. The time allotments are intended to be averages. That is, when I look back on a month if I don’t see I’ve averaged a couple of hours a day for my pursuits, I will remind myself to get back on track.

      But, dear friends, rest assured my love affair with Spontaneity and Serendipity is as passionate as ever.

  13. These are great resolutions, and a wonderful road map for the next few months. Two hours of reading and two hours of writing per day is an ambitious goal, but I’ll bet you can pull it off.

    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

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