I’m not sure if un-resolutions is even a term, but keep reading and you’ll see what I mean. The internet is flooded with these kinds of lists at the moment, and instead of being different, I’m here to offer up my own would-be advice on what writers should be doing this coming twelve months to influence their art.
Around this time of year you become bombarded with adverts on TV encouraging smokers to stop their filthy habit. Many of these are intentionally graphic and shocking. But if you take all images and messages in adverts literally, as I do, then what a great source of inspiration for the horror writer.
Grotesque welts sprouting all over your body, blood running black and thick, gunge-infested coughing from ancient-sounding lungs. There’s a horror story in there somewhere!
Begin an unhealthy diet and ditch the exercise
We all know getting fat is not a good thing to do. Chances of disease increase, you need bigger clothes, etc. But if you get too enormous to move yourself off the couch, isn’t that encouragement to keep on writing? There’s no excuse for leaving the screen. It’s an extreme form of discouraging procrastination, but a good one.
Erm, start procrastinating
In January most folks are advised to not get trapped in Procrastination Station in whatever they’re planning for the coming year. It’s good advice, but just think how much time you’ll have to work on witty tweets about how you’re not writing when you should be. It will be comedy gold. Plus you’ll get plenty of new likes and new followers who share your pain.
They say sleeping is important, but years ago they said that smoking was good for you, so do they really know what they’re banging on about? Less sleep may equal less productive writing sessions, but it’s mind over matter, so ditch the bed and spend the nights writing like never before.
Read fewer books
They (who never seem to shut up it seems) constantly say how writers need to be readers. While I’d agree with that sentiment, surely writers who’ve been at it for a few years have already read everything that’s going to influence them, so why bother carrying on? And this way you avoid that awkward moment when you pick up a recent release and realise it is almost exactly the same as your WIP. No books read = no need to justify your supposed plagiarism.
Stop listening to advice
You may have got this far and decided that this is the only one you’re actually going to listen to. Like the above point, surely you’ve learnt everything there is to by now? Stop taking the advice and start giving it. Yeah!
Become more stressed
How you do this is very much up to the individual; one man’s stress is another’s ‘Um, yeah OK’. But by becoming an emotional wreck with worries infecting every synapse in your constantly-throbbing brain, just think of the weird story ideas, and better still – fucked up characters, you can create for your stories. Who needs to write calm anyway?
Make more mess
We’re all too tidy, this world is in danger of becoming too orderly and ordinary. It’s the same with our homes and workplaces. A clean space to write may work to clear your mind of all external influences, but a messy room with clothes piled up, dirty plates and glasses, and general dirt and muck can help your mind be influenced further than you thought. That patch of dark in the corner may be the neck hole of an old jumper, but looked at in the right way becomes a blackened void to a hell, unimaginable to any ‘tidy’ person.
Spend more time on Twitter
Or whatever your preferred social media avenue. Many lists like this (but the aforementioned opposite, boring lists) advise staying away from this form of ‘entertainment’. But this has its uses. Not only can you be influenced and inspired by other writers posting about their endeavours and successes, it’s time you can be using to be (pretending to be) inspired to write your masterpiece. A good two to three hours at a time is a good place to start.
Drink more alcohol
Again, just think of the new and crazy ideas you’ll have. Just make sure you don’t get too shite-faced so your hands don’t work properly; scrawling ideas down that will be just lines like a black metal band’s logo the next day is to be avoided. Using an audio recording device is a good idea, as long as you can remember how to use it when the booze takes hold.
That piece of advice attributed to Hemingway that says to write drunk and edit sober is all well and good. But writing drunk and editing drunk is going to be so much more fun.
I hope this guide has been of interest and use. If not, and 2019 turns out to be a pathetic wasted attempt on taking the literary world by storm, fear not. Simply go through the list again in 12 months time and reverse all ten points. It will make much more sense then.
Happy New Constructive Year!!
Photo on Foter.com
Photo on Foter.com