A few days ago, I started writing a blog post all about my New Year's resolutions.
In it, I reflected on how I feel I've grown as a writer since starting the blog in January, and how I was setting goals for my writing for 2011 in regards to both the blog and the murder mystery I am writing. I expounded on my methodology for maintaining "quality" in my writings and achieving self-imposed deadlines. I even began rehashing why certain blog posts might have received more hits from readers than others.
What a load of self-indulgent crap!
I enjoy writing. And now that I have fully embraced it as a hobby and publicly professed to family and friends my enjoyment of it, I intend to continue doing it. I sincerely do hope to finish the book and continue blogging in 2011. But the dictionary describes a hobby as "an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure."
Regularly. Not religiously. Not daily. And for pleasure, not out of some sense of obligation or requirement or addiction.
I have perused blogs by established authors and get the same advice thrown at me over and over again. "Make it perfect!" "Write, edit, rewrite, edit, continue..." "The writing must consume your every thought!" "Write for as broad an audience as possible, not just your spouse." "Read books by authors succeeding at what you want to do and emulate them." "Make it perfect!!"
That's a lot of pressure for a hobbyist, and to all that advice I say "Go screw!" If my spouse is the only person who reads and enjoys the book I'm writing, then I'll be content. If my spouse is the only person who reads my blog and she enjoys them, then I am happy. And just in case anyone thinks a spouse is incapable of proper constructive criticism, I would love to introduce them to my Lovely Wife and teach them otherwise.
Rather than focus 2011's resolutions on myself and my own selfish wants and desires, I've decided to listen to the voice in my head that speaks when I'm kneeling in the church pew during the extraordinarily brief moments of reflection. Not to digress, but can I ask for a true moment of silence when the church program calls for one and not just a millisecond of semi-quiet pause? I barely get out the "Hi God, it's me again" by the time we've moved on to the next calisthenic exercise...
Anyway, here are my resolutions for next year:
1. Be a better husband. I'm often lost in a fog of my own forgetfulness and entirely neglect to show my appreciation for all my Lovely Wife does for me and our children. This isn't rocket science I'm talking about, either. No big mystery to solve. I simply need to be more helpful, reverent, romantic, silly, and generally expressive of my love for her.
2. Be a better father. This includes not losing my temper and not responding crankily to the many minor requests received daily. It involves being able to acknowledge at all times -- not just when convenient -- how fortunate I am to have three beautiful, healthy children who genuinely enjoy my company and aren't embarrassed to show their affection for me in front of all their friends.
3. Be a better person. This one encapsulates many different smaller resolutions into one big one. It includes being a better son, brother, friend, parishioner, employee, coworker, volunteer, and member of my community. It addresses such things as living up to my promises and making promises I know I can keep.
If I can do these three simple things in 2011, then I will have a richer life than any book or blog could ever provide.
© 2010 Mark Feggeler