I can’t believe it’s April already. How did this year get away from me?
I’ll tell you how. Inertia. Sir Isaac Newton’s principle that a body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a writer surfing the web tends to keep clicking links until she realizes it’s four in the afternoon and she hasn’t gotten anything done all day.
Last year, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I declared 2010 the year to “do the things you’ve always wanted to do but never have.” I did pretty good, too. Chad and I made a list of all the things that we’ve been saying we wanted to do for years and set a goal to try one new thing a month, either from that list or something spontaneous we came across. I think the only months we didn’t do something new were June and July, when we bought and moved into our new house. (Can’t say buying a house was new; I did that up in Ohio.) But, in the end, I tried a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise, like horseback riding and going to Castle Carnivale and racing go-carts.
In fact, things went so well that I decided to continue that trend by declaring 2011 the year I created positive inertia. Good habits. Forward motion in everything. I wanted to get in motion and keep moving forward with the things I want to accomplish.
I haven’t done as well as I’d like.
Oh, I’m getting some writing done, but I’ve had a lot of days where I haven’t written anything at all. And what writing I am doing is going very slow. Sketching something every day quickly fell by the wayside, and my plans to restore a fountain pen a week got only as far as ordering the Marshall and Oldfield book.
I am, to say the least, disappointed in myself.
But I’m not giving up. Instead, I’m starting over and declaring today No More Fooling Around Day. Starting today, I pledge to:
- Write something every day. Even weekends. Yes, really. Every day.
- Sketch something every day. Even weekends. Because the only way I’m going to get better at drawing is to practice, and I’ve got some art projects I want to do that would be unmanageable using 3D software.
- Practice penmanship every day, because if I learn to write while holding a pen the correct way I’ll be able to write for long stretches without my hand cramping up.
- Read one book a week. I’m actually doing pretty good at this already. I finished 3.5 in March. Would have been four, but one I picked wasn’t very good and was tough to get through, so I set it aside for a bit. Still, I made it 200 pages (and only 200 pages left to go, oh dear God…)
- Post one sketch, photo, and 3D image here a week, so I’m less likely to slack off on doing those.
- Blog at least once a week, in addition to that art post, because I really shouldn’t neglect my blog so much.
- Do one sculpture a week. It’s something I’ve wanted to try my hand at for a while. I even have Sculpey and tools around here somewhere…
- Fold one origami a week, because I really like doing origami, and it’ll keep me in practice for when I get rejection letters.
- Make one stop motion film a week. That’s something else I’ve wanted to try for a while but haven’t gotten around to. I’ve got lots of ideas. And the photo equipment to make it work. So now I’m going to.
- Do one science experiment a week. Did you know I’ve never built a baking soda volcano? Or a potato gun? Or dropped Mentos into Diet Coke to see it geyser? I plan to rectify that, because I’ve always loved science. (If not for the math bits, I probably would have been a microbiologist. Or a chemist.)
- Paint one mini a week. We have boxes of these things at our house. And paint. Now we’re going to do something with them. And by we, I mean I’m including Chad in this one because he likes painting minis as much as I do — but he hasn’t been.
- Repair one fountain pen a month. Okay, yeah, I know. Kinda of a slacker goal on that one, but while it’s no big deal if I mangle a bit of paper folding an origami crane or have to make an uninspired Sculpey ashtray to meet my sculpting goal for the week, I absolutely do not want to rush repairing fountain pens. So, one a month seems reasonable.
Yeah, I know. That’s a pretty unrealistic list. Am I going to meet every goal? Of course not. There will be days when I don’t get anything written. There will be weeks when I forget to blog. There will be times when I realize, “Sweet raisin danish! It’s Sunday night, and I still haven’t done a science experiment! Uh, where’s the baking soda and vinegar? Look, they bubble! Yay!” But that’s okay. The idea is to push myself to do more, to make myself do the things I’ve been meaning to do.
Because if I don’t push myself, how will I know what I can do?
In other news, my friend Gina Penn released a book of short stories called Learning to Fly. You should check it out.