1st January 2010

Okay, here it is. The first day of a new year. This is the perfect day to start afresh, to make resolutions, to change my behaviour, at least where writing is concerned. So I hereby make myself the solemn promise to write something EVERYDAY unless hindered by an internet breakdown or an impossibility of connection (and even then I could write something in a notepad) or by childbirth. Not that I’m pregnant – ooh no – I wouldn’t want members of my family to read this and put it in their “My Family’s Goings-On in 2009” letter along with other details of my personal private life and send it out to various other vague members of the family and to strangers who barely know me and then for me to receive letters of congratulations on my current glowing state – no, I certify I am NOT pregnant, okay? And just because Tommy is two and a half and out of nappies doesn’t mean I will be pregnant this coming year. I just want to get that straight. So my daily scribblings probably won’t be hindered by childbirth this year, at least not my own. I really have very little excuse not to keep this promise up, although I reserve myself the right to simply write “Sofa broken” or “Raining again” or even “Bollocks” on certain days when I seriously lack inspiration or time. Or I could copy’n’stick an email in here. Or my shopping list. As long as some sort of writing activity happens and is posted up here for the joy and amusement and possible irritation of my dad (technically my step-dad; I actually have another ‘biological’ dad so things might get confusing but at least I can always say “oh no, I didn’t mean you, Dad, I meant the other Dad” when I write about “Dad”), who is the sole reader of my splurgings, then my resolution shall hold strong and by the end of 2010 I shall have a year of daily documentative churnings to look back on, and more importantly, a real, regular writing practise which hopefully one day shall lead to something I can be proud of, like a published article or twenty or a childrens’ book. And when I see my Auntie Liz this summer in their French holiday home by Lake Paladru as I do every summer, she won’t be able to frown upon my not having developed my writing skills, although she will probably frown at my not having published anything nor won the Booker Prize yet.  But at least I’ll be able to hold my head up high and say “actually, I write everyday” with that mysterious air writers have, leaving you wondering what they’re writing that day and is it about you or something you said that morning and will it go down in print and will you or your words become somehow profound and life-changing. With that in mind, in the case of this blog, I’m effectively writing for a lost cause as the only life this could possibly have any effect on is my dad’s, seeing as no-one else reads it, yet my dad is so unflinchingly set in his ways that a nuclear bomb falling on the house could not stop him from cooking eggs in some form or other at half past nine a.m. and then going up to Harry’s corner shop to get the Telegraph. But that’s not really what this is about when it comes down to it. It’s just a question of practise. I’ve never had the discipline to practise anything in my life and just been lazily surfing along on whatever wave comes along and carries me off, which probably explains why I’m 37 and still dependant on theatre directors calling me up to offer me roles I find rather easy and fun to play. Maybe if I practise writing I’ll not only get somewhere with it but I might also start practising other things too. Clarinet, dance, piano, paperwork – I might even actually build something up of my own, like a show or a company, or even fill our bathroom with beautiful succulent plants. Ah, there’s the other New Year’s Resolution, water the plants.

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