Thursday, January 03, 2008


Happy New Year, everyone. Maybe I should say, Happy two-thousand and GREAT!


(FYI - you can spell "two-thousand-and-great" like so: 2000GR8)

With the dawn of a new year, it's tradition to make resolutions. Yes, what better way to view a fresh beginning than with a critical self-evaluation? The problem I've always had with resolutions is that I never stick to them. December 31st rolls around and if I'm lucky (or unlucky) enough to remember what I resolved myself to, I end the year wearing goofy glasses, drinking champagne, and reminiscing on my failures. That is why I force my resolutions from my mind by mid-March. No one wants their shortcomings tainting a perfectly good New Year's Eve celebration.

That being said, and all sarcasm aside (I really dislike New Year's), it can be beneficial to set goals for oneself. Despite the previous paragraph and the sentiment expressed therein, I have set some goals for myself this year as a writer. Well, one goal, really: I want to finish the projects that I begin.

"But Joe," you say, "David Mamet supposedly has a chest full of first-acts of plays! Surely you needn't finish everything you start to be a good writer!" To which, I respond, what the hell? A chest? Like, pirate's booty? Like a chest of drawers? Realistically, I could counter with a summarization of a quote from John Irving's The World According to Garp, in which the protagonist, a novelist, expresses his belief that only in completing projects do you grow. I completed a new screenplay and a few short stories last year. Not much, you might notice. Well, it wasn't. In the meantime, I also have about three first acts that I started and didn't come close to completing. Perhaps I should stop blogging.

Let's move on.

The point is that I want to stick things out - see them through to their horrific end. I've become a master of first-acts. I can churn out a fantastic first 20 pages to a screenplay, and even the first 30 - 50 pages of a play. I. Rule. But I'm like the anti-Tom Brady. I can't finish. Mostly because I allow myself to get distracted...and once that happens, I move on to something else.

No more! If I send planes into the air, I will crash and burn with them. I will no longer swim to safety while my Titanic sinks. I will not sneak safely out of the jungle while the tour I'm guiding gets devoured by ravenous beasts. I will suffer the fate of my metaphors and all things literary in 2008. Most of it will be oh-so-bad, but if it makes me a better writer come 2009 (and I'm only 25, mind you), isn't that worth it?

Any resolutions? Leave comments. (Please?)

Write on...

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