It would have been around about this time last year when my then girlfriend and I were having dinner at some place up in the hills and we got to talking about what we wanted to do the following year. It was exciting. It was going to be a year of Doing Things. Of going places. And, for me, of short stories. I think I’d only just got comfortable with saying that I was a short story writer back then; I’d not long read Aimee Bender and Etgar Keret and those sorts of wonderful, brilliant people, and I felt, finally, that I knew what I wanted to do and I was (reasonably) comfortable in the doing of it. It was going to be a great year.
Best laid plans, and all that.
As you’ll know too well if you’ve been reading this blog for a while it hasn’t turned out to be an exciting year of doing things. Early in the year it transpired that my then girlfriend had a list of her own and we split up. It was painful. And then I got ill, which was painful too. You know, I’ve spent a fair amount of time moaning about these sorts of things on here, and I’m not going to now. My point is that I was a little dubious about making any sort of plans for 2010.
But I did.
I wrote a list the other day. There are the obvious things on it, things like doing more exercise (I recently lost the beard and discovered I’d gained a flabby neck) and maybe giving up smoking, but there are other things on there too. Things like doing more stuff. I’ve spent most of this year writing and it’s tired me out, to some degree, and to a greater degree it’s kept me in my office and on my own. I’ve not done as much by way of workshops as I could, which I’d like to change. So those are the sorts of things that have made their way onto my list.
But this is the most important one, I think: