So, I turned twenty four yesterday, and with another year of life under my belt, I decided that I would make some goals to try and better myself before I get to the halfway point to fifty.
I suppose, in a way, you could call these New Years resolutions. But for me, I find that most people (myself included) give up on New Years resolutions pretty promptly. ‘I’m going to get fit’, and then do minimal exercise going forward. ‘I’m going to give up smoking’… but after I have one more roll-up, and then another… and another. ‘I’m going to quit drinking’… ignoring the several drinks I had in the early hours of New Years day.
However, in my mind, by starting on my birthday, it’s actually a new year for me, and the fact it’s already part way into the year means that I have a little more time to consider what it is I want to be and do going forward.
It doesn’t really make a whole load of sense, but that’s just how I think of it.
Plus, these aren’t neccessarily resolutions; I am aware that I may fail at some of them. Instead, they’re goals – ones that I can work on over time and hopefully have achieved by the time I’m twenty five. They’re all things that are within my power to do, but things that I know I won’t just click my fingers and have happen.
So, with that in mind, here are my new years not-resolutions:
1. Swear less (or ideally, not at all)
Pretty basic one. I want to swear less. I feel people of my generation tend to swear a lot. It’s kind of embedded in our culture. In fact, us youngsters swear so much that the swear words don’t really mean anything. Not anymore.
Fuck. Shit. Crap. We’ve got some real potty mouths that need washing out, because frankly, it’s unnecessary. It’s also lazy, especially for someone who wants to be a writer. There’s a wealth of words out there that don’t have rude connotations that can convey the same point as any swear word. If anything, swear words are kind of like pointless filler or poor attempts at making dialogue more humorous.
(There are exceptions of course, case-in-point:)
(I love this show)
But, if I can cut down, I’ll feel better about myself, better about my vocabulary, and, on the occasions when I do swear, it will actuall stress the severity of the point I’m making. For instance, I previously wrote a review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and to paraphrase, essentially ended with how the underlying message of the film could be read as ‘Fuck Superman’.
Like, not literally mate with him, but the implication is that the people behind the movie didn’t much care for and were trying to assassinate his character.
But you get that, you’re smart people.
the fuck down
This is, in a way, and extension of ‘Goal #1’, because along with cleaning out my vocabulary, I think my mental state needs a bit of spring-cleaning too.
I’m not saying I’m depressed or anything; just that I feel like I get unnecessarily agitated and rant-y (ask my mum or girlfriend, they will confirm) about certain things, and it’s not necessary.
Because at the end of the day, while there are some things that do rightfully annoy me, most of the stuff that does grind my gears is unimportant in the grand scheme of things, and getting annoyed about it only serves to dampen my spirits when they don’t need to be dampened.
By being calmer, I can make steps to being more positive. Just yesterday I was debating with someone whether we were ‘glass half full’ or ‘glass half empty’ kind of people. I settled on ‘probably glass half empty’, and in a world where everything’s a bit
shit rubbish, being more positive, not getting worked up over stupid things and generally being relaxed a bit more should, hopefully, lead to a brighter, ‘glass half full’ life. And if it doesn’t? Well, at least I tried.
3. Save up enough money for the Millennium Falcon
This one takes a bit more explaining because it’s not exactly what the title point would suggest.
So, when I was younger, I was quite into LEGO. It was my favourite toy, specifically the Star Wars line. Anyway, time went on, I grew up. I still occasionally kept an eye on what LEGO put out, because frankly they’ve made leaps and bounds with their designs and ideas since I was kid, and also, it can help with film news writing because things like Marvel Movies and Star Wars can occasionally have details gleaned off of them from early set leaks.
Then, on my 23rd birthday my gal-pal bought me a new set, Darth Maul’s ship from The Phantom Menace, and my passion for the toy was reignited. I’ve bought a couple of ships since then, one of them being the Millennium Falcon from someone who actually worked on one of the movies. I don’t sit around and play with them, but the building process I find soothing, I admire the ingenious ways in which the sets come together and the process of collecting is something that, as a comic-book fan and general nerd, I am very much into.
And then, in the past year, LEGO unveiled their biggest set to commemorate the anniversary of Star Wars. And it was beautiful (as you can see above); it’s immensly detailed and ridiculously big.
And it costs £649.99.
Which, frankly, is a ludicrous amount to spend on a toy, and something that I’m fairly certain I will never do.
But having just £650 to spare to spend on whatever I wanted? £650 that’s not consigned to bills, rent, food… That would be pretty cool. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much. A lot of people have a lot more than that, but considering it’s been well over a year since I was last out of my overdraft, having money that is just mine and not owed to anyone or being saved for any particular thing. That would be cool.
4. Publish 183 articles
Past considerations for new years resolutions have been things like ‘write every day’, which fail quicker than you can imagine. Sure, it is possible to do some writing every day, but with 365 days in the year, I am 100% sure that, were I to pursue that resolution, I would definitely miss quite a lot of days.
So instead, I’ve found a compromise. I want to have 183 new articles published before I turn twenty-five.
That can be articles on here, or for sites I write for like VultureHound and Cultured Vultures. It could even be other places, if I find other places to write for. But if I get 183 articles published before twenty five, then at least I’m halfway to writing every day, more or less. Because sometimes I may write more than one article a day, but then I won’t feel so bad if I skip the next two. As long as I reach my end goal, I’ll know I will have boosted my portfolio a significant amount and it will have perfectly set me up for my final not-resolution.
Also, yes, this blog post does count as number one.
5. Find some stability in my various projects
In writing those 183 (or more) articles in the next year, I want to find myself in a more stable writing position. I want to get back into the habit of writing, and share these articles out across a spectrum of outlets.
The first and most obvious, is of course this blog. I have been liable to let the content coming out of it lull in previous years. Quite frequently, in fact. That needs to stop.
The second is my other blog, newtocomics.com. It’s a blog I made for my MA degree, got a distinction with, and then let die. Then it was resuscitated, then it died again. Thing is, though, I own that web address, so it really is a waste to let it die out. So I’ve decided I’m going to give it a third and final try. I’ve planned the topics I’m going to write about for the rest of the year. I’ve started buying some graphic novels on the cheap to write about (so far, I’ve ordered Watchmen, All-Star Superman, Ultimate Spider-Man vol. 1, The Flash: Rebirth and Iron Man: Extremis). So I’ve got no reason not to do it, because otherwise I’m just wasting money (not just on comics, but also the fact I paid for the website).
But those are things that I’m solely responsible for, and to be honest, although increased viewership would be nice, I don’t expect it. For things I’m not writing for myself, so much as for the readers, there’s those sites I mentioned before, VH and CV. I’m just a contributor at CV, but at VH I’ve been one of the subeditors for quite some time (I recently moved section though, so I’m now focused on features rather than interviews), which means people rely on me – so that’s another driving factor in actually writing.
So if I can uphold my commitments to those two sites and keep my two blogs up and running to a degree that I could consider taking on a fifth outlet, well, that would just be swell. Not to necessarily follow through, but to find myself in a position that I’m comfortable enough that I could (although I really should, I need that money).
We’ll see how it all goes.