As novelists we try to create a credible illusion of reality: things happen because things happen, a causal chain of events along an imaginary timeline. And after many years of arranging narrative plot we begin to believe that’s the way things really do happen. That effort leads to success, that good habits lead to better health, that villains receive their come-uppance …
Consequences which, as we know, occur rarely in real life.
And yet, as the new year approaches, we insist on making resolutions. We gaze along our personal timeline for the twelve months ahead and swear to finish our book or be a better person or lighten up and have fun.
What pressure. Experience has taught me that resolutions like these do little but set one up for failure. With all the randomness and muddle and surprises ahead, who needs potential guilt as well?
So forget it. Enjoy the holidays and when 2016 approaches take a leaf from Poppy’s book (she’s thinking about it, and thinking about it, and thinking ….): relax, be in the moment but alert to the potential for something to happen, relaxed but ever curious.