Should some acquaintance be forgot?

Like the two-headed god, Janus, who looks to the past and the future, I like to use the new year to both review what has been and prepare for what will be.

Here are some ideas for things – and people – to set aside in the coming year

1. Email. By which I mean: If you’re not expecting something important, do now or simply fantastic (and youtube links for dogs who ride skateboards don’t count) then turn off your email. Write without distraction. Read without distraction. FOCUS without distraction.

2. Unsubscribe. Are you really reading all those email newsletters you signed up for? Really? Or do you find that you’re simply making folders for them to read ‘one day’. If the idea of setting aside a precious hour to go through them at your leisure seems like a terrible waste of time, the chances are that it’s time to wave bye-bye. Unsubscribing is liberating.*

3. The absence of a clock. I know, you want to be free to write and express yourself and do the best work you can without the constraint of time. But boundaries and deadlines are good things. Honest. They focus the mind, help you develop discipline and enable you to plan ahead.

4. Timestealers. You know those people – they mean well, probably, but they think writing is ‘just a hobby’, or worse, that it’s ‘not a proper job’. Keep set hours for your writing, draw a line in the sand and respect your craft.

Things to look forward to this year

1. The Preditors & Editors Readers’ poll, where my thriller short story ebook, The Silent Hills, is up for nomination:

Here’s the publisher page:

2. I’m starting a new novel.

3. Did I mention that I’m starting a new novel? Well, I am.

Things I never knew until very recently

1. Out at Boskenna, lots of daffodils are already out.

2. The Wolf was right – there is an alternative opening scene to Lethal Weapon 1.

3. It’s time to start writing a new novel.

* The jury is still out on the magazine that I’ve emailed FOUR times to ask them to unsubscribe me from their list. You know who you are…

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