New Year’s Resolutions are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? “Let’s lose weight”, is how it starts. Then it’s “we’ll go to the gym every day, save 20% of every pay cheque in a high interest account and learn to play the flute.” Then around halfway through New Year’s Day, reality sets in and you end up sitting on the sofa, surrounded by empty Quality Street wrappers. Not that I’m complaining, you understand. (And just for the sake of impartiality, other selections of chocolates are available.)

In fact, my resolution for this year came to me the night before New Year’s Eve, and it’s a doozy. I’m going to write a short story a week, and publish them, every Saturday, right here on my blog. If life or other technical stuff gets in the way, then I might have to break that. But I’ll try not to. (And there’s another resolution gone – I ended a sentence with a preposition. Allow me to go and punish myself before the Grammar Police arrive.)

Why?

Well, I tried NaNoWriMo. That’s probably my fourth attempt at writing a novel in my life. I’ve written scores of short stories, none of which I can seem to find, and I seem to be quite good at it – at least, from the point of view of my own satisfaction and the limited number of family and friends who have read them; although I would argue they potentially have a vested interest in overestimating their enjoyment and downplaying any faults, but that’s life.

What will I get out of this exercise?

I don’t know.

In the worst case scenario, it will all peter out in a few weeks when I have a crisis of confidence and decide I’m not anywhere close to being a half-decent writer.

Or perhaps I’ll make it the year and then stop, with nobody reading them. That’s possible, although it would also be a depressing outcome. So please, feel free to spread the word.

And you know, just maybe there might be a good outcome from all this. Maybe I’ll write 52 stories, of probably variable quality, and some people will read them and enjoy them. I’m under no illusions here – I know this third outcome is almost certainly the best that I can realistically hope for. (Done it again. That’s two charges in under 500 words. The Grammar Police will throw the book at me.)

In which case, bring it on. 52 stories will start this Saturday. Hopefully a mix of genres, happy stories, sad stories, moving stories, maybe even funny ones. New characters, recurring characters, heroes and villains, even unscrupulous detectives and villains with high principles (always the most dangerous kind).

I’m opening the Pandora’s Box of my imagination, and going to start digging around and see what I can find. Anyone want to come along for the ride?

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