As the Earth revolves in another cosmic cartwheel around the sun, writers on all seven continents are pondering their prospects. Many of you have already have made solemn New Year’s resolutions to finish your novel, submit an article, enter a contest, or to not let another fortnight pass by without pulling that musty manuscript out of the cellar.
Since it’s almost March, I think it’s time to for a progress check, don’t you? Have you made progress, or do you continue to circle your projects like a reluctant satellite, never slowing down enough to let gravity pull you into the heart of the matter.
I looked up “resolution” online in The Free Dictionary and found it had eleven definitions. (Evidently there is a lack of resolution about the meaning of ‘resolution’.) The first definition, “A resolving to do something,” is what commonly occurs on New Year’s Eve, typically in an altered state, and it’s a less effective motivational strategy than one would hope. Months later, like right now, when lofty goals have not been achieved, the now-sober writer endures the ravages of disappointment and self-castigation until the next December 31st , when sobriety ebbs and new resolutions bubble up from inside the champagne flute.
I like definition #9 better: “A progression of a dissonant tone or chord into a consonant tone or chord.” The good thing about this way of viewing a ‘resolution’ is that it allows us to experience our inner dissonance and struggle as a creative device; a necessary build-up of tension that is moving us toward an eventual resolution of greater harmony. No guilt required. What we call our false starts, confusion and failure are all essential parts of that process.
Like our yet-unrealized writing aspirations, we all contain unresolved dissonant tones, and we are moving toward our own unique consonant chords, note by note. My resolution for what’s left of 2012 is to make some music out of the cacophony.