I Resolve: A Writer’s Stream Of Consciousness On New Year’s Resolutions ~ Outside the Margins with Edmond Manning

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Edmond Manning OTM

I resolve to write more.

Write more. What does that even mean? Write more every day? Write more days during the week? Increase my word count?

Okay, fine. I will pick an easier New Year’s resolution.

I resolve to read more books.

Oh, good lord! You say that every year. And then you read around seventeen. That’s pathetic. You know what they say, a great writer reads as much as he or she writes. Seventeen books? That’s just embarrassing.

Wait, if I’m talking to myself in my head, why am I saying “he or she?” Why not “…as much as he writes?” Am I doubting my masculinity? Do I need to examine my relationship to gender role—damn it. Off topic.

How about this instead: I resolve to read more books within the M/M field.

Hang on. That’s a little tricky. Hang on. I’ve been avoiding reading books within our genre. For a while, I tried telling myself, “I simply don’t have time to read,” and while there is some truth in that, there’s shadow behind this statement. I’ve read a few M/M romance books and had mixed reactions. Two were pretty fantastic, actually. And a few others were all about the romance and it’s hard for me to get into a romance that’s exclusively a romance. I want an adventure, a plot. I like books where romance happens but is not the focus. I’m afraid to read more. Now that I’m friends with many romance authors, what if I read their work and I don’t like it? What would I say? What kind of pall would that cast over our friendship?

“Sorry, it’s just not my thing.”

I wouldn’t say that, of course.

Hhhmmmmmm. Think about this. I have friends who have read my books and didn’t love them. It didn’t crush me or make me give up writing. Yes, it does bum me out that someone I love didn’t “get into” my writing. An author wants everyone to love their work—everyone. Yet it’s always humbling in a good way when someone says, “Meh.”

One author friend read King Perry and told me, “I finished it.”

There was a silence.

She said, “Fun adventure. Although, a little wordy with the descriptions, dear.”

That’s all she said, and yet it communicated volumes. The book wasn’t her thing. But she communicated that in such a classy way, I felt deeply respected. She finished the book—which was saying something—and appreciated what was good about it, while admitting it just wasn’t really her thing.

I could do that, right? I could say that to a friend in a classy way.

Who the fuck am I kidding? Me? Classy?

Wait, how about this—I resolve to be more classy.

Well, you’re off to a great fucking start. Quit playing with Facebook, zip up your pants, and leave the bathroom.

Okay, how about this: I resolve to spend less time on Facebook so I can spend more time writing.

Hang on, hang on. Do we know for sure that Facebook is the problem? I mean, wouldn’t I just spend more time on webcomics or reddit or watching cat videos?

Speaking of, where’s the Professor? Where the fuck is that dude hanging out? He hasn’t walked by me in the last hour, yowling mournfully, searing me with his eyes, saying this is all your fault. I never know what exactly I did, but clearly, it’s all my fault.

Oh, there he is. Walking by casually, as if headed to meet a friend at Starbucks. Ignoring me.

I resolve to find a way to make the Professor not want to sit on the keyboard. That’s why I’m not writing as much, not Facebook. Don’t blame poor Facebook—ooh, I know what I should post. I have a good one. I’ll mention “The Porch” in this post and rile up Sammy. Or maybe I’ll upload a photo of—

Okay. Maybe Facebook is a problem.

There are a lot of distractions.

Truth is, I can make big goals about writing every day, but damn it, writing as a second career is hard. I work to support myself. I have an old house which needs repairs, a yard that is obviously minimally cared for, and every day I clean feces out of a box in my own damn basement. Stupid cat.

Come over here, Professor. Look, I’m out of the bathroom. Washed my hands and everything.

There you are. Still wandering the house, eh? Come sit on my lap. No? Busy? Yeah, okay. Well, we’ll catch up later. We can—you sure you don’t want to cuddle—no, no, it’s cool. Keep going wherever you’re going. You look busy.

Sigh. I want to pet my kitty.

Come over here, buddy. Leeeeeeetle keeeeeetin.

Okay, back to New Year resolutions.

I resolve to have fewer distractions in my life. I’ll cut more. Like what? What else can you cut? You don’t see enough real-world friends as it is. You know, real friends tend to go away if you don’t spend time with them, so let’s not plan on a life of future loneliness, okay? Let’s keep hanging out with friends. And maybe less time on Facebook.

The problem is, I have enough rules in my life. I have enough resolutions. I’m trying to eat healthier these days, which means cooking more at home. Learning how to make vegetable-centric meals and getting to the gym every other day. In addition, I’ve got all kinds of professional goals and a few personal goals because I want to grow into being a better person this coming year. Better to me. Better to my friends. Better to people who are having a hard day and can’t hide it, making them be dicks in traffic, like that asshole yesterday—no. No. Be a better person. Let it go. He was having a hard day.

So, how about this?

No resolutions.

No rules for writing.

What if I just let writing be what it is, and make suggestions to myself for improving the craft as I float along, without trying to control every minute of it. Instead of trying to make writing my bitch, why don’t I just enjoy it?

So. This.

I resolve to tell stories. I’ll tell them the best I can, and they’ll come out when they come out. I’ll keep my writing commitments, of course, but let’s let the stories unfold organically. Be a storyteller, not someone with a writing career.

Be a storyteller.

I like this resolution. Be a storyteller. I resolve to have fun with my writing, to get excited about it, to some days skip it and eat bacon while watching Netflix. But I will enjoy being a storyteller.

Cool. Now, I want to tell someone this resolution.

Professor? Where are you buddy?

Do you want your rubsings, leeeeetle keeeeeeeeetin?

No? No, okay. That’s cool. You look like you’re busy.


~Edmond Manning

About Edmond Manning

Edmond Manning is the author of King Perry, King Mai, The Butterfly King andFilthy Acquisitions. He spends a great deal of time standing in front of the fridge with the door open, wondering why it’s not stocked with more luncheon meats and cheese.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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6 thoughts on “I Resolve: A Writer’s Stream Of Consciousness On New Year’s Resolutions ~ Outside the Margins with Edmond Manning

  1. This is me… Right here… Minus the cat. I saw a friend post not resolutions, but a to-do list for 2016. Specific, measurable items. So, that’s what I did. I will read 30 books in and out of the genre. I will get my dragon tattoo. I will start the process of finishing my Bachelor’s degree. Nothing that requires other people, nothing that I can’t definitively check off a list.

    My very best thoughts and hopes for your 2016 aspirations, whatever they may be. You inspire me each month with your posts. One day, maybe I’ll try to make people laugh instead of cry. 🙂

  2. I dunno, JP, making people cry–feeling the depth of those emotions–is a pretty noble experience. Plus, you always make me smile. Happy New Year to you, friend! Good luck with the dragon tattoo!

  3. Oh, I love your post and it’s so me…except that I could never have put it into words so eloquently. My post would on resolutions would consist of four words: ‘go with the flow’. It has been my resolution for the past 18 years and will continue to be my resolution for the rest of my life. The flow always gets me there; maybe earlier than expected or maybe later, but it never fails to drop me off exactly where I need to be.

    Happy New Year my friend.

  4. All I can say is, this is you, Edmond, at least the parts of you that I know. 😀
    Yay for storytelling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3

    • Why, thank you, Lirtle! I really did write this stream-of-consciousness (the first draft, anyway), and this is the exact thought-process I went through trying to figure out if I wanted New Year’s resolutions. Ha.

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