Gemma Seltzer’s New Year’s Resolutions

Blog / Tom Chivers

I resolve to make this my finest year yet. I vow to learn the lessons of the previous year. I will eat less cake, write more stories, leave Facebook alone, be courageous, visit sun-filled landscapes and master the headstand. I have always made New Year’s resolutions. When I was 10, I made a long list […]

I resolve to make this my finest year yet. I vow to learn the lessons of the previous year. I will eat less cake, write more stories, leave Facebook alone, be courageous, visit sun-filled landscapes and master the headstand.

I have always made New Year’s resolutions. When I was 10, I made a long list in January. The first two points were written in blue biro: ‘Do well in French’ and ‘Practice Violin every Day.’ Fairly modest aspirations. Others were more elusive, and noted in pencil, such as ‘Be Cool and Popular’, ‘Half break-up with Sally’ and – my personal favourite – ‘Draw the Dot on the ‘i’ as a Circle.’ I was all about personal development.

Over the last few years, I have shared these resolutions online through data-collecting, story-writing, self-imposed projects.

During 2009-10, I found a decision made in a previous year, to talk to more random people, had caught up with me. So, I started a blog called Speak to Strangers, consisting of 100 hundred-word short stories based on these chance encounters with Londoners.

2011 was the year I intended to relax more (and escape the strangers). I set out to explore the quiet bits of London in an urban walking project, Look up at the Sky. This involved strolling along the Thames week by week, bridge to bridge, and writing about the experience.

In 2012, I’m preparing for adventures and will no doubt build for a digital platform for the journey. Making a resolution is simple, disclosing is harder. But doing so in the guise of an online writing project – one with a precise set of rules – gives an opportunity to face the challenge in public.

So I say, make a resolution to make a resolution in 2012. Remember your 10 year-old self, who only wanted to be cool. Reinvent yourself. Make a positive change. And frame it creatively. What’ll it be for you?

xxx

Gemma Seltzer is a writer and literary blogger. Her book, Speak to Strangers, is available for £9.99. Find out more about Gemma’s work at her website.

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