Monday 21 December 2015

Season's Greetings and Resolutions from Notes from the Slushpile

Teri Terry
When my lovely co-bloggers suggested NY resolutions for a seasonal post this year, I was stuck. It’s not that I don’t make resolutions this time of year now and then. In fact, not long ago I found some I’d written down way, way back in 1999 – and right there on the list was to take my writing seriously. And it might have taken me a few years to make that really happen, but I did. I think it is really useful now and then to pause, take stock: think, what can I do to change the things I want to change? The thing is, I did this last year; I don’t have these moments on an annual basis. So instead I thought I’d wind the clock back to a NYs eve a year ago.
And what was on the list for 2015 – just like the year 2000?
More specifically, to go back in time a little, and to remember what it feels like to write for the joy of it, write some things just because I want to, and to remember why I’m doing this and that this is my dream job.
I think I’ve done OK at that resolution.
For 2016, what can I add?
Cherish your friends.

Maureen Lynas
I've decided to treat life like a wardrobe. When your wardrobe is stuffed you can see it's stuffed. You can see the sides bulging, the leg of a trouser here, the arm of a jumper there. You have to fight to get things out and fight to get things in and you have a struggle on to shut the doors and keep them shut. Which means the important things, the things you loved to wear; the sparkly outfits, the snuggly jumpers, are often unreachable, forgotten, hidden under layers and layers of things you probably don't even need or like. So, I'm going to have a good old sort out in 2016. I'm rearranging my life so I get to do the things that I love to do, spend time with people I love to be with and generally have a bit more space for fun. And my writing. Happy New Year to all.

Candy Gourlay
Wishes are not the same as resolutions, right? My greatest wish for 2016, from here on the Slushpile, would be for my writing friends and readers of this blog to discover a new story, a story that brings back the magic and the joy that has drawn us to the world of children's writing ... a story so satisfying to write that its creation makes all anxieties about agents, publishers, craft and promotion melt away. I have two resolutions. First, I resolve to draw more. I love drawing and it makes me a better person. Why don't I make time for it? My second resolution is to be present. I want to be present when I'm writing so that I totally inhabit the world that I am creating. I want to be present when I'm living my life in the real world. It's a good life ... I should live it. Love and affection this season to all of you who follow Notes from the Slushpile.

Addy Farmer
Sometimes it's only when something big and awful happens that I step back and think, 'Yeah, I'll give that a go and not worry about looking like a wassack or getting it utterly wrong because it just might be brilliant.' So, for 2016, I resolve to be brave and try different stuff. I resolve not to think too much, too soon when I write and I resolve to treasure my friends. In the wise words of Dr Seuss:
"How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon
December is here before it's June
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?"
Let's live life now and to the max in 2016! Happy Christmas, friends!

Kathy Evans
2016 is going to be a really busy one for me. I resolve to hand over some of my farm work to my incredibly capable colleagues. This is not as easy as it sounds, We cling to things when we're afraid of letting go, because letting go can  mean flying or it can mean falling. Fall or fly, I've waited a long time to publish my first book and, in order to put my all into making it a success, I'm going to have to reallocate some of my time ! Happy New year to you all, let's hope we all fly in 2016!

Nick Cross
My resolution (apart from firing my official photographer) is to not write another book until I feel passionate about doing so. For too long, I've been beholden to the cycle that I described in my recent post, and for months I've been saying I need to break out of it. It isn't as if I won't have plenty to do: a fun new project dropped into my lap last week, I have some cool stuff planned for Words & Pictures and I need to sell/fund my most recent novel. I'm also thinking about dusting down some of my older work or putting together a collection of my short stories. Let 2016 be the year I do stuff because I want to, not just because I think I should.

Jo Wyton
I guess resolutions tend to be about doing more of something or less of something else. Well, 2015 has been a year that's felt like the start of A Tale of Two Cities, and whilst there are things I hope not to repeat in 2016, they're outside of my control, and so I suppose my resolution is this: don't worry so much. With fingers, toes and everything else crossed, I'm going to become a mom for the first time next year, so asides from wishing for a pain free labour (just a couple of paracetamol will be required, obviously), next year will be all about taking life one step at a time. Be as good a parent as I can be. Write when I want to write. Work when I need to work. Make the other half tidy things up when they need tidying up (kidding). And really - don't worry so much.


  1. What a lovely post full of hopes and wishes.

    Congratulations Jo, not worrying sounds like a good plan.

    I hope to see more of Candy's drawings, it was great to have some of your illustrations on this year.

    Maureen, I am available for fun. Nick, you look fantastic!

    I wish you all a fantastic 2016.

  2. This is lovely. I've been a long time reader of NOTSP - thanks for all the instructive & uplifting posts.

    Fantastic news Jo!

  3. I'd second all of that: less stuff, more being, and creativity for the joy of it. Best wishes to everyone at NftS.

  4. Happy Christmas to you all. Lovely post - good luck with the resolutions x


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