Theology

Revelation 20:12.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

I can’t say it’s been planned this way, yet here I am, writing this entry in the last six hours of 2011. I would say the year has been a roller coaster, but at least on a roller coaster you have a chance to observe the track beforehand and therefore know what’s coming. Plus, you don’t really have any control over a roller coaster track. If I have learnt anything from this year, it’s that whatever comes your way, you can decide the outcome based on how you react to it. You always have some measure of control if you look at any given situation from a higher floor, and when you mess up, you’ll get a second chance if you want it enough.

Honestly, though, I don’t want to get all serious and retrospective. I prefer dealing with that warm feeling of nostalgia in metaphorical terms, so check back later if you want it, because for right now we’re looking forward.

December has come and gone so fast that I find myself at least two resolutions short of my target of 12 with barely hours to go before I begin implementing them into my day-to-day life. Yet, I’m not disappointed about this. My most important 2012 resolutions have been planned, and I’m going to let more ideas come in during the next few weeks before the final list is complete. You see, essentially, there is no difference between today and tomorrow, aside from the number on the end of a bigger number used to classify our position within the linear timeline of the universe. I’m not putting a deadline on my resolution list; the list will be complete when it is complete. This coming year, I’m not even going to give myself the pressure of revealing each one through this blog. Some I will openly discuss, whereas the success of others will depend precisely on not revealing them to people. Think of this entry as an introduction to my biggest resolutions, rather than an outline of them all.

To recap, I will be continuing my theme of last year by attempting successfully demolishing 12 separate resolutions, some of which will be accumulative, some of which will be one off challenges, and some of which will be somewhere in between.

I have however applied a more serious tone to my resolutions this year, as opposed to the somewhat playful mostly came up with on the spot plot-line that was prevalent throughout those previous twelve months just past.

Two things I’ll be doing a lot more of in 2012 is reading and writing, and my two biggest personal resolutions this year reflect this.

The first will take place in May, when I will read James Clavell’s novel Gai Jin in one sitting, without any breaks for sleep. I can eat, drink, relieve myself in the can, but only if I do it all while reading. For those unfamiliar with Clavell, he became famous for mainly two things: one was writing the screenplay for The Great Escape, the other was his epic Asian saga, a series of six novels based in Japan, Hong Kong, China and Iran. Gai Jin is the third in the series, and spans over 1200 pages in length. We’re not talking baby font here either. This is as epic as grown-up novels get, and I have no doubt it will take me over two full days to read it cover to cover.

I know what you’re thinking. Why put myself through such a thing, unless I’m a fan of self-harming? Well, after I had the initial idea, I thought about that as well. A sense of personal achievement is one reason, but then I started thinking; what if I can also help other people with such a unique achievement? I don’t just want this to be all about me. So I’ve decided to try and use it as a fundraising opportunity for a charity which has yet to be confirmed (although I would like it to be RNIB). This obviously depends on the thoughts of all of you. Would you be prepared to sponsor me for such an event, or do you feel I can push myself even further? Is one 1200 page novel not enough? I’m open to realistic suggestions here.

Every November, writers everywhere choose to put all of their effort into the art of writing a 50,000 word novel. November 2011 was another success for many; unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them. I’ve decided Nanowrimo doesn’t necessarily work for me. The timing is just wrong for people who enjoy getting out while the sun is still up, like myself. At the end of November, I sat there on my sofa, head bowed, legs crossed, deeply pondering my month of unproductivity and came to the conclusion that if Nanowrimo didn’t work for me this year, nor will it next year or the years following that one.

Next year, I will write a novel in a month… In June. This frees me from the pressure of competing with others in the same position. It allows me to still see sunlight after I’m done with my writing for the day. It means I can look out of my window and be cheered up by the bright colours of summer, and privately gloat about having the power to control what month I partake in this challenge while other writers restrict themselves to November. I have dubbed this challenge Penowrimo, meaning Personal Novel Writing Month.

There you have it. Two resolutions which I hope will give you an idea of the direction I’m taking my resolution theme this year. Put it this way: if last year was about instilling discipline, this year is about building on that with challenges of endurance.

Most of all, I want to be able to look back a year from now and be able to say that my ideas made a difference, and affected those around me. I will be held accountable on the claims I have made here; how I act on them will reflect on me as a person. Therefore, I see 2012 as potentially the biggest year of my life. I’ve strapped myself in.

Now it’s time to ride this track.

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