Resolution Inspiration

by Bill Ashwell

It is a new year, a time to cast off the old and welcome the new. Looking back on 2011, I can clearly see that I am becoming more and more excited about writing again – or at least writing more. All the tools are in place. I have a fully functional computer, a handful of flash drives, my Roget’s Thesaurus, my Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a working coffee maker and an ample supply of ground coffee. What more could I do? Try, maybe, inspiration. That always works.

Having developed the habit of always carrying a pen and most times carrying a notebook/notepad of some kind, I’m constantly scribbling notes to myself. However, more often than not, these notes usually take the form of to-do lists: gas up the car, dentist appointments, volunteer meetings, etc. Occasionally, a sentence will pop into my head that just screams to be written down. Unfortunately, as the line often screams, the rest of the piece that begs to be written often remains mute and unwritten.

So now with a New Year at hand, I have decided to make a list of my New Year’s Writing Resolutions. These will go into effect at precisely 12:01 AM, Jan. 1, 2012…and will likely expire at 12:15 AM, Jan. 1, 2012. Nevertheless, here they are:

  1. I promise to seldom split my infinitives.
  2. I promise to use my spell cheker more oftin.
  3. A promise is made by me that the passive voice will never be used by me.
  4. Whether my back is to the wall, I will put my shoulder to the wheel and my nose to the grindstone, and never use clichés.
  5. I promise to completely eliminate different kinds of redundant phrases during the course of my writing.
  6. I promise today (actually, make that tomorrow…maybe) that I will not procrastinate in 2012.
  7. I promise to use, commas, only when, and where, necessary.
  8. I promise to be less reliant, less dependent, under the thumb of, my thesaurus.
  9. I promise to write more rhyme/But will not do it all the time.
  10. …there is no #10. I’ll be busy enough breaking these nine as 2012 progresses.

Happy New Year, everyone!!!

Image: Grant Cochrane /

A Cambridge native, Bill Ashwell has been a CWC member since 1995.

In 2007 Bill was awarded the City of Cambridge’s prestigious Bernice Adams Memorial Award for Communication and Literary Arts. His poetry and prose have been published in several editions of the Writers Undercover Anthologies, The Cambridge Wartime Scrapbook, and most recently, for the Cambridge Libraries’ 2011 Poem-A-Day Contest. In 2001 Bill published Moments of Clarity, a collection of his poetry.

Bill also volunteers for many community Arts organizations, including the Cambridge Arts Festival.

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