31 December 2010

New day yesterday

I started to write this blog because I thought it would improve my literary skills. I keep forgetting that. Looking back (as I have been this evening, waiting for this damned year to finish) I found some really quite good writing. I also found this posting about a previous, very strange, New Year's Eve (I wonder whether she succeeded in finding a husband): and I read my Premeditated Notebook, a kind of ink-on-dead-trees precursor to a blog, which I think I stopped writing in about 2005. It is full of gems, mostly about commuting. I should do something with it - like publish extracts in this blog. Perhaps dating them to coincide with when they were written.

I was also impressed, reading that old blog entry, that so many people including me seemed so keen to see an end to 2007 - just like I feel about 2010.

This morning I got out shortly after daybreak for a 10K run down to Rowstock. It was a shame to run along a busy road when there are so many wonderful trails to use, but it was the right thing to do at the time - and I wanted to measure out a 10K course for future use, so I can follow the Murakami prescription. In fact, my New Year's Resolution goes on from his 10K per day, to include a target of 40 miles a week, a half-M distance once a week (a Sunday long run - nothing particularly unusual about that) extended to a Marathon once a month. Or more. Nancy pointed out on Facebook that I have omitted rest days, but I'll simply run slowly once a week.

My fingers were cold when I started, but eventually warmed up, and while it wasn't scenically anything to write home about it was a pleasant outing. To make up the 10K distance I had to go a surprisingly long way past the natural turn-around, but I know now exactly which telegraph pole marks the 5K-from-home point.

On the return leg, I started thinking about poetry - as one does - and in particular, for some reason, The Lords and The New Creatures, the slender volume of Jim Morrison's writings that I bought, by mail order, when at school. I considered it the height of sophistication, though I didn't like most of the poems, which didn't read like his songs sounded and which contained insufficient sex for my adolescent taste. It struck me, however, that what I am interested in writing is a form of poetry - I am keen to (I have in the past managed to) write in a manner that's as satisfying for the way in which it uses words as for what it says. And if I am writing about running, the possibilities are huge. I have, somehow, even succeeded in producing what seems to me to be very satisfying prose about intellectual property, in my Dictionary. So I'd better keep on practising. See if I can't match the quality of some of those early blog posts about runs. I think my imagination is letting me down.

That said, my Runner's World article has generated some very flattering comments - one professional novelist, when I remarked to him that it made me feel as if I were a writer, saying "You are a writer - and a bloody good one!" - and a friend expressing admiration for a few paragraphs I dashed off about a piano recital. I need to give my creative writing muscles some exercise. I have so much in my head to write about, but I rarely get round to doing much about it. Perhaps a New Year's Resolution is called for - to write a little each day, which I might add to learning a little German each day (can anyone tell me what "dann fang schon mal an" means?), making a serious attempt to learn Russian, improving my French, and learning the piano. Maybe a busy year - which means it will be all the more important to learn from this posting I read earlier about the "not-to-do" list. What am I going to resolve not to do? Procrastinate, to start with.

Happy New Year!

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