Trying Something New: Making the Year Interesting

Every now and then I succumb to that most boring of ailments known as “routine”. I wake up at the same time every morning, go to work, watch a television show, have dinner, go to bed, and repeat. At weekends, I spend some time online, I might go to town, I might watch a movie, and I’ll write something. And repeat. Sometimes, it means I can get a lot done, particularly if I manage to squeeze in writing into the routine. Other times, the routine pulls all the excitement out of everything.

I have been known to counter this experience by trying something new. Unfortunately, that can be difficult to keep up – something new can often just become another part of the routine. This is, I suppose, why I write shorter fiction – I’m less likely to accidentally bore myself with the story. (The reality, of course, is just that I can’t keep my attention in one place long enough, because I find inspiration in a lot of places and the draw of uncovering the story behind an idea is often too alluring to keep up with current work.)

While I don’t imagine I could keep up the intention of regularly trying something new, it is something that I am keeping in mind as the days pass by. There is always something that I haven’t done before, and many things I haven’t done in a very long time. Something new is sometimes something old; old flames are often as warm as new ones, if only kindled correctly.

It is my intention, while I surround myself with new projects and long lists and an impending return to work following an extended time off for the holidays, that I should take up one hobby this month, and return to two that gave me great joy in their time. The new one I’ll talk about later – after I’ve given it a shot, and have something to say rather than just make empty promises and deliberate on expectations – but the older joys of my life are promises I intend to keep.

The first cover for Balor Reborn

The cover for Balor Reborn

The first is Irish mythology, specifically that about which I had been writing a few years ago. I’m not sure what pulled me away from the stories, except maybe tiredness with life as it were – the last book was released in the summer of 2013, shortly after I had finished my final year in college. I was tired, and about to enter out of education while I saved up, working three days a week, minding my niece for two, and feeling like I should have been doing more with my life the rest of the time. It was a burden, being off like that, with some expectation to do something. I never could stand anticipation, and the wait of a year to (maybe) begin a course was too much for me. (When it came to household chores these past couple of weeks, I preferred to do them immediately rather than wait until later in the day, if I wasn’t already doing something.)

I’ve got myself a revised plan for The Blood of Leap, and I’m beginning it from the start – after an 8,000 word first attempt that felt rushed and empty. When the first draft is done, I’ll be creating covers for the first three books (Balor Reborn, The Hounds of Hell, and The Blood of Leap), and preparing some additional material for the new editions. And these new editions won’t just be digital! I plan on getting a small number of printed copies of these books done up. They might not sell – which is precisely why I’m limiting the print run – but I’ll have them. And I’ll be creating a video for them, which will be fun and animated and a chance to redeem myself after the sham of an assignment I submitted for my Animation module last year.

The cover for The Hounds of Hell

The cover for The Hounds of Hell

So that’s one of the two old joys. The other is YouTube. I’d like to get back to it properly. I had that one video a couple of weeks ago, but now I need to make another. And, well, keep doing that. Weekly, hopefully, but that has to start with this week. (Weekend, specifically, because recording in the evenings is a nightmare.)

In a way, I guess it is new for me to have a weekly schedule on YouTube. I’m notorious for keeping up with one. We’ll see what I can muster – I might cheat and record a couple of videos at a time, every time, just to make sure I always have something, and then just upload them whenever I need one. At least I’ll be putting a new one up regularly.

Are you planning anything new for the year? Let me know in the comments. And if you have any video suggestions, I’m all ears. Or eyes. Whatever.

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About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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