...No, I'm not talking about the change from 2013 to 2014, although it's always a time for clearing out the mental clutter, planning to ditch the bad old habits and promising to be an All-Round Better Person in future which inevitably leads to a slipping on the old comfort blanket of old established habits. (Which is why, incidentally, you will find this a new-year-resolutions-free-zone.)
I'm taking about my writing regime. Yesterday, coincidentally with the new year, I shipped off my completed novel manuscript (although no manuscript is ever truly completed) to my agent and am not looking at it until she pronounces her verdict which could be anything between 'brilliant' and 'bury it six-feet deep and throw in a shovelful of quick-lime while you're at it.'
I could take a holiday...but I'd rather move on. Life is short. I don't know about you but writing the final third of a novel is always overshadowed by an itch to begin the next. However, this itch cannot be scratched until I have finished the novel I'm struggling with. (Maybe it's my childhood when I wasn't allowed to tuck into my Mum's rich and spicy fruit cake until I'd polished off every last crumb of the bloater-paste sandwiches on my plate. (We didn't even have a dog to whom I could sneak a piece under the table.) Whatever it is, I definitely have a 'I've started so I'll finish' habit even if it means being a stubborn so-and-so.
So, yesterday, I opened a new computer file and cleared the clutter on my desk of note-books, reference works about the Cistercians, their abbeys and priories, the medieval wool industry, medieval food and medicine, the wars between England and Scotland in the 14th century and the battles thereof, Edward II and every thing else that could impinge on an obscure nuns' priory of the period.
Then it's on to: Huguenots, glass-blowing, Good Queen Bess, recusancy in the North Riding of Yorkshire, martyred priests and the continuing repercussions of the suppression of the monasteries for ordinary people.
See you there...eventually.