Over the past week, we’ve been inundated with articles, blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates about New Year’s resolutions. To make or not to make them – that seems to be the question.
Just what is it about a brand new year and vowing resolutions?
Many writers tend to possess the maddening, albeit necessary, drive to be word smiths. To grasp precise definitions that give life to our stories. Sound familiar? Welcome to the club.
After reading and hearing people opine about resolutions and maintaining resolve, I headed straight to the bookshelf. I found my old dog-eared, yellowed copy of The American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition, and flipped back to the Rs. Not able to recall the last time I looked up the word resolution, I was completely unprepared to find this definition:
Resolution: the fineness of detail that can be distinguished in an image.
I re-read that definition several times before the full meaning sunk in: A resolution needs to contain such precise detail that it evokes a vivid mental picture.
In our techno-age, we relate resolution to pixels in an image. High-definition on a movie screen. Something so clear that details pop. Brilliant color that ignites our senses.
So why do we craft our New Year’s resolutions with vague language and colorless imagination?
Resolving to “get published” isn’t really a resolution – it’s a dream (and a pretty good one, I might add). But those two words lack fineness of detail and contain faceless people and blurred images. But resolving to attend the next local writer’s conference in order to network, learn the craft of writing, and pitch an agent or publisher stirs a focused mental picture. You can see the steps to take.
I’ve resolved to read through the Bible in 2012. I’ve already got my Bible reading checklist tucked in my Bible ready to go and an alarm set on my cell phone to alert me when it’s time to wrap up and get ready for work. I can clearly picture my quiet time each still morning as God whispers life into my soul. Just writing that brought to mind the comfy, overstuffed chair in my study where that wondrous, transforming time will unfold.
The bottom line? If you’re going to make New Year’s resolutions, add as much detail as you can. The more vivid the picture, the more focused your striving becomes.
If you’re having difficulty seeing it, you’ll have difficulty attaining it.
Blessings to you and yours in 2012.
Let’s chat: If you’ve made resolutions, do you see fineness of detail that can be distinguished in an image?