Here we are, testing the waters of a New Year, wondering whether there’s any point in making resolutions, given so many previous years marred by lack of resolve. I’ve always seen plans as statements of optimistic desire rather than intent, and a New Year’s Resolution is essentially a plan for future behaviour made in the expectation of failure to stick to it.

Yet the power of the word is such that saying something gives it a shape within  the world it would lack if merely thought. At the very least, we might stumble against that shape in the darkness of the coming months, and recognise its outline as we fumble around. Our behaviour may not conform to that shape, but at the very least, we’ll know when we feeling our way around it.

So I’m making no resolutions. What’s the point of a promise you know you’re going to break? But I do have some weak-willed good intentions, two of which I’m outlining here, like the chalk shapes of murder victims on the carpet, so when I next walk into this room, there’ll be inescapable evidence.

I’ve a new poetry pamphlet due out later this month. Intention number one is to use this to get out to read and perform a bit more. I’ve been a lazy old poet, and I should do a bit more than I have been.

Alongside this, I intend a third book to be ready some time during the year. With luck, I’ll have it in shape before the summer. Whether there’ll be any takers is, of course, another matter.

Third and lastly, I intend to have completely revised one of my draft novels. I’ve plenty to choose from – about fifteen, I think, written over many, many years – and none really brought to fruition, which is a searing indictment of creative dilettantism.

There – now I’ve said it. There’s no going back now, is there?

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