Last year was a year of wanting. I wanted badly to write a novel. I began to see it as a challenge, like taking up knitting a scarf. Now, I have never been a sewer or a knitter. I don't know why, it would seem to suit me; I like fabric and colour and textures. I like nice clothes and I love quilts. I sometimes think that I would love to make a quilt -- but actually not, because I tried it once and I do not have the patience. It was hard enough just cutting out the little squares. So I wouldn't actually "love" to make a quilt. I wish I could, maybe, if I had unlimited time, very sharp scissors and a forgiving pattern. But given the grist of reality, no. Not at the moment.
And writing a novel, I'm beginning to suspect, may be a similar thing. I admire good novels. I enjoy reading good novels. I have learned a lot about how novels work and are constructed and what you need to do to write them. But for me it is like cutting out all those little squares: more difficult than it looks, and not particularly enjoyable! I have also discovered quite a lot about myself. For instance. If I write 2 good poems this year I'll be happy. If I write 50 mediocre poems to get to the 2 good poems I'll be happy. If I publish the 2 good poems I'll be ecstatic. But if I don't publish any poems, I won't be terribly depressed.
The novel is a net, it tangles and traps, both in the reading and in the writing. This year, I think, I would rather be a fish. I would rather swim with dolphins. I would rather dive for pearls.