When I posted my first-in-a-very-long-time New Year’s resolution last week I did threaten that I might come come up with some more….

So here goes:

  • To post at least twice a week on this blog.

As Tim Footman so eloquently put it in the comments, blogs that aren’t regularly updated are “like particularly feeble Tamagotchis, they are.” And if they’re not fed and looked after properly, they die.

  • To expand my horizons.

I’ve been freelancing for a year now, but so far I’ve not really ventured much beyond Comment is Free. In 2009 I’m going to spread my wings a bit and get myself published elsewhere (besides the Arab News!)


Yes, that is one of my CiF pieces. I wouldn’t have known anything about being published in the Arab News, except that a friend was handed a free copy of the paper when he was taking a connecting flight from Riyadh and spotted me in there.

  • To read more fiction: a lot more fiction

Fiction, particularly contemporary fiction, has long been my passion, but since taking the plunge and embarking on my own writing career it’s one area of my life that’s been sadly neglected. That’s not to say I haven’t been reading, of course I have, but I’ve mainly been reading non-fiction books, newspapers, magazines, blogs etc.

In 2008 I only managed to read 10 books from cover to cover (I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t tend to read non-fiction books from start to finish, I dip in and out and use the index a lot to help me decide which bits I want to read):

  1. Lucky by Alice Sebold (autobiography)
  2. Funny Peculiar by Constance McCullagh (autobiography)
  3. My Revolutions by Hari Kunzru (fiction)
  4. Provoked by Kiranjit Ahluwalia and Rahila Gupta (biography)
  5. Sinking, stealing by Jan Clausen (fiction)
  6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (fiction {my second reading of this book})
  7. When Will There be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (fiction)
  8. The Secret History by Donna Tartt (fiction)
  9. Benefits by Zoe Fairbairns (fiction)
  10. Welcome Silence by Carol North (autobiography)

So in 2009 I’m going to try and spend a bit less time on the net, and a lot of time catching up on the reading I’ve neglected in the last 12+ months.

Over the last 12 years I’ve worked as both a bookseller and as a librarian: ’nuff said. (I signed up to LibraryThing in August, but I’ve been putting off listing my book collection ‘cos I know once I get started properly I’ll find this site addictive.)

  • To cut down on my smoking

For obvious reasons, and because quitting altogether is not a realistic option for me just now.

And that’s it. Apart from the obvious stuff that should be taken as read of course, like trying to change the world, fomenting the feminist revolution, winning the Pulitzer prize, and having lots of fun.

I wonder how I’ll do.