January 1, 2016:
January has rolled around again. Time to extend wishes for an excellent twelve months ahead, and to reflect on that time-honored if rather misguided tradition, the New Year’s Resolution.
Now, I understand that the start of a new calendar year should have the feel of the clean slate. Spring may be the time for rebirth, but January is the time to rethink, restart, realign, and hence resolve. Unfortunately for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, ever since our clever forbears figured out how to divvy up time and measure the length of the sun’s trip around the earth (okay, maybe not that clever), New Year’s Day has landed us smack dab in the dead of winter. The shortest and darkest days of the year seem the worst possible choice for launching our great and noble resolutions. Who can make important life changes when it’s dark out at 4pm, and you’re in your pj’s by 5? Oh. Maybe that’s just me.
But let’s take a look at what it is we’re resolving to do on these short, bleak days as we stare down another six weeks of winter, or more, depending of course on Punxsutawney Phil. It involves taking some sort of, well, resolute action. Exercising more. Eating less. Stopping smoking. Calling our mothers. Organizing. Cleaning. Building. Obtaining. Truth be told, we resolve to make work. I propose we alter our promises to ourselves by just one tiny word. Insert an “it.” Let us resolve rather than to make work, instead to make it work.
Make it work. Make all your stories flow. Make all your payoffs pay off. Make all your copy points as pointed as they can be, score emotionally every time you step up to bat, and make all your clients happy happy happy. No, it’s not simple or easy. But I maintain that resolving to refocus and remember what it is we set out to do is just what is needed to launch us toward spring.
The other day, as the old year came to a close, we were in the studio finishing up a session. We had laid down a spot that was good, cute, hitting all the points, but we couldn’t quite put it away. So we put our collective heads together. We wound up restoring a line that had been cut that added just the right comic punch at the right place. Worked together to improv a closer, and the actor it fell to delivered it with dry deadpan perfection. We made it work. For ourselves at the session, and for the client who snapped it up.
I wish you all nothing but those kind of great days in the studio for 2016. And oh, sure, go ahead and resolve to lose those ten pounds. Make it all work.