New year’s resolutions are so last year, don’t you think? Besides, I have a constant conversation with myself (mostly not out loud, but the occasional exhortation gets vocalised) about being more disciplined, focussing on what’s important, keeping the day job in perspective, not giving in to diversionary tendencies (that sounds like a political crime in some tinpot dictatorship), making time to write, and so on. I know exercise (walking, cycling, swimming) helps my mood and stimulates the creative juices. I can see there’s some value in the idea of ‘the power of positive thinking’, but I simply can’t be resolutely upbeat all the time. The motivational and self-help industry makes me queasy. So I’m left to my own resources and those private imprecations and the ongoing never-resolved tussle to carve out writing time from all the other pressures, pleasures and temptations of life in London in the twenty-first century. Phew. And when I do sit at my desk and ignore all the myriad distractions – as I managed to on several mornings over the festive season – and engage in writing – well, that is one of the best places to be in the world.