A Walden Resolution
It’s a well established truth among successful quitters that the first thing you should do once you’ve decided to quit smoking/drinking/what-have-you is declare your decision to everyone you know. Better yet, tell everyone that failing would be naked proof of your lack of conviction (avoid the term ‘weak-willed’ since the adjective lends to romanticized epicurean excuse-making as in “I only succumb to temptation because I experience in my vices such exquisite heights of pleasure, i.e. because I feel”). In doing this you recruit your ego and its motivational speaker, Pride, to assist you from straying off the straight and harrowing path.
It’s been exactly one year to date since the launch of Fourth Fiction, the blog-based reality show I hosted on my website. Ever since FF ended in December, I’ve been contemplating the next Fourth Night project, which will be more journalistic in nature. Yesterday, while swimming across Walden Pond with some friends, one of them, Sancho, asked me when this next undertaking would begin. It was the most essential question after “what is it?” and yet I had no ready answer. I originally intended to start this summer, then pushed it back to fall, then to winter, and so on; Fourth Fiction-related work was spilling over longer than I expected (still spilling) and the project required a minimum of funds that I didn’t have. But legitimate reasons aside, I realized that if I didn’t nail down a launch date I’d become like the smoker who’s been claiming for years that he’ll quit “soon.”
You don’t have to frequent this website to figure out that the fourth of each month is a big day for me. And of the twelve, July 4 is the biggest. So I decided right then, in the middle of Walden pond (which apparently 150 years on remains a fine place for introspection and resolve) that the project would begin next July 4. It may be a year away, but time has a tendency of getting away from me; even with this window, I have no doubt that by next summer I’ll be balls-to-the-wall, cursing the Way Too Soon launch date, just like I was doing last summer.
I shared my decision with Sancho (who only sighed and wrily pointed out that I’ve straightjacketed my life into a self-created horoscope). And, taking cue from my first paragraph, I am now announcing it to all of you. I hereby pledge that [title TBA] will launch on July 4, 2011. If I fail, I lack conviction. But I’m confident my ego & pride will stand me in good stead. They haven’t failed me yet.
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