Saturday, December 29, 2012

Writig resolutions

In his post yesterday, Scott asked who does resolutions.

Maybe I’m an old fashioned kind of guy, but I like making New Year’s resolutions. The start of a new year is a time to reflect on what has been accomplished the last twelve months and how things could be improved. It’s a new beginning on the same old life. A fresh start is a chance to break old habits and establish new ones.

Not that I stick to them.  Sometimes they are out of here as fast as the Christmas tree waiting on the pick-up curb. A stroke of genius on December 31 can become a hazy memory on New Year’s Day. Some may make it a few weeks out. That new gym membership gets used for a couple of weeks but by March is a waste of money. Good intentions. Lousy follow-through.

After failing consistently for the last umpteen New Years, I’m becoming an expert at making resolutions. General, overall goals seem better than specific, time-dated ones. For example, if I resolve to exercise daily, then I give up on it after the first day I miss, usually around Jan. 3rd or 5th. When I tell myself to walk three or four times a week and fit in a yoga class here and there, I am more successful.

A few years back I took stock of things and resolved to write that book that had been on the brain for twenty years. Look where I am now. I thought I had talent and could write and made a rough draft. A friend suggested WYFIR. I learned there’s a difference between talent and writing skill. Six years later and I’m still learning the craft.

So, be it resolved:
-of course the usual: end to world hunger, lose twenty pounds, fast car, etc., etc.
-and the more doable goals: garage cleaned by 2018, think about what I'm eating once in a while, and what-not.

My Writing Resolutions for 2013
1. Finish revising project A by the end January.
2. Research agents and editors, find the best fit for my manuscript, create a killer query, and turn off writer mode and switch to salesperson.
3. Get Project A signed on with an agent or publisher. (Out of my hands. I know. Had to throw it in.)
4. Figure out project B. That is my new NaNoWriMo story and it is far from finished.
5. Attend a writing conference. I’m going to WIFYR again this year; that is a given. I’ll make it two conferences then. I did Cheryl Klein’s plot class in November. Nothing better to inspire writing than a workshop on the craft.
6. Stay connected with my critiquers. You guys are great.
7. Write daily. I do best with a 60-minute a day goal. Some days it doesn’t happen, but the goal itself keeps me there even on those days when you can’t squeeze in an hour.
8. Read daily. Someone once said that reading counts as writing time. Though most people my age read adult fiction, we children’s writers tend to go for something aimed at younger audiences. There are a lot of excellent children’s stories out there and reading them makes your own better.
9. Establish an online presence. Publishers want to know the writer is doing what they can to promote their book.

All this and yet balance it out with the rest of my life. Oh, and one more. I resolve to have my Saturday posts finished by Friday evenings.

1 comment:

Scott said...

I've found that without goals, whether formalized as resolutions or just keeping them in mind, the writing doesn't get done. It's hard enough to write regularly anyway, with all the other drags on our time and things we want to do. Having something to accomplish provides motivation.

If reading time counts as writing time, then I had a good year. But I think maybe I overdid it, thanks to a couple periods of post-surgery downtime and a two-week staycation.