Every blog, every article, every social networking site is full of opinions about setting and keeping New Year's Resolutions. Haven’t we heard all this since we started marking time with calendars? I doubt there’s a bit of advice on anything that we haven’t heard before and tried to put into practice. How to lose weight, quit smoking, improve your life, all the stuff we want to do but never think about except for the week preceding and the week following January 1st.
I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions this year. Maybe I should have. Especially where my writing is concerned. I'm currently between writing contracts. The bane of a writer's existence. When you have deadlines, you're stressed and irritable and a pain to live with. When you don't have anyone chomping at the bit to see your stuff, you're stressed and irritable for a whole different set of reasons.
So I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a few resolutions to help keep me on track, especially since I finally have a few nibbles of interest and some possibilities have presented themselves lately. I’m afraid you won’t find a whole lot new here. No resolutions writers haven’t made every year since the first printing press was made available to the masses.
1. Write more. Talk about it less. It’s tough for me not to talk about everything. Tough for most writers I imagine. We prefer to talk about our writing over actually sitting down and writing something. This year I’m not going to verbally express every idea and nugget that crosses my mind. Instead I’m going to capture them with my pen and see what comes of it.
2. Recognize time wasters and eradicate them from my life. A big time waster for me is DVR on my TV. Now that I can capture the few shows I deem viewer worthy and watch them whenever the mood strikes, there is always something on. In the old days if you missed your favorite show, you had to wait and tune in the next week. Eventually everything would be repeated. Not so anymore. There’s always something ready to waste my time. My resolution is not to give in to the temptation of wasting an entire afternoon on something that doesn't improve my life in any way.
3. Finish something, for crying out loud. In my writing I tend to pound out my first draft and then walk away from it. I’ll start rewriting, come up against a roadblock or plot hole, think about all the editors who are grossly under-whelmed by my talent, and stop working on it. I have some really good half finished novels in my hard drive. My goal for 2011 is to finish all my half-done manuscripts. Maybe even create something new. Wouldn’t that be a hoot.
That’s enough resolutions for one writer for one year. What about you? Please share your writing or personal resolutions. Let’s keep each other accountable as we move toward published work.