Keeping Writing Resolutions
Christmas has been conquered. The holidays, defeated.
New Year’s euphoria continues to run on liquor, rocket feel, and imagined vibes, anticipating a slow crash back into reality. The coma subsides. Here we are, back to the new struggles in 2013, same as the old ones in 2012.
For many, that’s reality. For some, it’s a choice not taken.
That’s why we’re Writing All Wrong.
I don’t really want any more New Year’s resolutions to keep. How do I keep the ones I have?
—Moira Bartlett, Peterborough, Ontario.
(Editor’s Note: The resolutions/revolutions for 2012 still pack a wallop for 2013: http://writingallwrong.com/2012/01/02/new-years-revolutions/)
That is the trick, isn’t it? All the brainpower goes into resolution making, but it’s the willpower that goes into resolution keeping. If you’re looking to turn your writing resolutions into reality, here are a few New Yearly helps to do just that.
Keep it small and steady.
Unless you’re unemployed, it’s a stretch to set a stretched wordcount goal. “I’m going to write OVER 9000 words PER DAY!” isn’t only stupid, it misses the point of building a habit. If you happen to hold a job, kids, or jobkids, it’s more impressive to build a muscle of writing every day. It’s never the amount that counts. It’s the mounts that amount. Or something.
Look just down the road, not into the future.
“Become best-selling author. Get all the royalties, book deals, chicks, booze, and followers on Twitter to fund my Kickstarter island awesome paradise.” — WRONG (on so many levels).
Find your “down the road.” If you haven’t finished your novel, short story, novella, then finish it off in 2013. If it’s done, then get it represented (or self-pubbed, if that’s your inclination.) If it’s represented, work on a next book. You can build that “island awesome paradise” on the backs of years of finished resolutions.
Take less giant leaps and more small steps.
The time will come when you need to make that big splash. The big publishing break. The joint venture. The cross-collaborative blogging initiative-a-palooza. But don’t be afraid to keep moving forward. Whether it’s more fictions here, more writing snippets there. Keep taking forward strides, maybe even more than the giant leaps. Often will you miss a leap, but rarely will you miss a step.
Look back to look back.
What all did you accomplish in 2012? Maybe it’s not so much doing things different, but better.
In Writing All Wrong City, I kept my audience of nine or ten plodding along with blog posts. Didn’t quit, even though I had the hat ready to hang each week.
I broke off some unnecessary connections and made new ones. Influence is profound, and chose those who’d help my writing, not hinder it with distraction (plugging, advertising, backscratching, pandering).
I finished my second book. This time, I resolved to refashion a plan that would get it off the agency slush pile and into representation. I queried plenty (and smarter) in 2012 than I did in 2011. I won’t say where things stand just yet, but stay tuned.
2013 is a year of reaping what you sow and sowing anew. Make a little, keep a lot.
Writing All Wrong can be reached via email (WritingAllWrong@me.com) and followed on Twitter (@WritingAllWrong).