It’s late night, the time when I thank God for the remote. Flipping through the now limited channels of our basic cable . . . past the evangelists preaching last-minute salvation, the telenovelas with characters that definitely need saving, and the news shows that make me wonder if anything holy exists . . . I can’t help but notice a change in the timbre of the commercials.
Yes, folks, it’s resolution time. The time when we shake our heads and ask,
“What the hell happened to last year?”
“What do you mean it’s almost 2011?”
Last year, on December 31st, I taped my resolutions to the inside back cover of my daily calendar. Smart, hunh? Well . . . not really. It’s amazing how skillful I became at opening the thing so that I didn’t have to look at them.
I think I’ll take a look now . . .
Why’s this clip here?
What’s that glue for . . .
Actually, I’d completely forgotten that I only posted the “writing goals” for 2010 in my working calendar. That was a good idea. No additional emotional trauma about gained weight, missed exercise or being a horrid mother and spouse. I’d have to go to the complete list of resolutions I typed up on the computer for that and, well, I don’t even remember what I filed them under.
But let’s look at those writing goals:
1. Write at least two pages of fiction daily.
2. Write and mail at least one short story per month.
3. Write and propose/mail at least two original novels.
4. Reach 10 items in the mail at one time.
Um . . . not bad. Manageable. Humble. Achieved?
I have no clue if I’ve been writing anything close to two pages a day, but I’d bet I haven’t. (More on that in a minute.)
I’ve sent/queried maybe six stories this year. Maybe less. Though I’ve written a YA novel and a novella, I haven’t even begun to edit them or to think about potential markets. And, at most, I had four or five items in the mail at one time. So I’m majorly behind on that curve.
Guilt that helps you hammer your ego into oblivion, causes paralysis, and makes your inability to write feel totally justified because it feels sooooo good to feel bad.
Um. Gee. Thanks, but I already gave at the office . . .
Really. I look at that moderate list of resolutions and I’m not sweating the fact that I didn’t meet those expectations. You know why? It’s because I’m in a better place creatively than I’ve been in in long long time.
And I’m more consistently productive than I’ve been in years.
You know why. No trick. No smoke or mirrors. I’m just writing fiction every day. Anyone who follows my little fan page on FB knows some days I only get to 100 words or so. Other rare days my word count is up in the thousands. But call me “Turtle,” because, baby, those words add up.
So what for the New Year? The same list of resolutions? A shorter one? A more ambitious one since, come on, really, a writer who wants to be read does have to get her work out instead of hording it.
Okay, okay. I think I can do this . . .
1. Write fiction every day.
2. Send a work of fiction I’ve written out into the world to be read. (That gives me great squiggle room; I can post on Smashwords, try to sell someting etc etc etc. Yeah, I like that one almost as much at #1.)
Success breeds success, right?
In that case, I’ll have good news in December 2011.
How about you?
Do you make resolutions?
Want to share one or two with the ’Rati?
Thank you to all the wonderful members of Murderati — the writers and our community here — for a truly beautiful, supportive, and intellectually motivating year. I hope 2011 brings joy, health and success to us all.