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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Resolute or Rut?

(The only difference is in the spelling)

We’ve had a couple of weeks now to think about our resolutions (and in some cases, break any already made), so I thought this was the perfect time to revisit the concept.

 Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for the “normal” person
1.      Stop smoking
2.      Get fit
3.      Get out of debt
4.      Lose weight
5.      Get organized
6.      Eat healthier
7.      Quit drinking
8.      Exercise more
9.      Spend more time with family
10. Does this one even matter? (Join the gym – even though I won’t likely go)

Hmmm . . . am I the only one who sees a pattern here?  I did my own bit of research to get this list ( & by research I mean I just listened to others talk about their resolutions or I read about them somewhere . . . so no REAL research was conducted on a scientific level, unless you consider eavesdropping scientific , in which case it was TOTALLY scientific research).  Regardless, these are resolutions you see EVERY year and over & over again.  There is a reason that so many of the resolutions keep popping back up.  It’s because they are soooo HARD to keep.  That’s why they continue reappearing every year – we didn’t complete them the last time.  No follow through.  That seems to be the problem when it comes to resolutions.

Let’s face it, change is not easy.  Just ask any newlywed who has to learn to live with their spouse after being the only person they have had to answer to for heaven knows how long, or someone trying to stop smoking.  NOT easy.

But as writers, we shouldn’t make resolutions that are difficult to keep.  Here’s my list . . .I think even someone as ADHD as me might be able to get this accomplished.  Maybe.

Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for WRITERS (you know the extraordinary person – nothing normal about us)

1.      Make time to write more – because even if I write 12 hours/day it’s not enough.

2.      Stop procrastinating – that book isn’t going to write itself onto paper just because I can see the movie playing in my head.

3.      Attend a writer’s conference – in person, not in my pajamas from the comfort of my home.

4.      Submit to an agent & learn something from the rejection letter(s).

5.      Get an agent – hopefully because of what I learned from the rejection letter(s).

6.      Draw hearts all over a Twilight poster and pin it to the wall to remind me it could happen to me.

7.      Throw darts at said Twilight poster – because let’s face it, sometimes I want to scream and blame someone for all those rejection letters and Stephenie Meyer is the most obvious choice.

8.      Create/update website/blog.

9.      Increase social media presence (I can’t make contacts on Twitter & Facebook if I don’t participate . . . it’s called “social” for a reason).

10. Don’t give up!  After all, JA Konrath wrote 9 novels (over a million words) and received over 500 rejection letters before he sold anything and dangit –I’m just as talented as that guy and I write sober.  (Disclaimer: I am in no way diss’n Konrath nor am I saying I know if he writes in a drunken state, but his novels are all named after something you might hear slurred to a bartender, so it’s a somewhat educated assumption)

As writers, we are not only artistic but have to be business-minded as well.  No business will succeed without effort, without taking a few chances.  Taking chances means doing things you might find a little frightening.  But if you don’t try, then you’ve already failed.  And if you don’t fail a few times, then you aren’t trying hard enough.
So what are some of your New Year's Resolutions?  I'm curious as to what writers and readers alike are resolving themselves to accomplish.