2011 truly was a year of surprises, challenges, discovery and new ventures. And in the spirit of keeping with tradition, I sat down with my hubby on New Year’s Eve and we wrote down exactly how we’d like to see 2012 evolve for us. From spending a lot more time together to making a plan to work out at least 5 times a week (along with eating healthier and cooking a lot more), I definitely feel hopeful that within the realm of our personal lives, 2012 is going to be an exciting year. Now those were personal resolutions. I have a second set of resolutions that were made last Saturday night as well, and they are just as important as the personal ones.
For the writer/aspiring author inside of me, I’m sure that this New Year is going to bring a lot more challenges, to which I have promised myself to rise to the occasion, and opportunities – ones that I will grab and run like hell with.
As writers, it is important that we not only make these resolutions and stick to them, but that we also ensure they are obtainable. Sure, every single one of us wants to put down on the list that we will sign with an agent and get a book deal, but is it truly realistic given that in this industry everything from finding the right agent to selling your story takes a little – or a lot more – time?
With that thought in mind, I went into my writing resolutions with eyes wide open, knowing that not only do I have to hit it hard in 2012 in order to make my dream come true, but also knowing that yes, there are going to be disappointments, hardships, and if I write down that I will make a flying leap forward towards being published, I may be setting myself up for a fall.
With that being said, I’m always hopeful that that will happen, but I decided to make obtainable goals that I, as the author of my own life, can control and make happen:
- Finish writing, edit and polish my NaNoWriMo manuscript, Destiny’s Resistance, that has been sitting on the backburner since December 1st. The holidays are a busy time of year, so it came as no surprise that there just wasn’t enough time in the day to truly sit down for longer than fifteen minutes to write like I wanted to.
- Complete the critique on my CP’s manuscript. Alongside this, be completely open to learning and growing from the critique that she gives on my manuscript – as well as any others that I may have throughout the year. We have set a deadline of January 31st and I’m well on my way to knocking this one down, but I felt that this was too important as this will be our first time (of many more) to learn and grow from one another.
- Become a bit more of a plotter. I’ve made it no secret that I’m a pantser. But I learned something grand throughout the month of December when I didn’t actually have time to write: the ideas are always going to be there swimming through my head, and even though the time to sit down and write them out isn’t there, there’s always an index card. I did this for a bit and when I sat down after Christmas to look at all of those ideas, I realized I had practically plotted out the rest of my NaNoWriMo story as well as cooked up a plot for a new story. So yeah, my writing process is going to grow and change throughout 2012, and I’m thoroughly ready to take on that challenge.
- Work on more than one story at a time. This is one of those challenges I’ve been talking about. It may be hard enough to carve out the time to work on one, but I want the challenge of finding the time to work on two at a time since taking time away from one might in fact help the other in the long run…and vice versa.
- Begin the query process in 2012 with Destiny Awakened. This is one of those realistic challenges I went into with open eyes. Instead of writing down that I wanted to sign with an agent this year, I wrote down that I begin the process of getting the agent. If it works, then I’ll have not only completed this resolution, but blew right past it and landed on the next stepping stone in this journey. If not, then I at least began the process and made the effort to move forward and will learn something new in the process.
- Put together and flesh out the five scenes I wrote during a dialogue workshop. I recently read through the scenes I wrote for a workshop with Devon Ellington, and you know what? I think I may have started something that has the real potential to be a complete novel. So I’d like to take the time to work on those characters and their story. And who knows, their story may be fully written this year.
- Begin the 3rd book in my Destiny series, currently untitled, by outlining the final chapter in my most beloved MC’s story before moving on. While a story should be able to stand on its own two legs and submitted as one that could potentially be a series, the story of Avalyn and Ambrose is one that is taking three books to complete, and currently, one cannot truly stand without the rest. Their story is one that I absolutely must finish, though with this resolution I’m only going to plot out the last chapter of their story then put it on a shelf until the time comes for it to be completed (and that will be due to a publication opportunity and hopefully not because they just won’t let me rest *smiles*).
- Enter at least one writing contest this year. I’m sort of on the way to completing this particular resolution right now, but I’m having so much fun working with a deadline that I want to enter another contest.
- Host another Week of the Writer on my blog. This last August I put together a week of celebrating you, the writer, by bringing on guest bloggers whose writing blogs I can’t get enough of each and every week. Over the summer I look forward to putting together another Week of the Writer (around July) and hope for it to be even more successful than the first one.
And there you have it – resolutions for 2012 that are obtainable and within my control so that when I look back on them on December 31st, 2012, I will feel as though I not only made great strides to becoming published, but happy and content that I *hopefully* rose to the occasion and faced every challenge head on.
What types of resolutions did you set for yourself this year? Were they personal or related to your professional and/or writing life? Are they within your control to obtain/complete? Please share a few; I’d really love to hear what your goals for the New Year are.
**In regards to the contest I’m on my way to completing right now, I highly suggest that if you have a completed short story or one that is in the works that you polish it up and enter Jami Gold’s Pitch Your Shorts short story pitch session that begins on January 10th. It will be an amazing opportunity to have your pitch reviewed by several editors from Entangled Publishing. Who knows, if they like it, you may get the chance to have your story read. Check out the link for details, and good luck!