Thursday, January 2, 2014

...and the Resolutions Begin...

by Allison Pang

In general, I tend not to do the resolution thing - writerly or otherwise. I think it's because most people tend to set these super high and somewhat unrealistic goals - "I'm going to write 5000 words a day!" It's easy to get discouraged and then quit - sort of a self-destroying cycle, really.

I mean, when was the last time you resolved to eat more ice cream? Or sleep in every morning? (On the other hand, if resolutions were easy, we'd all do them. For the word count thing, it's probably better to resolve to write an extra 200 words a day on top of whatever the normal word count is, and build up to a daily max. And the writing more resolution is always there for me, so I'm not even going to list it.)

I believe in small steps, so my top three writerly resolutions are:

1) Read more. Sounds lame, but I barely read anything in 2013 and that is sad. I used to read two or three books a week, easy...but these days, not so much. I've gone ahead and pre-loaded my Kindle - with both new books and those I've been trying to get around to reading and if I can swing a book a week, I'll be a happy camper.

2) Take better physical care. 2013 was rough in many ways, but if I'm honest, I was letting myself slide quite a bit over the last few years anyway. Between the back issues and the meds and the fact that I tend to stress eat like no-one's business, the scale has been creeping up in a way I really don't like. Now that I've got a metal spine and physical therapy is nearly over, it's time to brush off that treadmill and start moving again - blood flow is good for the muse and anything that helps the muse is helpful to ME. (I am going to try to eat better/less, too, but again - I dislike the "I'm going to lose X pounds in Y time." Much better to say "I'm going to pay attention to what I'm eating. And if I can't quite resolve to stop drinking soda, I can certainly resolve to drink more water.")

3) Write more. Did I say I wasn't going to mention this? Well I am anyway. And actually, what I really mean is to get better organized when it comes to the various projects I'm working on. I can be a hard core procrastinator, particularly when it feels like I have a mountain of things on my plate - this can put me in a sort of "blocked" mode. And then nothing gets done. And then I feel lousy. And then I'm less inclined to do anything. Rinse and repeat. So I've started keeping a list - and if's not quite as fancy as Jeffe's spreadsheets, it is something I can cross out as I go. Progress can be its own reward, I think and for me, just knowing I'm putting a small dent in the workload makes me *want* to do more.

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