Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year Resolutions Writer Style

Welcome to the second day of the New Year. Hopefully, the hangover has worn off by now and you're staring at the list of resolutions you scribbled whilst judgment impaired by the adult beverage of your choice. Yeah, I don't (can't) drink, either, but work with me. I need an excuse for looking askance today at the unreasonable promises I made yesterday. The first item on my list: Move to Hawaii. Lovely thought. It misses a really vital step: Win the lottery. Because that is the only way I'd be able to afford a move to the islands. The second item on the list: Learn to love the cold is just laughable. A couple of years in Iceland when I was a kid cured me of cold forever. All I do is whine. Is it too much to ask to live someplace where making contact with the toilet seat isn't akin to planting my tender butt on a block of ice? It's 21 degrees outside and one of the radiators died a cowardly death. It has yet to be replaced because who wants to go outside in this nonsense? Which brings me to my next resolution: Go cold turkey on complaining. Yeah. Banner start to the resolutions.

Kidding. Don't do resolutions. I prefer goals. Minor difference of semantics, maybe, but resolutions seem so absolute. Goals get broken down into actionable steps. And when we talk about how my writing will change over the coming year, I can talk about how I aim for deeper POV, characters who follow you around your house for days after you read their stories, and maybe even a little angst, they're goals I really can't measure or control - they're a learning process that will take whatever time they're going to take. What I can control are these:

1. Finish what I start. No. You don't understand. This is a serious thing for me. I started five things this year. I finished two. Wait. No. I started eight things this year. Finished two. Sure. Those two things were novels. But seriously. That start/finish ratio? MUST get better. (The measureable goal: The equivalent of three novels this year. I'm asking myself for 300,000 finished words this year - first drafts accepted.)
2.z <-- This was the cat's input. One thing I can safely say won't change? Feline editorial input.
MY #2: Genres. More of 'em. We've got yer scifi, yer urban fantasy, yer sword and sorcery, and coming soon to a venue near you, contemporary romance and possibly historical fantasy. Already underway. Assuming proposals don't get kicked back in my face accompanied by the music of mocking laughter.
3. Finishing that which was started many long years ago. I started with scifi. I got stalled in the middle of a series. That series wants to be finished. Book three is half done. It's rattling its chains in my dreams at night. So it looks like this year will be a form of old home week. All year long. (The measurable on this one is a completed book three. It will count as one of my three novels for the year IF I get it done the way I want.)

Do you set goals for the new year, writing or otherwise? Why or why not? What helps you stay on track? That's, you know, legal.

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